6 Cyber Security Incident Response Best Practices to Protect Your Enterprise

4 min read
Jul 26, 2022 5:28:43 PM

The transition to work via the cloud has come with innumerable benefits, but it also means security teams need be ready for threats from more angles than ever before. Verizon’s latest Data Breach Investigations Report analyzed nearly 24,000 security incidents that occurred just from November 1, 2020 to October 31, 2021, an alarming number that proves it’s in every organization’s best interest to prepare ahead of time.

With that in mind, here are 6 cyber security incident response best practices your organization should commit to ASAP.

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1: Establish Clear Lines of Responsibility and Communication
2: Conduct a Thorough Analysis of the Incident and Contain the Threat
3: Disclose the Incident on Your Own Terms
4: Ensure Your Practices and Response Plan Comply with Regulations
5: Prepare for Future Incidents
6: Strengthen Your Organization’s Data Security Posture Management

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Learn more about how to protect against and respond to cybersecurity incidents with Symmetry Systems’ Cyber Security Incident Response: The Ultimate Guide.

1: Establish Clear Lines of Responsibility and Communication

One of the most essential cyber security incident response best practices is establishing proper communications between stakeholders. Your incident response plan should include a framework that lays out who to bring in and when, involving key representatives from areas best able to contribute to each unique incident. Bringing in the right people for the task will set the rest of your incident response up for success, whereas overburdening your team with too many members and reporting lines will create a sluggish response.

While you’re still assessing the affected systems, you may wish to minimize using standard communication methods such as internal chats or email to discuss, as they may also be affected. Favor in-person meetings and phone calls, always prioritizing speed and results.

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2: Conduct a Thorough Analysis of the Incident and Contain the Threat

Traces of malicious activity should be identified and collated to determine the potential sources, targets, and scope of the attack. Block any communication originating from IP addresses involved. After determining which systems in the network have been compromised, coordinate to shut them down if necessary.

When the threat has been safely isolated, any trace of it should be removed from the affected systems; only then should updates be made to the security system. Wiping user operating systems and resetting all user credentials can eradicate any remnants and block further access, but this measure may be less feasible in the case of distributed, bring-your-own-device networks.

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3: Disclose the Incident on Your Own Terms

Some of the most severe damage caused by cyber security incidents is done to brand reputation. How an organization conveys an incident to its customers and the broader public can be as important as its technical response. When a breach occurs, it is important to let customers who may have been affected know. Customers also need to be updated as to what security measures are being taken to protect or restore their data.

Your response should be done as soon as safely possible, and should favor transparency while not overexplaining the incident. Address what assets may be at risk and when users should expect the next update, but be sure both the executive and legal teams sign off on any external communications before they’re sent out.

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4: Ensure Your Practices and Response Plan Comply with Regulations

Beyond possible moral, ethical, or brand-conscious incentives for disclosing security breaches is compliance with regulatory bodies.. It is essential that companies follow industry developments and pay careful attention to any relevant regulations. Failure to comply may result in financial fallout in the form of regulatory fines or lawsuits. In some jurisdictions it may be necessary to disclose a breach to the government.

Plans for communicating with law enforcement, as well as awareness of any obligations or deadlines, should be made in advance. Without proper planning and accurate reporting, an organization may open itself up to further legal repercussions.

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5: Prepare for Future Incidents

Running drills that are designed to simulate potential incidents can help improve organizational readiness and capacity to minimize the harm caused by future attacks, even beyond those kinds which an organization has encountered before. Purple team exercises, which bring together the teams responsible for aggressively assessing an organization’s security and the teams responsible for maintaining it, can be an invaluable tool to find areas of improvement and strengthen weak communication channels.

For more information on how to make the most use of purple team exercises, check out our recent webinar on injecting attackers to build immunity within your organizational security.

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6: Strengthen Your Organization’s Data Security Posture Management

You can only protect the data and access channels that you know about, which makes data security posture management a new essential in the modern cloud era of cyber security incident response best practices. Thankfully, all you need is one tool to analyze, assess, and suggest solutions for your cloud. Symmetry Systems DataGuard provides agentless, real-time snapshots and historical comparisons of a network's data and generates a complete data risk map for enhanced visibility, and its initial test typically takes under an hour to run.

This elevation of control and awareness affords teams agility and adaptability that is indispensable in the rapidly evolving field of cybersecurity. Symmetry Systems DataGuard manages all this and more so your organization can focus on the work that matters most, without compromise. Request a demo of Symmetry Systems' DataGuard now to find out how it can help secure your business.

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