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Understanding Cybersecurity Incident Management and Response

What Is Incident Management and What Are Its Advantages?

Business owners are always looking for ways to keep their company safe from unforeseen security incidents, which can cause significant losses. One way to do this is by implementing an incident management process.

What is incident management, and why do organizations need it? This article will explore the roles and responsibilities of an incident management team and the tools they can use to respond swiftly and effectively to security incidents.

What Is Incident Management?

Incident management is the process used by cybersecurity, DevOps, and IT professionals to identify and respond to incidents in their organization. Cybersecurity incidents can be anything from a server outage to a data breach to something as simple as an employee misconfiguring a firewall.

Cybersecurity incident management aims to minimize the impact of these incidents on business operations and prevent them from happening again. To do this, incident managers must first identify the cause of the incident and take steps to fix it. They also need to ensure that the proper procedures are in place to prevent incidents from recurring (Bisson, 2021).

What Are the Benefits of an Incident Management Plan?

There are many benefits to implementing an effective incident management process.

  • Reduced downtime. By quickly identifying and resolving incidents, businesses can minimize the downtime their employees experience. This is especially important for companies that rely on technology to do their work.
  • Improved customer service. If an incident affects customers, companies must resolve the issue as soon as possible. Incident management can help businesses do this properly and efficiently.
  • Prevention of future incidents. By identifying the root cause of incidents and fixing them, companies can prevent the same types of incidents from happening again.
  • Improved communication. One of the critical purposes of incident management is to enhance communication between different departments and teams within an organization. Good communication prevents duplication of efforts and ensures that everyone is on the same page when responding to incidents.

 

What Are the Roles and Responsibilities of an Incident Management Team?

An effective incident management team has several key roles and responsibilities (Chai & Lewis, 2020).

  • Identifying incidents. The first step in resolving an incident is identifying that it has occurred. Incident managers must be able to promptly locate any issue that could impact business operations.
  • Resolving incidents. Once an incident has been identified, it is up to the incident manager to fix it as quickly as possible. This often includes working with other departments to get things back up and running.
  • Reporting incidents. Incident managers must provide regular reports on all happenings in their organization. This helps prevent future incidents and keeps everyone up to date on the latest information.
  • Training employees. One of the critical responsibilities of an incident manager is training staff on how to respond to different types of incidents. This includes teaching them about the procedures that have been put in place and helping them understand the impact that an incident can have on business operations.

 

What Are Some Standard Tools Used by Incident Management Teams?

Incident management teams use several tools and technologies to help them respond appropriately to incidents. Some of the most common tools include:

  • Intrusion detection systems. These systems detect and react to security incidents. They often have features such as real-time alerts and reporting.
  • Netflow analyzers. These tools help incident managers understand the traffic flowing in and out of their network. This information can identify malicious activity and quickly respond to incidents.
  • Vulnerability scanners. These scanners help identify vulnerabilities in an organization’s systems and networks. This information can be used to fix the vulnerabilities and prevent future incidents.
  • Availability monitoring. This type of monitoring helps incident managers track the availability of critical systems and applications. This information can be used to quickly identify and resolve incidents affecting business operations.
  • Web proxies. A web proxy is a server positioned between the client and the target server. It intercepts all requests from the client and forwards them to the target server. This can be used to monitor traffic and block access to specific websites.
  • Security information and event management (SIEM) tools. SIEM tools collect and analyze incident security data across an organization. This can help incident managers quickly identify and mitigate any potential threats.
  • Threat intelligence. Threat intelligence is information about current or emerging threats that can impact an organization. It can be leveraged to help incident managers stay ahead of any potential attacks and protect their business.

 

How to Create an Effective Incident Management Plan

An effective incident management plan is key to ensuring that your organization can adequately respond to any incidents that occur. Here are some tips for creating effective incident response strategies (Griffin, 2021).

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of the team. Ensure everyone on the team knows their role and what they need to do to resolve an incident.
  • Establish procedures. Make sure that you have clear procedures for responding to different types of security incidents. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page when resolving an incident.
  • Train employees. Train security and other staff to recognize and respond to various incidents. This will help get the business back up and running with as little downtime as possible.
  • Create a communication plan. Make sure you have a communication plan and incident response policy in place for sharing information about incidents with employees, customers, and partners.
  • Test your plan. Testing your plan regularly ensures that it runs smoothly, functions effectively, and is updated to account for new developments in business operations and cybersecurity.

 

The Growing Demand for In-House Incident Management Teams

As businesses become more aware of the dangers of security incidents, the demand for in-house incident management teams is growing. In-house teams can help organizations promptly respond to any incidents and protect their business from potential attacks—for example, by creating an organization-wide incident response policy.

In response to this growing need, leading cybersecurity education providers like EC-Council have developed specialized incident management training programs. EC-Council’s Certified Incident Handler (E|CIH) program is one of the most popular and well-recognized incident response certifications in the cybersecurity industry.

The accredited E|CIH program covers response procedures for a wide range of security incidents, including malware, email, network, cloud, and web application attacks. If you are a leader looking to strengthen your in-house incident management team or a cybersecurity professional looking to enhance your incident handling skills, the E|CIH is an excellent place to start.

Protect Your Organization with an Incident Handling Certification

Incident management is a critical component of any successful business. By establishing a dedicated incident handling team and implementing an effective incident response plan, you can protect your organization from the impact of cyberattacks.

If you are a cybersecurity professional, consider specializing in incident management to take advantage of the growing demand for these teams. Visit the program page for EC-Council’s E|CIH certification to learn more.

References

Bisson, D. (2021, May 24). What every incident response plan needs. Security Intelligence. https://securityintelligence.com/articles/what-every-incident-response-plan-needs/

Chai, W., & Lewis, S. (2020, November 3). What is an incident response team? SearchSecurity. https://www.techtarget.com/searchsecurity/definition/incident-response-team

Griffin, J., Jr. (2021, October 5). How real-world incident response can guide cybersecurity strategy. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesbusinesscouncil/2021/10/05/how-real-world-incident-response-can-guide-cybersecurity-strategy/

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