As a business owner, you should hope for the best but plan for the worst. No business is immune to disaster. Regardless of what your business does and where it operates, it may succumb to a cyber attack — and it only takes a single cyber attack to disrupt your business’s operations. You can mitigate the damage of cyber attacks, however, by creating an incident response plan.
Overview of Incident Response Plans
An incident response plan is a formal document that details the steps a business will take in the event of a cyber attack or similar security-related incident. It consists of procedures for preventing and handling cyber attacks.
According to the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), incident response plans cover what the business does before, during and after a cyber attack. CISA also says that incident response plans should be approved by the business’s senior leadership. Regardless, an incident response plan is a formal document that provides insight into how a business should respond to a cyber attack.
The Parts of an Incident Response Plan
There are four primary parts of a typical incident response plan: preparation, detection, containment and post-incident activity. The preparation part of an incident response plan includes information on how to the prepare stakeholders, such as owners and investors, for handling a cyber attack. The detection part includes information on how to detect and identify a cyber attack.
The containment part of an incident response plan includes information on how to isolate the affected system or systems and, thus, mitigate the damage of the cyber attack. Finally, the post-incident activity part includes information on how to evaluate and analyze the cyber attack after it has already occurred so that future instances of it can be prevented.
Why Your Business Needs an Incident Response Plan
With an incident response plan in place, your business and its team of employees will know exactly what to do in the event of a cyber attack. Cyber attacks, of course, aren’t limited to large businesses. Most cyber attacks, in fact, involve small businesses. Rather than waiting until your business is targeted with a cyber attack, you can prepare for such incidents ahead of time by creating an incident response plan.
An incident response plan can save your business money. According to an IBM Security report, the average cost of a data breach is over $9 million. A strong incident response plan, however, can mitigate or even prevent data breaches.