Incident response and handling

Cyber incident notification: Foundation of incident handling

Incident response is a methodology that handles security incidents, cyber threats, and data breaches. A well-structured incident handling and response plan identifies contains and reduces the cost of a cyberattack. The IR plan also fixes the cause of the plan of attack to prevent future attacks.

“An effective response to an incident starts well before the actual incident occurs. Much like a professional athlete spends many hours a day preparing for a contest, an incident responder is always preparing for the next incident,” says, Lawrence Taub, Director of Security Incident Response and Threat Management at Global Payments and Adjunct Professor at Florida Institute of Technology. Watch the full webinar:

Incident handling the ultimate career track of a SOC analyst

When an unforeseen security incident happens, security staff has to go through a lot of frenzy activity which does not allow them to follow a proper incident response policy. In the absence of a structured approach, the organization may not restrict the damages. IR activity is crucial on the happening of a cyberattack and if the security team fails to perform the tasks efficiently, the IR process could not serve the purpose. Proper planning and implementation of an incident response plan during an attack can prevent a business from many unnecessary liabilities and reputational damage.

An effective incident response plan is a must, and its implementation should begin immediately on the identification of a threat. A comprehensive incident response and handling plan will gain its roots from a security operations center that is formed to identify and monitor any sort of rising cyber risks. Additionally, creating an incident response checklist and deploying an incident handling and response policy can serve as a potential source for a fully developed IR plan.

Steps involved in incident response and handling plan –

1. Preparation

The first step is to prepare an effective concrete incident response plan that can connect all the dots of cyber risks to an ultimate containment process. The team should battle-test the plan before it is implemented in real-time.

2. Detection and analysis

In this step, the plan serves at the initial level, where a SOC analyst encompasses everything, beginning from monitoring the potential attack vectors, as well as identifying the indications of an incident.

3. Containment, eradication, recovery

An IR strategy should able to contain, identify, and mitigate the systems from attack. The incident handling plan should strategize a recovery plan too.

4. Post-incident process

While the security team goes through the entire process of containment, they make new experiences and learn from them. These lessons should be reviewed and included in the existing strategy for evidence retention.

Post incident handling

Incident notification to Incident Handling and Response

The incident response is not an independent process but has its origin from the SOC team. The process is spread across various departments and SOC analyst is the first stage of incident response. The role of SOC analysts stands as the first line of defense where they warn against emerging and present cyber threats. Based on the report given by the SOC team, the incident response and handling team reciprocate on priority. Where SOC analyst indicates significant threats, the entire process of defense is carried by other security team members and ultimately any damage or containment is dealt with by the incident responder and handler.

The SOC analysts have ample space to expand and grow in cybersecurity. Though they are the first line of defense in a cybersecurity plan, they can learn and grow as incident handlers. EC-Council Certified Incident Handler (E|CIH) program is a comprehensive certification that focuses on core objectives of incident handling. It is a specialized-level program that imparts the knowledge and skills required to handle post-incident consequences effectively. E|CIH includes hands-on learning delivered through the EC-Council range of labs and also via iLabs.


Q1. What are the key elements in an incident handling and response plan?
A. The success of an incident response plan would result in reduced financial burden on organizations. A successful incident handling and response plan shall excel in five areas. Read more:
Q2. What are the different types of incidents that an incident handler address?
A. Incident handlers are responsible for managing a chaotic situation after a cyberattack. There are four main attacks that an incident handler can easily address. Read more:
Q3. Does an incident handling certification matter?
A. Every credible professional certification comes with some guaranteed benefits. These professionals are usually the first responders. Credential holding incident handlers come with a list of benefits. Read more:
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