How To Write A Security Incident Response Plan

Do you and your employees know what to do in the event of a security breach? Security issues have to be reacted to quickly to reduce damages. A comprehensive security incident response help is the only way to empower your employees to react in a timely fashion and to direct them to the best possible actions.

Pre-Incident Training and Role Development

Security incident response training should be completed on an annual basis, and should include the creation of specific roles regarding response. Individuals should be clear on the hierarchy and their responsibilities regarding a security event. Otherwise they will not know who to escalate the situation to and they may not react in time. Incident training should also be rolled into the training that new employees receive, to ensure that all employees are on the same page.

Identifying and Assessing a Security Incident

Security incidents must be well-defined so that employees can react appropriately. A security incident can range from a denial of service attack to a malware intrusion. Any time security may have been compromised, the situation will need to be reacted to. Generally, there are two major types of security incident: a compromise of the systems themselves and a compromise of protocols related to security.

Employees will need a clear idea of security protocols in relation to information that is confidential and protected. Assessment should include determining the extensiveness of the security vulnerability. In general, any interruption in traditional IT services has the potential to be a security event. Smaller disruptions, such as the breach of a single secured record, may be dealt with in a more contained fashion.

Reacting to and Recovering from a Security Incident

Once the security incident has been properly identified and assessed, reaction must occur immediately. Information should be escalated so that those in charge know about the security incident. If systems have been taken down by the security intrusion (such as firewalls), they will need to be brought up again immediately. If data has been compromised, the data may need to be taken offline until a more comprehensive assessment can be run.

Security systems are complicated and as such a security incident can be difficult to resolve. Often, lower level technicians may attempt to resolve smaller security issues, such as individual data protocol breaches. They will then need to escalate to higher level technicians or to department heads if the security issue is outside of their realm of expertise.

Post-Incident Handling and Reporting

Following the resolution of an incident, a comprehensive security incident report should be written and submitted to those above the individual in hierarchy. On an organizational level, it will need to be determined how the information is released to those who have been affected. In all industries, there are reporting standards regarding data and security breaches. Clients, patients, students, and others whose information have been breached will need to be notified in a timely fashion. At this time, many organizations craft a notice that includes what they have done to resolve the situation and what individuals can now do to protect themselves from the potential consequences.

A security incident response plan will always need to include the basics, but it can be as simple or complex as the company needs. Smaller organizations may have only one or two incident response technicians and be able to react to issues in an agile and timely fashion. Larger organizations may need a more complex hierarchy to ensure that incidents are escalated as necessary.

Related Posts

Mental Health at Work: Reverse Burnout in our Tech Workforce

As we close out Mental Health Awareness this month, it’s important to continue the conversation and reevaluate how to support our tech teams’ mental health
Read More

Tech Graduates: Get Recruited After Graduation

As the class of 2023 begins to walk across that graduation stage, many have one recurring thought playing in their heads: what’s next? For those
Read More

Hiring New Graduates: Welcoming GenZ Professionals to Your Workforce

Hiring new graduates and welcoming them to your workforce after the 2023 graduation season requires a different approach and more effort than classes of the
Read More