Four Incident Response Plan Mistakes Enterprises Should Avoid

Four Incident Response Plan Mistakes Enterprises Should Avoid

Threat actors now have the knowledge and capabilities to directly target mission-critical applications of businesses and launch sophisticated attacks. Only well-prepared enterprises will be able to secure their crown jewels and avoid the long-term consequences of an attack on these systems.

A well-managed Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) can be the ultimate backstop for a cybersecurity program, preventing an early intrusion from becoming a full-fledged data breach. A CIRT can, at the very least, reduce the effect of breaches when they do happen to go unnoticed. 

While many cybersecurity firms are fielding early CIRTs today, only a tiny percentage of them are running them effectively. 

Incident Response (IR) failures are to blame for many of the most severe security breaches. And those failures tend to be centered on the same common IR mistakes that businesses make repeatedly.

Here are a few of the most common mistakes businesses must avoid to be better prepared to respond and recover.

Failing to Understand the Environment

Successful incident response requires a thorough understanding of the on-premises and cloud environments and the security tools and policies in place. Having this information on hand and sharing it with security experts at the right time aids in a thorough investigation and offers vital indicators regarding the nature of the incident. 

Not having documentation on the environment could drive up the cost of an inquiry because incident responders will have to spend time tracking that information, which would add to the fees. 

Also Read: Three Strategies for Strengthening Cyber-Defenses and Address Sophisticated Threats

Hiring the Wrong Consultants 

During a crisis, it’s all too tempting to make a hasty decision on which incident response consultants to hire. To reduce the risks, forming a solid long-term collaboration with a carefully selected provider can be beneficial.

An effective incident response consultant will strive to understand the enterprise and the environment fully. It’s critical to hire experts who have prior incident response experience. Companies should also ensure that the incident response professionals they hire are available 24/7, days a week, on-site or remotely, and flexible enough to fulfill the needs at a reasonable cost.

Not Testing Back-Ups

Back-ups are critical for protecting a business from the effects of a cyber-attack such as a data breach, especially in the case of ransomware. It is essential to evaluate them frequently to ensure that they function correctly. Businesses should also verify the restore speed of complete system backups to ensure that, whatever the problem, a quick recovery is achievable.

If a company relies on a cloud provider for a range of services, it’s critical to double-check that incident response is included in the contract. Having the right type of agreement with cloud providers can shield them from the problem of being unable to obtain forensic images of emails, servers, and other remotely stored assets.

Rebuilding Infected Systems Right Away

When a machine is infected, a natural gut reaction is to wipe it and rebuild it. However, companies are also erasing proof by wiping data to free the machine of malware. Forensic experts won’t be able to investigate if they need to. Shutting down the machine might also result in the loss of crucial evidence, such as open files on the operating system and communication with attacker IP addresses. A safer strategy is to understand the attack first, preserve the data needed, and then rebuild the affected systems. 

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