An Incident Action Plan is a critical tool for anyone involved in incidents. It should include all of the essential information your team needs during an incident, including operational resources, assignments, critical updates, a health and safety plan, maps, medical and communication data, and more, depending on the nature of the event.
Performing Post Incident Review
Post-incident reviews can help teams learn how to respond better to incidents in the future. They also provide a forum for team members to share their experiences, build trust, and improve organizational resilience.
The best PIRs include data on processes, tooling and people involved in incident response. They can identify behavior patterns that could lead to similar issues in the future.
To ensure that post-incident review processes are consistent, organizations should set policies describing what must be included in the documentation. It allows teams to track and manage the review process easily.
Performing post-incident reviews should be a core part of your continuous improvement program. It ensures that your organization’s incident management processes adapt to changing needs.
Identifying the Threat
Identifying the threat is a critical step in any incident response plan. It allows security teams to understand the extent of a breach and the potential impact on their organization’s valuable assets and business activities.
Start by gathering useful indicators of compromise (IOCs), then begin a thorough investigation, querying unusual network traffic and looking at uncommonly used ports and unfamiliar processes. It will help your team build a solid investigative mindset and become more effective in their hunt for threats.
Once you understand the scope of the attack and how it impacted your assets, you can prioritize the incidents that need to be dealt with. A clear understanding of your most important assets will allow your team to focus their efforts and resources on the most severe threats, minimizing the impact on your business.
When a security incident is discovered, the team should immediately alert the necessary internal and external parties—such as clients, authorities, or regulators. They should also take action to stop the incident and prevent the threat from reinfecting the environment.
Identifying the Threat Intelligence Team
Identifying the threat intelligence team is essential in implementing a solid incident action plan. The team will be able to provide cyber threat intelligence that equips the incident response team with actionable information, helping prioritize the most critical threats and reduce unnecessary alert notifications.
Threat intelligence is data that enables security leaders to understand how and why attackers are targeting their environments and how they are likely to exploit vulnerabilities or weaknesses. This information can help a security team tailor defenses and preempt future attacks before they happen.
An effective cyber threat intelligence program requires continuously gathering, analyzing, and prioritizing data. It is known as the threat intelligence lifecycle.
The planning stage of the process involves articulating your core values and identifying your organization’s objectives for adding threat intelligence to your cybersecurity strategy. It also helps you identify the resources needed to implement the intelligence program.
Performing Cyber Threat Exercises
Cyber threat exercises are a valuable way to test your incident response plans and procedures, including how your team responds in practice. They can also help you identify gaps in your cybersecurity program and encourage your team to implement new security practices.
A cyber exercise tests a specific scenario, such as the exfiltration of personal information (PII) or disruption of your organization’s supply chain. The designs should be based on real-world events that can happen to your company or sector.
An experienced exercise facilitator with a background in cybersecurity and subject matter expertise in your industry or sector should design the scenario. The Lead Designer will introduce the general plan and ask for feedback to ensure it is realistic and applicable to a cybersecurity event.
The Leader will then develop the general scenario into injects and discuss the injections with the exercise participants. Each infusion will advance the storyline and introduce elements to respond to during the exercise. This process may take several iterations to achieve a final version ready for execution.
Creating playbooks is a great way to align your business and ensure your team knows what to do in every situation. They also allow your employees to work more efficiently and scale your business as needed.
First, decide what your business is most vulnerable to and the threats you will likely face. It will help you determine which information needs to be documented in your playbook.
Next, review your current workflow, operations and procedural documents to identify gaps or incomplete information. Organize these documents in one place and revise them accordingly.
After you’ve completed this step, create a template for your playbook and fill it in with all of your crucial information. It should contain all of the steps your team members need to complete their work and how they can measure success in each area. You can also include an overview of your strategic plan so that your employees know what goals they’re working towards. Lastly, ensure that your playbook’s content is easy to update as your company grows or changes.