How you respond to a possible hacking incident not only impacts that particular situation but can also set the tone for similar scenarios in the future. Not only does an effective incident response mitigate the damage of a breach and prevent it from spreading and implicating other assets, it also deters future attacks as well. Needless to say, incident response is an integral aspect of a cyber security firm’s services.
Metrics for Measuring Incident Response Quality
Cyber security teams have the singular goal of preserving the integrity of protected assets. Whether these assets take the form of information about users, employees, and clients or classified trade secrets that give a corporation an advantage over its competitors, it is a near certainty that someone with fraudulent intentions will target them at some point.
When they do, there is a single summative metric that can be used to quantify the effectiveness of a company’s incident response strategy: the mean time to respond. Reducing the average time that it takes to identify, investigate, mitigate, and repair a breach in cyber security infrastructure is essential to an effective incident response and a strong cyber defense.
Factors that Improve Incident Response
Perhaps the most important factor to reducing mean time to respond is having an effective, clear, and comprehensive incident response plan on hand for cyber security personnel to follow. This plan needs to account for the myriad number of ways a hacker can infiltrate a network or system, while also keeping in mind the protected assets that are most likely to be the target of the attack.
Establishing a hierarchy of actors on the cyber defense team is also essential in order to streamline the huge number of processes that need to be completed rapidly for an effective incident response. Finally, the plan needs to be flexible enough to allow for shifting resources from well-protected walls in the line of defense to potential weak points based on cyber security consultations that identify holes in the defense framework.
Why Strong Incident Response Is So Important
Many people think that cyber security is all about preparing for attacks and building barriers strong enough that they deter all but the most determined actors. In reality, though, much of cyber security involves responding to constant and ongoing attempts—both weak and sophisticated—to access protected areas of a network or computer system.
How and when this response happens can make a huge difference in whether the attack is successful or not, how much data is accessed, and whether subsequent attempts can make use of the prior breach. Poor incident response times may allow a hacker to gain access to multiple parts of a protected system and allow them to spread into other networks as well. If this happens, the investigation and repair process becomes exponentially more complicated.
In some of the worst cases, the system may be so compromised that it will never be secure again. When incident response is thorough and quick, though, the infiltration can be closed off quickly, eliminating further access and protecting the rest of the system from harm.
Contact a Cyber Security Firm for Effective Incident Response
The incident response aspect of a cyber security firm’s services is one of the most essential and basic components of a functioning digital defense. Responding to cyber attacks in a cohesive, strategic, and effective manner can drastically reduce the damage that ensues, often turning a potentially devastating data breach into a minor hiccup that is easily repaired.