Being prepared for incidents is a crucial part of a company's management process, after all, you need to know the risks and know how to defend against them.
Organizations that do not recognize the importance of managing responses to these incidents end up suffering serious losses. This is because, according to IBM's study "The Cost of Data Breach 2023", the losses generated by a security breach were around BRL 6.2 million.
That is why it is essential for organizations to manage well and know what risks are imminent for their business.
This is because the Information Technology team is under constant threat, there are many risks to operations such as:
As such, having effective incident response management is crucial to ensure a quick response to these events and decrease downtime in operations.
With this, organizations are better prepared to face these adverse scenarios and are able to put effective strategies into practice. Acting quickly in these moments decreases financial losses and reputational damage.
What is incident response management?
Incident responses are processes and technologies that an institution uses to detect and respond to cyber threats, security breaches, or cyberattacks.
Its main objective is to prevent cyberattacks before they happen by anticipating actions, minimizing costs and business interruption.
Ideally, the organization should define the incident response processes and technology in an Incident Response Plan that we call an IRP, this document should contain the different types of attacks.
In addition, it is necessary to create a report identifying which attacks have been contained and resolved, this allows the IT team to have control over the entire situation of the organization.
We can define security incidents as any physical or digital breach, which in any way threatens the confidentiality, integrity, availability of an organization's systems or data., they are:
Supply chain attacks;
It is necessary to understand that these incidents can happen in different ways, in most cases the attacks are directed by hackers, but there are cases of unintentional violations of the security policy by the people who work in the organization.
Often people don't realize that they are violating a policy or opening security breaches.
Therefore, in addition to a good Response Plan, it is necessary to educate employees so that they understand the risks and know how to defend themselves, people need to be the strongest link in the management of these incidents.
After all, they are the ones who are involved with the organization's systems and all processes on a daily basis, which is why cybersecurity needs to be present in these actions.
Life cycle of this management
Now that you understand what an incident response is and how it works, let's introduce the life cycle of this management, which is divided into seven parts.
This cycle is the framework that the organization must follow to identify and react to a service disruption or security threats. It is important for each company to develop a specific scope adapted to its reality, demands and needs.
The lifecycle helps to direct these actions and make the whole process more effective, facilitating the activities of the Information Technology team.
The first phase needs to be preparation, it will ensure that the organization has the best tools and knows how to contain incidents and recover if any attack occurs.
This first step is done through a risk assessment, so organizations identify vulnerabilities, define the types of incidents, and prioritize actions according to the impact of each threat.
It is through this assessment that the Information Technology team is able to update current incident response plans or develop new plans.
Once the baseline plan for incident management is made, it's time to detect and analyze threats, at this stage the IT team monitors the network looking for suspicious activities and potential threats.
To do this, they analyze the notifications and alerts that are collected from the software, antivirus, and firewalls installed on the network.
In this process, it is possible to filter false alerts by performing a triage that is capable of identifying threats, classifying them from the most serious to the lowest risk for the institution.
It is at this stage that the communication plan is incorporated, so when the systems identify a threat or breach, the teams responsible for information security will be notified.
As the name implies, this is the damage containment phase, it is at this moment that the incident response team acts to prevent attacks from causing damage to the network, this is a crucial moment that must be done quickly.
We divide the containment phase into two categories:
The first one we call short-term measures, their goal is to prevent the current threat from spreading, in this way, the affected systems are isolated, so that malicious programs do not spread.
The second phase is long-term measures, their function is to protect systems that have not been affected, in this way, stricter security controls are applied.
This process is very important in management, as it is the time to identify what actually happened to the system, verify the breaches, the vulnerabilities created and know the dimension of the attack.
Investigation is also important to prevent similar incidents from happening again in the future, this process prepares the IT team to mitigate the risks and know exactly what procedures should be done in case the attacks happen again.
With the threat contained and investigated, the time has come for remediation, where the threat will be removed from the system.
For this it is important to destroy malicious programs, eliminate unauthorized users and everything that is harmful to the network, it is also important to review the affected and unaffected systems, to know if there is any trace of the attack.
After the entire eradication process where all risks have been eliminated, it is time to restore the systems through backups and return devices and applications for use by employees.
Once all the procedures for recovery have been done and normality has been restored, the time has come to analyze the incident, this is the process of evaluating the implications, procedures and policies.
Therefore, metrics will be collected, reporting requirements will be met, and everything that has been learned will be compliant, whether about the breaches, the users, or the attacks themselves.
The importance of these actions
As we have seen, incident response management has several crucial phases to eradicate threats. Without these measures, companies are vulnerable to attacks and can take a while to recover from the intrusions, which leads to financial losses and damage to their reputation.
These steps ensure a better response to risks and greater effectiveness in mitigating threats. As much as this is a complex procedure, it is necessary for the success and continuity of organizations in the market.
It is necessary to understand that only with an effective approach will your institution be able to deal with all the risks and threats present in the digital world.
Good incident response management needs to have trained and specialized teams, strategies and tools for vulnerability assessment, prevention, threat detection and cybersecurity training.
How can PhishX help you?
Many of the threats and attacks are directed at the people who work in organizations, which is why good incident management and response needs to have an awareness program.
In order for risks to be mitigated, it is necessary that all teams in the institution know how to recognize attacks and protect themselves from them.
PhishX is an ecosystem specialized in awareness, through our platform it is possible to trigger phishing simulations, issue awareness campaigns, in addition to obtaining a report on these actions.
This document shows the maturity level of your team, which prepares IT professionals to identify existing vulnerabilities in the organization, a main part of the first phase of the management plan.
Through this report, the risks will be identified and what actions should be taken to mitigate them.
PhishX also assists in the entire awareness process, through training, booklets, and educational materials about the attacks.
These actions educate employees and make everyone aware of threats, taking care of the company's data protection.