Creating a Robust Cyber Response Plan

Cyberattacks continue be on the rise in the United States. From small businesses to civic properties to health care organizations, cybercrimes are not only becoming more prevalent but are changing rapidly to the point where companies don’t know how to protect themselves. Any business handling customer data, which can be easily monetized, can be a main target. A data breach will put a company’s reputation in jeopardy, so it’s important for companies to be prepared to handle an incident. This involves a high level of communication through a cyber response plan.

Since crisis-driven decisions can end up having a negative impact on the fallout from a cyberattack, now is the time to put a cyber incident response plan in place for a business. This will help to ensure everyone is aware of the resilience measures that are implemented.

Here are some tips to build a more robust cyber incident response plan.

Know What You’re Protecting

A company should write out a complete inventory of IT assets. This will help to see what systems and data are at greater risk and prioritize protection according to how critical they are to delivering business outcomes. The potential fallout from an attack should be evaluated and include a rundown of costs of data loss, reputational damage, legal fees, customer abandonment, and operational disruption.

How to React to a Cyberattack

The sooner a cyberattack is detected, the more successful an organization can be to limit the damage. The longer it goes on, the more information and sensitive data can be stolen. A company should define the parameters, severity and standards for when and how an incident is made known. Also, a company should consider how they will preserve any evidence while containing and taking care of threats.

What Needs to Get Done

Cybersecurity is usually seen as a problem that only IT can handle. However, it’s important to include the wider business too, such as creating a communication plan when it comes to having to relay information to the public and stakeholders. A company that suffers from cybersecurity issues should think beyond technology to people and processes. Identify who is responsible for each step in a cyber response, such as legal, HR, communications, and leadership representation.

Test Out a Cyber Response Plan

A company’s incident response plan will need to be documented extensively as well as tested and validated before it can be determined if it’s reliable or not. A response team will need to rehearse the plan through certain drills, desktop exercises, or full-scale simulations involving all levels of the business. This will help to mimic the technical, operational, communications, and strategic responses required for an actual cybercrime.

After these exercises, a company’s incident response plan should review how it performed and make any changes or adjustments as necessary. Also, a plan may become rather pedestrian over time, so it’s just as important to have reviews of these plans to ensure cybersecurity efforts are upheld.

Following a Cyberattack

All ransomware attacks and other cyber threats can have their own impact on a company. All tests reveal things that need to change to keep plans adequate. Having identified the gap in defenses, it’s important to reassess and strengthen a company’s security measures to prevent a similar event in the future. It’s also important to learn how to investigate the incident thoroughly, document the changes made, communicate valuable insights and update key information.

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