Why Do I Need an Incident Response Plan?

The right incident response plan will help your organization respond to all significant incidents efficiently and effectively. Incident response plans are designed to address situations that aren’t covered in a disaster recovery plan. If your network or data is severely impacted being prepared with a thorough, detailed response will help reduce stress and downtime. 

Unfortunately, a majority of organizations believe they will, at some point, fall victim to a cyberattack. With approximately a record number of cyberattacks in 2018 and 43% of those targeting small businesses, it is no surprise businesses are concerned. Being proactive with an incident response plan could mean the difference between surviving a cyberattack or closing. 


What can you do to be prepared for a network or data disruption? 

For local municipalities, state governments, and small businesses, ransomware is on the rise. Hackers are opportunists and the perceived lack of cyber diligence makes these organizations prime targets. 

Imagine everything seems ordinary when your systems suddenly become locked. Your team will probably initially be confused until the ransom message appears. These ransom messages generally advise that your company’s systems and data will remain encrypted until you pay the fee. 

What do you do? Do you know what backup systems you have in place? Does your staff know who to notify? Creating these scenarios will help you plan and practice what to do if an incident occurs and how your team should respond. 


Here are a few best practices for an incident response plan:            

  1. Keep your incident response plan updated and clear. 

    • The best incident response plans are not overly complicated but provide enough updated information for your team to take decisive action. 
  2. Assign specific roles and responsibilities for the incident response team.

    • Some of the best results are achieved when an incident response manager is assigned to oversee the team. Your response team should include a description of roles and responsibility to avoid confusion in the middle of an incident. Depending on the size of your organization, a security analyst and researcher can add significant value. These individuals can help by providing more insight into known vulnerabilities.
  3. Develop a cross-functional team. 

    • To achieve companywide buy-in, someone from each department should be on the team.
  4. Establish protocols for the response.

    • It is essential that all the necessary contact for the incident response team is readily available. The incident response strategy should also outline responsibilities in the case of an outage, including contact center duties and backup data access.
  5. Practice and update your incident response plan.

    • Hackers are always changing their tactics and finding new ways to breach systems. A plan developed in 2018, might not be relevant today. Furthermore, if your team hasn’t reviewed its responsibilities since the plan was formed, it is likely to not be effective.  

By their very nature, most threats are unpredictable, which means it will always be somewhat of a shock when an incident occurs. However, when you have an incident response team that is prepared, damages are minimized, and operations can quickly be restored to normal.

At BlackPoint IT Services, we offer network security services that will be an excellent match for your incident response efforts. We know it is difficult for today’s IT department to protect a network perimeter on its own. The expansion of remote workers, wireless networks, mobile devices, and cloud services, requires a much more robust system for incident response. Contact us today and find out if a free cybersecurity assessment is right for your business. 

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