How do you proactively prepare a response to cyberattacks?

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How do you proactively prepare a response to cyberattacks?

Imagine that you are off on a vacation in a remote tropical place. And suddenly you hear the news that your company’s IT network has been breached. How would you respond in this situation? What will be your first response?

These are the questions that arise when you don’t have an incident response plan in place. Yes, you heard it right. When you don’t have a plan in place you are bound to lose your most critical assets to the hands of cybercriminals.

The problem

The harsh reality that many organizations today are facing is the evolving threat landscape and sophisticated attack techniques and emerging technologies utilized by attackers. Without an incident response plan, they are unable to defend against the most lethal cyber threats that cost them their revenue, reputation, and sensitive data. 

With threats such as ransomware, businesses continue to become the primary threat vector. They face wide-scale disruption in operations, leaving them in a situation that they cannot recover fully from without an incident response plan.  

Now the question is: Is there a way out? Luckily there is.  .

The Solution

Organizations are stepping up their cybersecurity game by hiring cybersecurity experts who are better equipped with the solutions needed to combat the most immediate threats. These experts possess the right skills and solutions to assist them.  Through comprehensive assessments and 24/7 monitoring, analysis and response, they help them improve their cybersecurity posture significantly. They render services such as MDR (Managed Detection and Response) that leverages people, processes and technologies for preemptive detection of threats.

MDR with Incident Response Plan: A deadly combination for combating threats and malicious actors 

MDR acts as the first line of defense, stopping threats and bad actors and preventing cyber attacks from occurring. It acts as the primary service that is used to create an effective incident response plan. It assists experts in categorizing threats and preparing an in-depth remediation cycle at the time of the breach. It provides the basis for building protection for the most critical data.  

MDR in combination of human expertise, processes and technology that allows them to focus on the most critical threats. They set rules, make reconfigurations and release patches that are conducive to the overall improvement of the organization’s cybersecurity. Experts can collaborate with leaders to frame a comprehensive incident response plan that helps them be better prepared for the event of a cyber attack. At the time of panic, it can be highly stressful for leaders to make decisions without knowing the severity of the attack and the parts that are affected. It can also be highly chaotic at the time of an event without having an idea of who is responsible for making decisions and who is to be informed at the time of the attack and the various procedures of recovery to protect sensitive data. 

Through an incident response plan, teams can identify the various loopholes and vulnerabilities in the existing cybersecurity infrastructure. They can improve the security of their operations by identifying the flaws and getting insights into different vulnerabilities in them through penetration testing. From threat detection to containment and neutralization, an incident response plan encompasses the head-to-toe planning of each step reducing the damage caused at the time of the event significantly. With mock scenarios and testing, they can create specific updates and patches that fortify their security.  

Teams can collaborate together to jot down the steps that are to be taken at the time of the attack. IR enables teams to work together in building increased readiness for threats and efficient threat neutralization. It renders smoothness in collaboration and leveraging the capabilities of MDR. The benefits of an incident response plan are numerous but it is more important to get the right IR plan done by the right people at the right time. It is essential to proactively align resources and train people to become more cyber-aware and implement steps that secure their data and ensures protection while they are connected to the internet. 

Let us look into some of the ways through which you can ensure the effectiveness of an incident response plan:

Step 1: Evaluate your status quo security posture

Organizations must collaborate with experts such that they conduct a thorough assessment of their security and a series of vulnerability and penetration tests. Tests help experts to categorize the different threats and vulnerabilities such that they can streamline the course of action in line with them and align resources as per different scenarios identified in the plan. It helps them identify the bare minimum security that they require to combat threats. Documentation of logs, events, and assessments must occur at this step for effective response and to fulfill compliance requirements in the future. 

Step 2: Collaborate and train the key stakeholders of the plan

Cybersecurity experts, pen testers, and analysts must collaborate and communicate about the plan with leaders and other important stakeholders such that everyone is on the same page. All the departments of the organization must be equally involved in risk assessment and planning. Doing so will help in reducing the time of response in the event of a cyber attack. Once everyone is on the same page, the next thing to do is to train people for being more threat aware. They must be trained to take necessary steps such as backing up data and adopting secure practices when connected to the internet or being connected remotely to the network. 

Step 3: Ensure scope of change and flexibility in the plan

Even the most sure shot plans fail. Therefore, it is important to leave a certain portion of the plan open to changes such that the organization is prepared for the increasing evolution of techniques and methodologies deployed by threat actors. Prepare a step-by-step contingency plan that takes care of the continuous evolution of the threat landscape such that you can adjust your plan smoothly without increasing the time of response. 

Step 4: Align the right people at the right place 

In order to leverage the MDR for your incident response plan, you need to align the right people with the right experience in MDR deployment to the preparation of the incident response plan. Experienced MDR specialists ensure that there is no margin of error in the implementation of the plan and helps in leveraging the MDR to its fullest potential through extensive experience with threats and industry-specific knowledge. 

Step 5: Document the plan and keep a physical backup, always

It is always helpful to document the plan and keep a physical copy of the document safely stored because, at the time of the breach, digital assets may become inaccessible. The physical copy of the incident response plan must also be distributed across different departments of the organization such that it is handy and easily accessible by key people in the event of a cyber attack.

To summarize

Organizations have to become cyber-ready by stepping up their defenses against some of the most sophisticated cyber attacks and ever evolving bad actors by partnering with cyber security experts for their cybersecurity services such as Managed Detection and Response and incident response to the maximum capabilities. Experts will help them take measures and quickly respond to combat threats. Increase your cyber readiness with SharkStriker, our team consists of certified cybersecurity analysts, experts, and consultants who will help you by augmenting your cybersecurity posture to the next level.


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