What Is an Incident Response Policy

What Is an Incident Response Policy? Do You Know How to Draft One?

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Nowadays, cybercrime has become common all over the world, prompting organizations to plan a competitive strategy in advance to handle cybercrime incidents, reduce the risk of business downtime, and lower damage costs. Therefore, it’s crucial to make a proper incident response policy or plan to deal with the effects of cyberattacks and ensure smooth functioning of the business and the safety of business data.

What Is an Incident Response Policy?

An IR policy consists of various sets of instructions and guidelines which help the incident handler to identify, respond, mitigate, and recover the organization’s data from cybercrime incidents. An organization must hire an incident management handler to deal with the cybercrime risks. Also, the incident response plan can help in neutralizing the effects of cyberattacks and recover the organization’s data effectively in less time. So, it’s vital to design a competitive and well-structured IR plan before starting or expanding a business online.

Why Should You Have an Incident Response Policy?

In today’s time, no organization or business is safe from cyberattacks. That’s why it’s crucial to develop a plan that can provide you a safer working environment and help to mitigate the security risks. So, if you are a business owner, you should develop an incident response policy to give your business a safer track to reach its goals.

A well-prepared incident response policy/plan can save companies from data breaches and can also reduce the risk of financial and operational downtime. As cyberattacks can cause loss of customers along with the devaluation of stock, business owners must prepare an advanced IR plan to eliminate the various risks. A good IR plan aims at:

  1. Restoring business data.
  2. Reducing reputational and financial loss.
  3. Fixing cyberattacks quickly and effectively.
  4. Strengthening an organization’s web data to prevent future attacks.

Along with this, having a well-structured IR policy can provide 360-degree protection to your company from cyberattacks and can hence help in maintaining the growth and standard of the organization.

What Are the Four Phases of Incident Response?

A well-structured incident response plan can help you plan competitive strategies in advance, which will help the incident handler properly recover the data by following all the necessary steps. Typical incident response phases consist of 4 steps, as follows:

What Are the Four Phases of Incident Response?

Phase 1 – Planning/Preparation

Planning is the very first step for the IR team, which allows them to set up the right tools and procedures to deal with future cyberattacks. This phase further includes two steps:

  1. Identification and protection of a company’s assets.
  2. Data analysis of past incidents.

Every company must have an advanced and well-structured IR Plan in its arsenal to prevent data breaches and financial losses.

Phase 2 – Detection and Analysis

This phase includes the detection and analysis of the initial threat to plan a competitive strategy to deal with the cyber threats. Every organization must invest in training its employees to get the most out of their manpower. The incident response team must also go through multiple questions to resolve the situation effectively, such as:

  1. When did the incident happen?
  2. What are the infected areas?
  3. What is the effect of the incident?
  4. What is the source of the incident?

Keeping all these questions in mind will help incident handlers to effectively deal with cybercrimes and prepare better plans and tools for future incidents.

Phase 3 – Containment, Eradication, and Recovery

This phase helps the IR team to properly track all the affected systems and collected the required documents to develop a recovery procedure to bring back all the necessary data. Also, this phase helps the organization to attain a stable position in the online market.

Phase 4 – Post-Incident Activity

This phase involves evaluating the lessons and actions learnt from the current situation. Also, this phase helps the cybersecurity incident response team to form a good competitive strategy by retaining all the necessary information in mind.

What Are the Duties and Responsibilities of the IR Team?

The main duties and responsibilities of a cybersecurity incident response team are as follows:

  • Investigation of the latest cybersecurity issues.
  • Conduct forensic research, analysis of the threat, and track system activities at regular intervals.
  • Proper examination of threats and potential issues.
  • Regular training of employees.
  • Evaluation of incidents.
  • Manage the company’s cyber-defense endeavors.
  • Evaluation of past data to make an unbreakable security system.

Upskill and Pursue a Career in Incident Response

A well-trained incident response team is the key to identifying and mitigating these threats, and companies are always on the lookout for well-qualified candidates. Becoming a certified professional in this field will increase your employability as employers seek folks who can handle these responsibilities from the get-go. Organizations often train in-house talent with certification programs as well, thus saving their time and boosting the company’s overall security profile in the process.

The Certified Incident Handler (ECIH) program by EC-Council has been designed in cooperation with experts in cybersecurity and incident handling & response worldwide. ECIH is a comprehensive incident management program at the professional level that imparts the expertise and information organizations need to mitigate the effects from both a financial and reputational viewpoint when managing any incident.


  1. https://it.ufl.edu/policies/information-security/incident-response-policy/
  2. https://www.cmu.edu/iso/governance/procedures/IRPlan.html
  3. https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/security/incident-response-plan.html


Q. What are the main steps of an incident response policy?
  1. Identifying the crucial components of the company’s network.
  2. Identification and addressing of failure points.
  3. Make a better workforce plan.
  4. Make an advanced cybersecurity response plan.
  5. Training of employees and staff.

All these steps play a crucial role in maintaining the privacy and safety of the organization’s data.

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