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March 19, 2020

Can Your Incident Response Plan Handle 2020 Cybersecurity Threats?

When cybercriminals attempt to breach a system, time is of the essence. Having an Incident Response strategy in place could save your business embarrassment. 

The methods a company uses to respond to a cybersecurity incident resonate long after the breach has been resolved. Falling prey to a hacker penetrating your system and pilfering off valuable data proves costly and embarrassing. But if you do not have a determined Incident Response strategy in place, the disruption could be compounded by civil lawsuits from impacted clients, shareholders, employees, and your insurance provider may deny your claim.

While most business decision-makers are keenly aware of the need for top-tier cyber-attack deterrents, few may be prepared for the next wave of nefarious hacking schemes. The question industry leaders may want to ask is: Can your Incident Response plan handle emerging 2020 cybersecurity threats?

Troy Drever runs an IT consulting company in Calgary, Pure IT, shares how organizations can ensure their incident response plan is able to handle any cybersecurity threat.

What Constitutes An Incident Response Strategy?

Incident Response is a cybersecurity industry term that refers to the predetermined methods an outfit expects to employ to identify, contain, and rebound from a potential breach. This cybersecurity strategy helps orchestrates orderly and effective breach mitigation that, in turn, protects sensitive data and your industry reputation. A thoughtful Incident Response plan may include the following elements.

  • Methods that underscore the outfit’s long-term goals
  • Methods that will be used to contain a potential breach
  • Methods to mitigate harm to key stakeholders
  • Responsibilities employees and third-party cybersecurity specialist play
  • Notification triggers used to inform and protect key stakeholders
  • Metrics to quantify Incident Response effectiveness

Make no mistake about it, a company can recover from a financial loss far more quickly than a tarnished reputation.

A Secure Incident Response Plan Highlights Preparedness

It’s not difficult to imagine that your current threat response plan could not account for the brainchild of the world’s digital masterminds. Hackers are often highly intelligent criminals who diligently craft nefarious scams to penetrate networks and steal your valuable electronic assets.

While the latest anti-virus software, firewalls, and employee cybersecurity education are excellent and necessary measures, these are precisely what digital bandits are trying to outflank. Hackers won’t rest until they get what they want. That’s why data breaches reportedly increased by 33 percent from 2018 to 2019 despite increased cybersecurity efforts.

Decision-makers are tasked with bringing key stakeholders together to work with a cybersecurity expert to craft a plan uniquely designed to deliver a prompt, effective response. These are preparation measures that generally lead to success.

  • Designate A Team: Time is of the essence when a cybersecurity threat unfolds. Your Incident Response team should already be in place and understand their responsibilities. The group usually includes personnel from management, IT, department representatives, and a cybersecurity expert.
  • Update Rigorously: To ensure your Incident Response strategy can contain and mitigate emerging threats, it must remain as current as possible. Cybercriminals are crafting new schemes daily. Your team would be wise to meet at least on a monthly basis with a third-party expert to account for the latest cybercrime trends and anticipate future scams. By continually updating your plan, you significantly reduce risk.
  • Update Infrastructure: It’s important to have the necessary tools available to combat hackers. As the old saying goes: “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.” In 2020, endpoint devices are high-value targets, but that can change as hackers identify other cybersecurity gaps. Having the best available tools to deter, contain, and mitigate, remains crucial.

A robust strategy should have the ability to pinpoint anomalies and analyze them in real-time. If identified as a precursor to a breach, an alert mechanism should be in place to prompt the team to act.

The fine details about how to deter, contain, and mitigate damage will largely be determined by the devices, platforms, and connectivity dictated by your profit-driving endeavors. But make no mistake about it, recovering from data and financial loss is far simpler than restoring your reputation as a reliable industry professional.

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