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As technology advances so do the capabilities of attackers. Our ever-growing dependence on innovative tech tools such as IoT devices and the cloud has broadened the tech landscape, giving attackers easier access to our critical data.

According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2022, there was a 3,000% increase in IoT malware activity between Q3 2019 and Q4 2020. And if this stat isn’t startling enough, the number of breaches in 2021 broke the record. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center’s 2021 Data Breach Report, there were 1,862 breaches last year, up from 1,108 in 2020.

Experiencing a data breach is no longer a matter of “if” but “when,” regardless of the industry you’re in. While you may think healthcare and finance are most commonly targeted, IBM’s study found that the top industry for data breaches in 2021 was manufacturing.

This data highlights the fact that every organization should expect the best yet prepare for the worst. And the most effective way to do that is to develop the detailed steps your organization will take to respond to any security incident. After all, that’s what can make or break your ability to bounce back.

Security incident response: Critical yet often forgotten

According to Shred-it’s 2021 Data Protection Report, four out of 10 business leaders rate the risk of a data breach in the next year as a 4 or 5 on a 5-point risk scale (with 5 being the highest risk). However, the report also found that more than half of the businesses surveyed don’t have an incident response plan.

This means some businesses, although they understand the risks, are failing to fully protect their critical data. Should an incident occur, response may be slow or nonexistent, leading to costly downtime and loss. And in some cases, these businesses may not be able to recover.

You can avoid this scenario within your organization by taking the time to prepare. A security incident response plan should include several elements, such as:

  • Your overall incident response strategy
  • Roles of your incident response team
  • Procedures for the response process and recovery
  • Methods for establishing cause
  • Methods for establishing future preventative measures

If you’re ready to develop a rock-solid security incident response policy, our experts are here to support you. Below, you’ll find four TechRepublic Premium resources you can use to prepare a new response strategy or overhaul your current one.

Security incident response policy

The main goal of a security incident response policy is to define for all members of your team the process that must be followed after an IT incident is suspected. Your policy should outline the details of your response, monitoring procedures, any violations and the resulting penalties of not following the policy.

This sample security incident response policy includes all of those critical details and more. You can simply download this sample, edit it to fit your needs and then share it with your team for acknowledgment.

Download the Security Incident Response Policy on TechRepublic Premium]

Malware response checklist

Solid incident response policies should be easy to follow and accessible. After all, incidents happen around the clock. Your plan needs to include simple checklists your team can follow that identify the steps required to mitigate attacks.

This malware response resource includes an Excel checklist and an accompanying guide to help you customize the list to fit your needs. Actions included on the checklist range from Contact user or IT staff member reporting the infection to Confirm the infected system is powered down. The checklist is organized by specific categories, including initial response and remediation.

Download the Malware Response Checklist on TechRepublic Premium]

Information security incident reporting policy

Employees who spot potential incidents are on the frontlines of defense. They’re the first witnesses to the attack and the first ones responsible for ensuring information is kept secure. The steps they follow could make or break your entire response and recovery.

This sample information security incident reporting policy provides the guidelines employees should follow when reporting security issues. By following this policy, you can ensure a fast response to help prevent potentially extensive damage to your systems, networks, customers and reputation.

Download the Information Security Incident Reporting Policy on TechRepublic Premium]

Quick glossary: Cybersecurity attack response and mitigation

Perhaps you’re a startup or a small team that needs a primer on incident response. Or maybe you simply want a guide to help your employees better understand incident terminology. Either way, this quick glossary can help.

It offers a list of terms often used by security experts as they attempt to fix the damage caused by an attack. You’ll find everything from advanced persistent threat (APT) to threat assessment in this TechRepublic Premium guide.

Download the Quick Glossary: Cybersecurity Attack Response and Mitigation on TechRepublic Premium]