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A Manual For Incident Response Planning and Procedure

icon Posted by: Hasan Sameer
icon July 12, 2022

In Brief

Continue with the blog for the complete manual.

What is an Incident Response Plan?

The detailed plan to identify, eliminate, and recover from a cyber security incident is called an Incident Response Plan. It is a comprehensive set of steps and tools including cyber security solutions. The prime purpose of an incident response plan is to minimize the loss when you encounter a cyber-attack.


of cyber-attacks are targeted at small businesses


of them only have adequate measures to fight against them


of all businesses say that their processes are not enough to mitigate the incidents


of all attacks on small businesses involve credential theft

The 6 Phases of Incident Response Plan


6 key steps or phases are there that constitute an incident response plan. Let’s have a look at all these steps closely:

1. Preparation

It is the initial phase. Here, you need to review and configure the underlying security policy. Also, this is the step where you deploy cyber security solutions in the infrastructure.

Some major processes in the preparation phase of incident response planning are:

  • Prioritizing security issues
  • Performing risk assessments
  • Identifying the sensitivity of assets
  • Creating a communication plan

Furthermore, this phase involves categorizing security incidents. Teams decide here which security incidents to address first. Additionally, the response teams must prepare documentation clearly stating the roles and responsibilities of every team member in the process.

2. Identification

Preparation is a set of preventive measures you can take. Although it does not guarantee 100% security from breaches. The CIRT (cyber incident response teams) needs proper training to identify the active treats. Moreover, it is important to ensure that they are familiar with the tools and techniques to identify and respond to the threats.

For effective threat identification, the teams must have awareness of the standard operations. So that they can detect deviations and recognize the factors causing them. These deviations are what actually mark a security incident. The identification phase involves the discovery of incidents and the collection of evidence.

Thereafter, the team decides the severity of the incident and does the related documentation. Cyber security solutions help in the identification process as well.

3. Containment

After identification, comes the step of containing the incident. Here containing refers to limiting the reach of attack vectors and minimizing the damage. Containment is about preventing the incident from causing a further catastrophe.

There are two types of incident containment:

  • Short-term containment: This type of containment involves cutting off the part of the network that is under attack. Also, the team takes down the production servers that are hacked. The backup servers come online to receive all the traffic during the isolation period.
  • Long-term containment: Long-term containment involves applying temporary fixes to the affected servers. This allows them to continue being in production. Meanwhile, the team rebuilds clean systems to take back charge.

The incident response team here tries their best to prepare the systems and take them online in the recovery stage.

4. Eradication

After containing the attack, the first thing is to identify and eliminate the root cause of the breach. Whatever the entry point for the attacker was, the incident response team eradicates it. Suppose a weak mechanism for authentication is the reason. Then the team replaces it instantly with an advanced cyber security solution to oversee the authentication mechanism.

5. Recovery

However, it is not only the task of the incident response team. All the operational team members work here together to bring all the processes back on track. Also, they put proper monitoring and security systems in place to avoid such incidents in the future.

6. Recording of the incident

What happened? How? When? What was the reason? The incident response team has the job of preparing a comprehensive report featuring the answers to all these questions. This phase is about remembering the lessons learned from the particular incident.

Importance of Incident Response Planning

Incident response planning is important in many ways for your organization. However, most prominently, it helps your organization in the following ways:

  • Protects Data: The IRP (incident response planning) has a prime focus on your critical data. When under attack, the team instantly tries to cut off the link between the hacked portion of the infrastructure and your critical data. Furthermore, they patch the vulnerabilities and secure identity and authentication management.
  • Builds Reputation: When your organization fights through an attack or breach without any considerable damage, it builds a perception of safety. The organization comes out to be serious about safety and privacy.
  • Reduce Costs: Building a response team and planning all the steps with cyber security solutions might appear expensive in the beginning. But it saves a lot when you are under a cyber-attack. The initial investment is nothing in comparison to the amount that it saves.

Before You Go!

  • Incident response planning is also a kind of cyber security solution. It acts as a savior during a cyber-attack.
  • Cyber security consulting firms like RSK can help you set up a team and a detailed plan to mitigate a cyber-attack.


  • Cyber Security Guide
  • Cyber Security Solutions
  • Incident response Plan

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