risk evaluation

How to frame an Incident Response Plan

Despite the threats are growing, more than half of businesses have not upgraded their security measures or anticipated no changes for another year. Whereas, it is the incident response plan, that gives them guidance to handle cyberattacks effectively. 

Having a well-structured incident response plan by an incident handler evaluates the business aspects that are at risk and they can be mitigated or contained after a breach. A comprehensive and strategic incident response plan can bring the difference between a thwarted attack and a million-dollar loss. 

Here is how an incident handler frames a 5step incident response plan – 

  1. Take stock of what is at stake

Once the attack is confirmed, the incident response plan should make the provision of analyzing the damages caused and compromised. It should analyze a chain reaction that can affect multiple other systems. An incident handler performs an asset audit to put a quantifiable figure and prioritizes the assets requiring additional security. 

  1. Evaluate your risk potential

Like asset evaluation, the incident handling plan evaluates potential risks or vulnerabilities of the organization. The vulnerabilities could be related to employees’ email against phishing risks, loads of data processing against faulty coding, unsecured networks, unsafe endpoints, etc. The key is to research and create a checklist of all the possible vulnerabilities. A good incident handler spends the maximum amount of time in this phase so that the vulnerabilities can be fixed to prevent the further course of attacks. 

  1. Build an action plan

After analyzing the value of the assets and listing out the exposed risks, it is time to put the incident response policies in place. The plan should include comprehensive courses of action, named as ‘playbooks.’ These playbooks will serve as guidelines to the incident response team throughout the resolution process without worrying about any crucial elements. The structure of each playbook varies depending on the defined associated risks. 

  1. Forming incident response team

To execute incident response according to the playbooks, require a team effort, and that is where the necessity of forming an incident response team comes. The team members are assigned specific responsibilities and roles to work independently and at the same time contribute to the objective of response management. They should help mitigating damage post-attack. 

  1. Involve workforce

Responding to an incident effectively requires everyone’s contribution. If there is a perfect incident response plan which is successful, comprehensive, and foolproof, it has no value if the employees are not aware of it. That is where the need for training arises. The training sessions help the incident response team in getting comfortable with other team members and also identifies areas for improvement. 

In this hostile digital world, cybersecurity is becoming significant for businesses, individuals, and corporates. Though advanced defensive systems can help to combat the attacks, a strategic incident response plan can quell the threats and contain the damages. 

A certified incident handler is able to form and execute an incident plan effectively. EC-Council Certified Incident Handler (E|CIH) is a leading incident handling certification that is 100% compliance with the NICE 2.0 Framework and CREST Framework. The program is comprehensive that covers huge varieties of security incidents along with templates and cheat sheets. E|CIH is a hands-on program that is based on industry-wide job task analysis. 


Q. What does an incident handling team do?
A. Incident handlers are responsible for managing a chaotic situation after a cyberattack. All the job responsibilities of an incident handler must comply with the already devised incident response plan (IRP). Read more: 4 Types of incidents that a proactive incident handler should be able to address
Q. What are the six steps of an incident response plan?
A. Even though each business follows a different IRP, all IRPs possess the same fundamental components as they go through the same six-phase process. Learn the 6 phases of IRP here: Phased on Incident Response Plan
Q. What is an incident response plan?
A. An Incident Response Plan is a detailed document containing every detail that an incident handler should follow if the business should fall victim to a cyber threat. Read more: Best incident response practices for your organization
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