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How to Create a Successful Incident Response Plan

The threat landscape is evolving every day. Either your organization can adapt to tackle this evolving threat landscape or die. Having said that, preparing for the onslaught of attacks occurring on a daily basis is fundamental to that adaptation. Developing a well-thought-out cybersecurity incident response plan allows your organization to counter new methodologies in the hands of attackers.

In this article, we will discuss why your organization needs an incident response plan and how you can create an incident response plan.

Why Your Organization Needs an Incident Response Plan

It is imperative for every organization to have an incident response plan so that when it is under the pressure of a security breach, correct decisions can be made to bring the situation back under control.

Security incidents can be very daunting if the incident response is not conducted in a systematic manner. The security breach can result in severe damages to the organization and can even harm the brand’s reputation. Therefore, to deal with data breaches effectively, your organization needs to have a dedicated incident response team that specializes in incident response.

Of course, your organization also needs to have an incident response policy in place. However, simply having an incident response plan is not enough. The incident response team must have the experience and skills to deal with potentially high-risk situations. Otherwise, the organization can face huge losses, both in terms of revenue and reputation.

How to Develop an Incident Response Plan

  1. Determine important components of the organizational network

For protecting data and networks from major damage, it is crucial that organizations back up the data in a remote location. However, because these networks are complex, it is important to determine which data and systems should be backed up. This will help you recover quickly after a data breach.

  1. Identify points of failure and address them

Similar to backing up data, organizations should have another plan for every critical component. This includes software, hardware, and employees as well. A single point of failure can expose your organization as and when the incident takes place. Address these points of failure and ensure that you have a backup for everything.

  1. Create a continuity plan

Even when a data breach takes place within your organization, it is imperative to ensure that your organization is still functioning seamlessly. Therefore, build the IT infrastructure in such a way that it provides employees the required technologies to ensure the full functioning of business operations.

  1. Create an incident response plan

Produce a formal incident response plan and ensure that everyone within the organization at different levels of the company is aware of their roles and responsibilities. Every member of the incident response team must know the different incident response steps they have to take to ensure business continuity. The incident response plan must include a business continuity plan, roles and responsibilities of incident response team members, a list of critical networks, and communications (both internal and external).

  1. Offer training to employees

Once you have created the incident response plan, all employees within the organization must understand the different incident response phases. When organizations have the cooperation of their employees, it can reduce the length of disruptions significantly. It can also reduce the occurrences of security breaches significantly.

Different Incident Response Phases

It is imperative that the incident response plan addresses the security breach in a series of phases. In each of the different incident response phases, the organization must consider specific areas to deal with the data breach. The following are the six different incident response phases.

  1. Preparation
  2. Identification
  3. Containment
  4. Eradication
  5. Recovery
  6. Lessons Learned

To know more about each one of these different incident response phases, click here.

Kick-Start Your Career as an Incident Handler

To understand the various facets of incident response, you need a specialist-level program that will impart the necessary knowledge you need to keep threats at bay. EC-Council’s Certified Incident Handler (ECIH) is a comprehensive program that equips you with the job-ready skills organizations look out for to effectively handle post-breach consequences, allowing them to reduce the impact of the incident, from both a financial and a reputational perspective.


What is an incident plan?
An incident plan or incident response plan is a document that assists the organization to return to normalcy as soon as possible following a data breach.
What is the role of the incident response team?
The primary role of the incident response team is to develop a proactive incident response plan, resolve system vulnerabilities, and maintain strong security practices.

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