Regardless of the size of your organization, having the proper cyber attack response plan in place is crucial. The strategy has several important stages, including asset inventory, key protocols, and training, each of which serves to ensure a timely, effective reaction to a cybersecurity incident.
In this cybersecurity incident response guide, we’ll demonstrate how essential it is to have a rigorous plan in place for a cyber attack response to be fully effective. We’ll walk you through the key pillars of a cybersecurity incident response plan and, finally, we’ll take a look at how Ackcent’s MDR services can help keep your company safe and secure in preparation for a potential cybersecurity incident.
Here are the most important reasons for having a cybersecurity incident response plan in place:
The day of a cybersecurity incident is like the day of a big sports match. Or maybe a big event like the World Cup or the Olympics, which only comes around once every few years. The idea is to train every day for this rare event, going over every possible scenario and having a robust yet flexible plan in place. This ensures that when an incident occurs without warning, a clear repeatable process can be set in motion.
As of 2022, the average downtime for companies following a cybersecurity incident is 20 days. Swiftly following the cybersecurity incident response steps means your company can act quickly, minimizing damage and getting the company up and running again without losing too much time.
Ackcent is a member of FIRST (the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams), an international organization of cybersecurity experts who are the recognized global leader in incident response. They share information on cybersecurity incidents occurring around the world, as well as the blocking and recovery strategies. This enables us to act fast and respond to security incidents in a reactive as well as proactive way.
Whether it’s sensitive technical data, personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property, public health information, or any other kind of data, you need to make sure that it’s well protected and not easily obtained by hackers and cyber thieves.
The cost of not having a cybersecurity incident response plan in place can be astronomical and, ultimately, fatal for businesses. IBM’s latest Cost of a Data Breach Report found that the global average cost of a data breach is now $4.35 million, a 2.6% increase from 2021 and a 12.7% increase from 2020.
A security breach can have a seismic impact on a company’s reputation and the way it’s perceived by its customers. In fact, according to surveys by Octa and YouGov, 88% of customers wouldn’t use products or services from a company they didn’t trust, while 39% said they’d lost trust in a company due to a data breach. Failure to have a plan in place leaves your customer relations in a very vulnerable state.
All companies are subject to regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). However, those within certain sectors, such as healthcare or governance, may need to adhere to stricter laws when it comes to protecting held data. Having a robust cyber attack response plan in place, with clear documentation, helps demonstrate compliance with these regulations.
An up-to-date risk assessment is vital when it comes to understanding the value and vulnerability of your assets. This assessment enables you to categorize and prioritize your inventory while identifying which elements are crucial for the core of your business – and are most in need of robust protection.
A robust backup strategy is a cost-effective safeguard in the event of a cyber attack. If files cannot be decrypted, restoring from a recent clean backup enables a swift and effective recovery. Backups should be stored on an isolated network with limited permissions for added security.
Keeping different parts of your network isolated from one another benefits its overall security. Breaking a network up into ‘network zones’ and dividing them using bridges, switches, or routers limits access privileges, protects against cyber attacks, and even boosts network performance.
The team should have clearly defined roles and responsibilities in preparation for cybersecurity incident response, all of which should be documented in the cybersecurity incident response plan. Additionary, proper cybersecurity best practices should be provided throughout the company, to minimize the risk of human error and increase all-round awareness of the importance of cybersecurity.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to cybersecurity incident response – it should be tailored to the requirements of an individual company. When devising a cyber attack response plan, Ackcent will work with your organization to put the best possible infrastructure in place. Once we have this foundation in place, the response procedure will comprise the following:
Detection methods can be proactive or reactive. A proactive approach involves identifying precursors and actively seeking out potential problem areas to prevent incidents before they happen. This is very much an ‘attack is the best form of defense’ approach. For proactive detection, Ackcent uses the MitreAttack framework – a renowned knowledge base of adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world observations
Reactive detection methods use cybersecurity countermeasures to deal with attacks when they occur. For this form of detection, we use the MitreDefend framework as a knowledge graph, enabling us to cater each technique to the precise nature of an incident.
Analysis is a key part of the cybersecurity process. It involves collecting and interpreting data, building timelines, and testing capabilities.
Containment prevents the spread of the incident before it has an overwhelming impact on resources and the operation of the company. Containment strategies vary depending on the severity of the incident and should be tailored to the requirements of the company at the given moment. As decision-making is a crucial part of containment strategy, a clear containment plan must be established well before an incident takes place.
Following containment, it will be necessary to remove all affected elements from the environment. This includes any malware or malicious code within the system, as well as eliminating any access points used to attack your network, and patching and/or reconfiguration.
After the eradication stage, a full recovery is made. This involves testing (network penetration testing, vulnerability assessment) and returning business operations to normal, restored from a secure and trusted backup source.
Once operations are up and running again, a comprehensive analysis needs to be made to actively improve upon the cyber attack response plan.
The following questions should be considered:
When it comes to taking the proper cybersecurity incident response steps, there’s no room for improvisation. Leaving it up to chance can be devastating for your business. Instead, put your confidence into an expert cybersecurity team who can ensure that you have the right infrastructure and plan in place should an incident occur.
With Ackcent’s cybersecurity services, we become your partner in cyber intelligence and provide next-level detection and resistance to attacks. Our managed detection and response (MDR) services have three phases:
We carry out an initial audit to discover and address the key cybersecurity challenges of your business. This forensic analysis gives us valuable insights into your company’s security posture, from your key assets and vulnerabilities to your specific goals. From this, we propose a roadmap and work with you to design a comprehensive cybersecurity plan.
From our detailed plan, we go to work. Our MDR services package uses a specific blend of automated services, techniques, and tools aimed at providing your company with the best possible protection. We implement security operations center (SOC) capabilities to rapidly detect, neutralize, and analyze threats. With the infrastructure and protocols in place, your company can now effectively deal with a cybersecurity incident.
Our SOC provides 24x7x365 protection, meaning your company is never left vulnerable. Our expert team monitors your critical digital assets’ dedicated threat detection capabilities, as well as network traffic to prevent and detect anomalies. Meanwhile, your team has access to personalized dashboards to visualize risk indicators, threat alerts, and security KPIs, as well as weekly analytics and reporting from our team. And, if an incident does occur, we work around the clock to get your organization up and running, in line with the cybersecurity incident response steps we’d designed for your business.
Contact Ackcent to find out more about how our expert MDR services can help your organization in the event of a cybersecurity incident.
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