Prevention of information security breaches has become an integral part of business operations in every industry. It is therefore important for every business to have an efficient incident response plan to minimize the damage that may arise in the unfortunate event of a data breach.
Here are 25 tips to help your organization improve the efficiency of your incident response and risk detection solutions.
1. Establish an Incident Response Team
Start by forming an incident response team tasked with the responsibility of analyzing security breach reports and developing threat intelligence strategies. The team can be composed of internal and external security experts.
2. Provide Your Incident Response Team with Adequate Staff and Resources
One of the most common mistakes most organizations make is to under-staff or allocate limited resources to their data security teams. At the very least, have some staff dedicated to incident response instead of handpicking a few employees to handle security on a part-time basis. Allocate enough resources to experts in areas such as threat detection, malware analysis, forensics, and breach management.
3. Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities to Your Incident Response Team
In a scenario where everyone in the IT department plays a random role in incident reporting, there’s bound to be confusion due to lack of clear responsibility. Nobody will respond to an incident when they assume someone else is doing it. It is therefore important to assign clear roles and responsibilities to every member of your incident response team.
4. Analyze Incident Threats Regularly
Test how your organization will handle a cyber-security breach through regular penetration tests by professional information security companies. An incident threat analysis will help to identify potential risks and determine appropriate incident response measures to mitigate damage caused by a data breach.
5. Understand and Prevent Endpoint Threats
Desktops, laptops, mobile devices, servers, and other endpoints are usually the first point of access for cyber attackers. If you have a wide range of endpoints connecting to your network, make sure users and employees are adequately informed about such security risks.
6. Emphasize on User Awareness of Security
The security of your system depends on how informed your staff and other users are on issues such as malware detection, phishing, and other technologies used by hackers. You can conduct actual phishing attacks to determine how informed your staff is and find out how easy or hard it is for an attack to succeed.
7. Teach Your Staff to Counter Social Engineering Threats
Companies have in the past suffered cyber-attacks simply because an employee was tricked through email or social media to reveal passwords. Provide clear guidelines to your staff on how to deal with social engineering attempts.
8. Develop Quick Response Guidelines
It is impossible to cover every possible cyber-attack scenario, but you can use your incident threat analysis to create quick response guides for different scenarios likely to occur. Provide the guidelines to all stakeholders.
9. Develop an External Notification Plan
Your incident response plan should include methods of communicating with external parties such as vendors, law enforcement, and stakeholders in case of a cyber-attack. This will help remedy the breach on time and avoid further damages or losses.
10. Communicate Your Incident Response Plan with Every Employee
Do not restrict access to your incident response plan to just a few members of your staff. Every employee plays a key role in the security of your company so keep them informed of your response plan.
11. Conduct Regular Training and Practice Sessions
Your incident response plan should be an on-going process. Hackers are always working to devise more sophisticated methods. You should therefore keep your team updated through regular training and testing.
12. Develop Creative Ways to Address Cyber Threats
Find creative ways to ensure that your security teams and other employees understand the value of information security. Simple things like desktop wallpapers and stickers with security quotes help to internalize your messages and reminders.
13. Embrace Security Automation
Low-risk threats can easily be automated using leading security platforms such as McAfee which can freeze an attack in real time and give your response team adequate time to investigate and find the source of the attack.
14. Predict Threats Before They Happen
Take a proactive role and hunt attackers and threats before they appear. This will help your response team to prevent, detect, and respond to attacks.
15. Collaborate with Other Security Teams in Your Industry
To fight the growing cybercrime trends, your response team should collaborate with other security professionals and if possible establish a threat intelligence platform for cross-organization collaboration.
16. Consult Experts on Security Best Practices
Consult security experts to develop and deploy security best practices that meet your risk tolerance and budget. Experts can help you formulate an effective security infrastructure for your organization.
17. Monitor Your Network Traffic
Review your network traffic periodically to identify unknown systems and data flows that could have bypassed your IT security governance processes.
18. Learn from Past Breaches and Incidents
Past incidents and breaches provide valuable lessons that you can use to improve your organization’s security posture. It is therefore important to document each incident response during and after the investigation.
19. Implement Real-Time Monitoring or Alerting Systems
To better detect, investigate, and respond to security threats, make sure you have real-time monitoring or alert systems that provide key indicators of a potential threat.
20. Invest in Forensic Analysis Technology
It is difficult to fight what you don’t see or understand. To identify unknown threats, invest in tools that provide deep analysis of risks using advanced analytics and threat intelligence technologies.
21. Develop Warning Systems
Organizations should move from simply reacting to threats to developing early warning systems that allow their incident response teams to take appropriate action before the threat materializes.
22. Use the Right Tools for Continuous Improvement
Use track-able intelligence-driven tools and technology to create a secure environment that enables continuous improvement and reduced risk of further threats.
23. Behavioral Monitoring
When it comes to information security, it is important to define and make sure your employees understand what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behavior. Establish a routine to monitor and analyze behavioral patterns and identify anomalies that can be flagged as potential threats for further investigation.
24. Keep Threat Monitoring, Analysis, and Response Systems Regularly Upgraded
As today’s information systems evolve, make sure your threat monitoring, analysis, incident response infrastructure is constantly upgraded too.
25. Establish a Central Monitoring Facility
To improve threat detection and develop faster response times, establish a central monitoring command. The monitoring desk will help to avoid confusion and failure to take adequate action when a cyber-attack occurs.
Cyber-security breaches can result in significant financial and reputation losses. You can prevent further damage when an attack happens by following the tips and suggestions mentioned above.