Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan (CSIRP): What is it and why do you need it?

What is common among Nvidia, Colonial Pipe, CISCO, Marriot, and SolarWinds? Apart from the fact that they are all leading organizations in their industries, they have also been victims of recent and severe data breaches. The reason to name these giants is to highlight that anyone can be a victim of the next cybersecurity incident. Even the most prominent organizations with the best cybersecurity-oriented infrastructures with robust security plans can be prone to these risks. Therefore, any small or medium-size organizations that may not have the resources or the scale at their disposal are easier targets for many cybercriminals.

 The point being every organization, irrespective of its size or industry, can be attacked in its lifetime. There is no bulletproof plan or strategy to prevent attackers from targeting your business. However, you can develop a proper plan to respond to attacks when they occur, mitigating the damage to your company and your brand reputation.

What is the Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan (CSIRP)?

An incident response plan is a guidebook with procedures and instructions for your business to follow in the event of a cyberattack. They include steps to help the IT staff detect, respond to, and recover from cybersecurity incidents. The CSIRP addresses a range of topics such as data loss, cybercrime, and service outages that jeopardize daily work. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the four phases of effective incident response plans are preparation; detection and analysis; containment, eradication, and recovery; and post-incident activity.

Also Read: 6 Steps for A Successful Cybersecurity Incident Response

A strategic plan aims to clarify uncertainty and define specific actions, procedures, and roles to avoid missteps and confusion. If your Incident Response teams have carved out a practical and ideal Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan in advance, the chances of avoiding a devastating loss increase.

Importance of CSIRP

Any cybersecurity incident that is not adequately contained may escalate into a more significant threat that can eventually lead to a damaging data breach, system collapse, or significant financial losses. Responding to an incident swiftly and decisively in an attack will help an organization minimize losses, reduce exploited vulnerabilities, restore services and processes, and minimize the risks that future security incidents pose.

A CSIRP allows a business to be better equipped to face known and unknown threats; hence, it is a reliable method for identifying a security threat and immediately moving into steps to contain and then eliminate the threat. . An incident response plan is a significant component of operating a business, considering that most companies rely on crucial information that would damage the business if exposed.

Cybersecurity incidents can be costly, as businesses could face legal fees, data recovery costs, and regulatory fines going up to millions of dollars. Besides monetary loss, it could also affect future earnings as unattended incidents can lower brand reputation, customer satisfaction, and customer loyalty.

While companies cannot eliminate cybersecurity breaches for good, the incident response plan helps curtail them. More attention should be given to planning and preparing for the potential cybersecurity incident impact. Although cyber attackers will continue to exist, an incident response team can be created to prevent and respond to their attacks.  An incident response team is responsible for developing and implementing the response plan. The plan is available to the team members and can be carried out even when one or more members are unavailable. The team comprises high-level management, auditors, and IT members that can immediately respond to an incident.

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