Home Deep DiveArticles Proactive Incident Response Plan – the New-Age Solution for Ever-Growing Cyber Threats

Proactive Incident Response Plan – the New-Age Solution for Ever-Growing Cyber Threats


By Manish Chasta, Co-Founder and CTO, Eventus TechSol

A report from 2021 states that a data breach invariably costs over USD 4.24 million. The reason these numbers are surfacing and increasing is a reactive and fragmented response to cyber threats. For a very long time, the IT units within organizations, irrespective of the sector have taken an approach where only after an attack do they take measures to salvage what’s left after the damage. Many times the teams introspect on their cybersecurity status after undergoing an attack. But those were the times when the ease and opportunity for conducting cyber attacks were comparatively less.

Today, as the options for availability of attack surfaces have increased along with the expertise level of the attackers, organizations need to ramp up their traditional approach and enter into the new-age security options. This is why there is a need for the adoption of a proactive incident response plan. Creating and testing an incident response plan is essential for all businesses, irrespective of their size or business model, in order to minimize the consequences of a compromise.

What is the purpose and need for an Incident Response Plan?
Businesses should use proactive cybersecurity measures as part of their security posture to reduce risk. Numerous dangers can be stopped by endpoint detection technologies, antivirus software and security policies. It is also vital to train staff members to identify and report social engineering assaults and other suspicious activity. Threat actors, however, have the ability to get beyond these defences. An established incident response tactic can mitigate the consequences of a compromise, minimize business operations’ downtime, and lower data loss and expenses.

An incident response plan details the duties that each team member will carry out during an incident. A comprehensive plan involves personnel from various crucial positions inside the firm as well as the appropriate third-party service providers, in addition to IT and information security personnel. It also outlines the tactics, goals, techniques, and procedures to report, look into, assess, control, and end the incident.

A proactive incident response plan goes beyond preparing to respond to a security issue given the ongoing evolution of the cyber threat landscape. The proactive plan makes sure the firm is prepared to respond to cyber disasters effectively and fully recover from them without suffering irreparable harm.

Building a Proactive Incident Response Plan
Strong cybersecurity protection has multiple layers and these layers can vary amongst enterprises. The steps needed to deal with the worst-case situation and resume operations as soon as possible, minimizing disruption to the company and its clients, must be included in an incident response plan. The following components should be included in a proactive incident response plan:

  • Preparing and Orchestrating: Planning and preparedness are essential components of a proactive incident response strategy. For information security teams to communicate about any security issue, a company should build and develop channels for that purpose. These channels of communication need to be ready to function properly both during and after a security incident. Furthermore, the company needs to plan what endpoint security tools it needs. To ensure data security, it should be required to utilize a variety of security technologies like VPNs, antimalware software, and password managers.
  •  Identifying and Investigating: Employees need a clear procedure for reporting security issues so that the security team is aware of any incident within the company. To make proactive cyber threat detection possible, the security teams should also have automated endpoint tools that recognise and gather real-time data about existing and potential cyber threats. Many businesses employ a mix of internal monitoring and managed security service provider (MSSP) technologies to find and notify them of suspicious system behaviour. This process should be included in the incident response plan.
  • Analysis of Security Incident: Another crucial component of an effective incident response strategy is a thorough cyber event analysis. The security team should perform an exhaustive investigation of the incident to ascertain the degree of its impact in order to ensure that there is minimal harm as a result of the cyber security incident. Filenames, IP addresses, port information, hashes, heuristic information, URLs, compromised account information, and apps utilized in the attack can all be uncovered through this forensic investigation. The data enables the business to choose the optimal course of action for damage restoration and attack prevention.
  • Containing and Eradicating: By neutralizing malicious payloads or by tracking down all malware elements and isolating affected endpoints from the network, incident responders are able to control the crisis. The incident responders coordinate the shutdown of all compromised systems until the threat is reduced in order to contain damages. Additionally, impacted systems should be completely erased and rebuilt, and all accounts’ login information should be carefully changed.

Removing the threat actor from the environment and blocking access vectors to prevent readmission are crucial steps to do after gathering the incident’s forensic data and managing the incident. Patching exploitable flaws and enhancing employee education regarding phishing attempts are a couple of possible actions.

  • Recovery and Post-Incident Review: During the recovery phase, the company returns the business to its original operating procedures. The security team concentrates on creating contingency planning and remediation strategies. These tactics are all based on confirmed instances, guaranteeing that the company is safeguarded against additional security incidents. Even though it is frequently the most neglected, the post-event evaluation is a crucial component of an incident response plan. The organization can gather lessons from the occurrence during this phase and spot opportunities to improve their incident response plan, security tools, and tactics.

Final Thoughts
There was a time when a cybersecurity breach showcased a company’s lack of preparedness in adopting the right technology to safeguard their systems. But now, it is no longer the case. There are no particular reasons why such attacks take place, sometime it is just to show the world that threat actors can conduct an attack of such magnitude. The consequence of such attacks however has a much bigger impact.

The world is heavily dependent on data now more than ever, if a breach of trust occurs, it impacts the brand value, causes legal headaches, organizations lose public trust and loss of data is considered a violation of privacy by the people who lost their data. Operations can be stalled, stolen data can be used for any purpose and several other impacts can be listed. With attackers being able to take advantage of the organization’s lack of preparedness its imperative for the IT teams to not sit and wait for the attacks to happen. If they need their organizations to be one step ahead of the attackers, then they need to ensure they need to change their tactics and work on having a proactive incident response plan. This is currently the only solution that would give organizations an upper hand against malicious threats. Instead of avoiding and conducting a triage, it would be better if they are prepared and meet the challenges head-on.


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