Enhancing Incident Response by Leveraging Decision-Making Psychology

Enhancing Incident Response by Leveraging Decision-Making Psychology

As cyber  risks have surged over the past year and have been predicted to only increase in the coming years, enterprises must take steps to enhance the decision-making process of their incident response team.

As enterprises are taking multiple initiatives to enhance their influence across their respective industries, CISOs’ ability to keep their security posture afloat is being stretched to its limit. Among all the cybersecurity teams of an enterprise, Incident Response (IR) teams are under extreme pressure to react and respond to cyber-attacks much quicker to mitigate their negative impact.

Therefore, CISOs must devise steps and strategies to help their IR teams effectively react and respond to cyber-attacks with ease. By doing so, enterprises can save a significant monetary loss.

In fact, a study conducted by IBM states that enterprises with an incident response team that tests IR plans using simulations or tabletop exercises witnessed a reduction in breach costs by an average of $2 million, when compared to enterprises that do not have an IR team or IR testing team in place.

Below are 3 steps CISOs can take to enhance the decision-making psychology of the IR teams:


  • Conducting Micro-drills

Since cybersecurity is heavy with the framework with multiple processes in place and is constantly evolving, relying on few-predefined frameworks and processes can hamper results.

However, if CISOs take steps that will enable the IR teams to strengthen and enhance their thinking skills and mental agility, the team can learn to have faster and more effective reactions.

One way for CISOs to strengthen their IR teams’ decision-making skills is by regularly conducting micro-drills events. Since these events occur on a frequent basis, the IR teams will be less biased and will strive to find ways to respond to incidents effectively.

Read More: Confronting the Cybersecurity Challenges in Financial Services

  • Challenging ingrained biases

With an increasing amount of integration of automation technologies, it is essential for IR teams to challenge their own biases. If not, the odds of conducting tests based on the previous ways can hamper their ability to respond to the continuously evolving cyber-threats. Also, IR team members are much more likely to succumb to the numerous types of potential cognitive biases.

As there is no single structured framework for cyber incidents, it is critical that the IR teams be agile. It will not only enable them to deal with the emerging threats but also provide them the opportunity to challenge their own preconceived notions while assessing threats that they considered a standard incident.

  • Conducting micro-drills in accordance with larger events

As an alternative to the large-scale events, enterprises must take a DevSecOps-like approach towards incident response. Tying the micro drills to the larger cybersecurity tests by incorporating data to identify potential threats can help the CISOs  guide the IR teams while developing varied and different approaches.

Read More: Tackling the Legacy Firewall challenges

Since these regular drills create more patterns, it enables the enterprise team to learn so that they become more agile with their thinking. Furthermore, it provides CISOs with the insights where the IR team is not able to perform and enables them to provide where they are not performing – and provide the chance to enhance the incident response approaches.

As the nature of cyber threats is evolving, IR teams need to be agile in nature and must make learning and improvising a top priority.