Cybersecurity Incident Management


No matter how well you prepare for cybersecurity risks, it’s impossible to guarantee that an incident won’t occur in the future. Because of that, it’s crucial to develop a process for handling those situations that can be relied upon when you need to make fast decisions and efficiently assign roles to everyone on your team.

And that’s where cybersecurity incident management can be so useful.

It’s an essential process that helps businesses better respond to threats and incidents in real-time. But to take full advantage of what a cybersecurity incident management plan can offer, you must first understand why it makes sense to use this approach and what steps you need to go through.

Let’s answer these questions below.

Why Do You Need to Manage Cybersecurity Incidents?


A cyber attack on your company can cause a lot of damage to your data, reputation, and bottom line. And despite your best efforts, it might be impossible to completely prevent it from occurring.

But at the same time, what you do after the incident occurs can be just as important as preventing it in the first place. Here’s why:

  • Minimize the Damage. The speed and effectiveness of your response plan can make all the difference in how much damage the cyberattack can cause. If you’re scrambling to identify the issue and plan the next steps, the damage that could be done might be too extensive for your company to recover from. Meanwhile, if you have a cybersecurity incident management process, you can combat the issue head-on and reduce the damage or even stop the attack from having its full impact.
  • Maintain Trust. A cyber attack can result in a significant blow to your company’s reputation. And the only way to reduce the damage is to respond quickly and effectively, showing that you are in control and know how to deal with the situation in a way that will protect your customers.
  • Resume Work. Finally, you need a cybersecurity incident management plan to get back to usual business as soon as possible. Every day you spend scrambling to formulate a response is a day of wasted revenue and growth potential, so having a plan can ensure that you only devote as many resources as are necessary.

Related post: You Have a Cybersecurity Plan – But How Do You It Works?

Essential Steps to Cybersecurity Incident Management

An effective incident management process relies on a proven framework to be successful. And that’s why the best approach when designing it is to look at the process as a list of steps that need to be executed before, during, and after an incident.

Let’s explore these steps in more detail below.

  • Establish a Common Process. The first step of cybersecurity incident management is setting up the rules and guidelines that your team will use when reacting to various threats and incidents. These rules will help ensure a consistent response aligned with industry best practices and the company’s interests.
  • Create a Threat List. Each organization should have a list of vital assets and the most significant potential threats that they face. To better understand where the cyberattack might occur, you should also understand your vulnerabilities, both those that you could reduce and those out of your control. By creating a threat list, you can start making your incident management plan more specific and actionable.
  • Develop Individual Response Plans. Each cyber threat is unique and comes with its own challenges. Therefore, it only makes sense that each of them requires a different response, which you will have to prepare for and plan according to the type of threat, your recovery processes, and the way that you prioritize your assets.
  • Educate Your Employees. A big part of preventing and responding to cyber threats is educating your employees on how they should approach different situations. They should be aware of the cyber risks your company is exposed to, ways to avoid them, and how to act if something happens. You could even set up a training program that walks each employee through the essential security measures and outlines their role in case a cybersecurity incident would occur.
  • Consider Outside Experts. Developing a cybersecurity incident management plan is not easy. Without expertise in the field, it might even be impossible. Therefore, it might be a good idea to consult with professionals who can not only help you prepare for various cyber threats but also help implement identify and access management solutions.
  • Continually Refine and Simplify. The only way to improve your incident response plan is to continually work on it. So, schedule a review of the entire management plan at regular intervals and especially after each incident. The new insights you gain will help you perform a more informative analysis and refine the process to ensure the issues you face don’t arise again.