8 Powerful Reasons Why You Need Incident Management Plans And Policies
Procrastination, its human nature to procrastinate, especially when people are not quite sure exactly how to approach the task before them. But when it comes to incident management plans and policies, the time to develop an incident response plan is before a security breach occurs. So, that makes this so complex – but we’ll get to that in a moment. First, let’s review some key terms.
An incident is anything that could lead to security breaches or data loss. This can include:
- A phishing attack
- A social engineering attempt
- An employee leaving his network open for others to view
- A software vulnerability
- A business process flaw
The most common incidents are targeted attacks on specific individuals, such as spear phishing, sending emails with malicious attachments or links. These incidents are usually triggered by an attacker who wants a quick and easy hit. Other types of incidents include malware infections and denial-of-service attacks.
In contrast, information leaks occur when someone accidentally exposes sensitive information to outsiders. There’s no direct intent on the attacker’s part in these cases. Information leaks may also be caused by misconfigurations, system failures, or other events. For example, if a web server loses its ability to authenticate users, anyone who tries to access the site will receive a message telling them they’re not authorized.
What Is An Incident Management Plan?
An incident management plan outlines how your organization will respond to incidents in simple language. Most organizations have multiple layers of incident management teams, each with specific responsibilities and procedures for responding to various issues.
Depending on the size of your organization and the type of threats it faces, different plans are developed for different scenarios. One layer may handle network-based attacks, while another might cover data breaches. Each team has procedures for reporting findings and initiating follow-up actions.
Incident Management Plans (IMP) are essential to every organization’s IT security strategy. An IMP should be tailored to each organization’s unique requirements and include processes such as:
- Business impact analysis
- Risk assessment
- Identification of critical infrastructure
- Disaster recovery plan
Why do you need incident management plans and policies?
The purpose of an IMP is to prepare an organization ahead of time for any potential threat, whether it’s a cyberattack, physical event, natural disaster, or something else entirely. Your company’s IMP should outline what would happen during a security breach and identify personnel and organizational resources needed to prevent, mitigate, and respond to an incident.
Why It Matters
When developing an IMP, it’s essential to think about what will happen after a security breach, rather than just reacting to one. If a hacker successfully gains control over your computer systems, he’ll use this power to steal intellectual property, disrupt operations, or worse. However, before he does so, he needs to find ways into your network and gain access to your computers.
So, when designing an IMP, it’s essential to consider all possible paths through your network—both intentional and unintentional. You want to make sure you have adequate controls in place to lock down your network against unauthorized access. This will help ensure that hackers don’t get anywhere near your valuable assets.
Furthermore, an IMP should address what happens once a hack is discovered. It’s important to design strategies to limit the impact on the business itself and set up processes to notify stakeholders and share new information with them.
If you aren’t prepared for an incident, you risk negatively impacting your customers and employees. By addressing the issues that lead to a breach, you can minimize downtime and keep your reputation intact.
8 powerful reasons why you need incident management plans and policies
An incident management plan is a set of instructions to help IT staff detect, respond to, and recover from network security incidents. These plans address harassment, theft, data loss, and service outages that threaten daily work. Below are 8 benefits of incident management plans and policies;
- Reduce Costs
Organizations can save money by reducing the likelihood of costly mistakes. For example, if your company doesn’t have an incident response plan, there’s a chance that a rogue employee will accidentally delete sensitive files or expose confidential information. In the worst-case scenario, someone might even attempt to sell the information on the black market.
The most effective way to protect yourself from a security breach is to anticipate and implement countermeasures beforehand. A security breach is typically caused by human error: An authorized user mistakenly deletes an important file, a critical system component fails, or a user leaves their laptop unattended. At the same time, they’re logged in to the corporate network. Once a breach has been identified, your first step should immediately stop any activity related to the issue.
The next step is to create an incident report and document the details. Then, you’ll need to identify the cause of the breach and develop procedures to prevent future occurrences. Finally, you’ll need to contact relevant parties (email administrators) to alert them to the situation and provide them with a copy of the incident report.
- Improve Customer Satisfaction
When you’re able to quickly respond to a security incident, it helps to improve customer confidence. Many companies use online surveys to gauge how satisfied their customers were with the response time, quality of service, and overall experience. Customers are more than happy to give an organization positive feedback when they feel like the company cares about their concerns.
- Build Trust
When public member is affected by a security incident, they often trust the business to keep their personal information safe. If customers think that you care enough about their data to notify them promptly when something goes wrong, they’ll treat your company with more tremendous respect.
- Increase Employee Productivity
A well-written incident response policy communicates to employees that they matter to your company. By ensuring that everyone understands what will happen if something happens, you can avoid panic situations that could affect morale or lead to legal issues. They also help ensure that HR departments aren’t forced into crisis mode whenever a significant security breach occurs.
- Mitigate Legal Risk
If you fail to follow proper procedure during an investigation, you risk being sued for negligence. This means that your company could end up paying out thousands of dollars to cover legal fees. It may also mean having to defend yourself against claims made by impacted customers.
- Prevent Data Loss
One of the biggest causes of financial loss for businesses is lost or stolen data. When employees are unsure of what to do if a security breach occurs, they usually react based on their intuition rather than following established procedures. However, this can have disastrous consequences for the company.
For example, if a hacker steals your database containing sensitive customer information, you lose control over that data. Since the hacker doesn’t necessarily have access to the system itself, there’s no easy way for him to delete files without getting caught. You also lose all credibility when you admit that you did nothing to prevent the theft.
- Protect Your Organization From Reputational Damage
As mentioned before, one of the main costs associated with a cyberattack is the loss of reputation. A serious security breach can result in negative publicity, both internally and externally. For example, if your company suffers from a data leak, it could reflect poorly on your brand image. To protect your reputation, you need to keep your incident response team as efficient and effective as possible.
- Improve Customer Service
Organizations must work hard to provide the best support possible to increase customer satisfaction. While some breaches cause minimal problems, others can put a company out of business overnight. That’s why it’s essential to have strong communication channels set up between your IT department and other parts of the business.
The bottom line: An incident response plan helps protect your company from potential harm so you can focus on running your business instead of dealing with security issues.
The first step in creating a solid plan is defining your objectives. Some of these include protecting people by providing disaster recovery services, ensuring compliance with regulations such as HIPAA, improving the accuracy of data through regular testing and analysis, and optimizing the performance of systems and networks.
The second step requires choosing the right tools to create an effective plan. These include vulnerability assessments, penetration tests, network monitoring software, threat detection programs, and encryption solutions.
Once your plan is complete, you’ll want to implement it into your organization. This includes building a culture where everyone understands their roles and responsibilities. It also means ensuring those responsible for handling incidents know precisely what to do and when. Finally, it involves training personnel about the plan, including your security staff.
The benefits are numerous. Organizations are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of having an incident response plan in place. After all, who wants to explain to customers that they cannot provide adequate customer service because of a hacking attempt?