Incident Response framework during cyber attacks

An incident response framework facilitates you weed out the threats that form the big picture of the invasion

Incident Response framework during cyber attacks - CSO Forum

The threat of cyber-attacks has more than made their presence felt across different domains throughout the world. Right from virtual bank thefts to partly candid onslaughts from nation-states, the year 2017 has been extremely harsh on IT security. Cyber-attacks can be broadly categorized into assaults that harm the computers in focus to cut them out offline, or onslaughts to get hands on the target computer’s data and their admin rights.

Cyber-attacks are as of now a bone of contention not just for governments and defense entrepreneurs, but they also persist to prey on a multifarious range of industries. As it is well known that prevention is better than cure, there is no better way to fight cybersecurity attacks than being equipped for it in advance. The self-styled WannaCry ransomware attack had affected hundreds of thousands of computers all over the world. The attack was so disastrous because companies had not consolidated their framework on time so they had not prepared for it.

An incident response framework facilitates you weed out the threats that form the big picture of the invasion. The eventual objective of an incident response system besides thoroughly curbing every incident is also to be able to identify the techniques modus operandi of an attack. Incident response is built on the technique that identifies and details the measures used by an aggressor to jeopardize a system. This information then helps thwart off any future attacks and update incident response activities taking into account the last assault.

Effectual cybersecurity stands on three pillars; people, processes and technology. These prove to be the best combination to handle cyber-attacks, to detect, handle, register and evaluate security menace or occurrences in actuality. A sound incident response structure is designed to give stability and an all-inclusive perspective to any security considerations in an IT setup. A breach of the security incident can be anything from a dynamic threat to an intruding attack or data breach that spells victory for the perpetrators. Policy lapses and illegal entry into information bank like health, financial, social security numbers and records that are specific to individuals are all instances of attacks on security.

Let us see a few of the best practices that can make your stack armoured in the event of a cyber attack and the ideal response from incident framework on how to establish an optimum cyber security incident response.

The steps are as follows:

  1. Gear up

This begins with a criticality assessment, followed by threat analysis. Issues pertaining to the first pillar; people, have to be dealt with. This should be followed by the focus on process, technology and information, and deployment of fundamentals.

  1. Response

This encompasses detecting a cyber security incident; probing the state of affairs (including priority fixing); taking befitting measures (such as confining the incident and identification the root cause); and restoring the systems.

  1. Follow up a cyber security incident

Based on the need to delve into the incident inside out; broadcast the contingency to respective investors; conduct an examination after the incident; add to knowledge bank; and update key information, controls and processes.

At level zero

  • Detect crucial digital Assets important of your company
  • Build a security management incident plan
  • Check-lists and templates for running operational response depending upon configuration items, inclusive of the shutdown process, startup, renewal, and others
  • Have a weekly examination checklist along with a random audit
  • RACI chart that detects the individual who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted or Informed for defined endeavors prior to and post incident.
  • Establish incident management response team
  • An ideal incident response squad should comprise operational positions within the IT/security department and it should also represent other departments like legal, communications, finance, and business management or operations
  • Evolve an elaborate training program for every activity
  • Ascertain a sound reserve of vital apps and regularly restore and upgrade them, this is a cardinal element
  • An autonomous backup system is an intelligent resort to pack
  • Post-incident documentation about the experiences and an updated checklist for better positioning, going forward. Documentation should also comprise a list of internal and external stakeholders who should be kept in the loop during the incident
  • Get each key person of the organization to participate in the process and it is important to be clear about cyber security not only the onus of the IT team but a combined effort
  • Metrics and meaningful briefing to all levels of management and other investors who should be aware of operative and pecuniary issues. As for example, a report can offer metrics for restoration taking place before the Service Level Agreement, that saves your money and ensures productivity
  • Design a communication plan that makes it a policy to inform stakeholders of such untoward incidents
  • Users should be made aware of the ‘to dos’ for them including the process to respond to incidents. They should be motivated to report any security flaws or incidents immediately, without hesitation.
  • Come up with an incident tackling narrative and have the team members brainstorm on ways to deal with them
  • Patch Management plays a vital role and ensures to have systems updated with the latest patches
  • Cyber insurance can be an added advantage depending on the affordability of organization

Moreover, with the rising incidents of cyber-attacks, the need for effective incident support team for cyber security is evident. Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) can play potentially important role in combating these attacks.

With help of AI, Predictive analytics which can build a comprehensive framework to security teams and share the predictive insight which is needed to protect and stop cyber threats to avoid the incident before they become a major issue before it converts onto a problem. This approach is not only cost-effective but better in terms of manageability of resources which can help the business to avoid reputational and financial loss.

There is no doubt machine learning has become more sophisticated in the past couple of years and would be way forward to fight against cyber incidents.

Nowadays, organisations face millions of threats each day, so it would be impossible for threat researchers to analyse and categorise them manually. As each threat is analysed by the machine, it learns and improves and further there is a scope for improvement. Such tools and technologies not only helps protect organisations but compiles this valuable data for use in predictive analytics for other organizations as well to safeguard them from cyber attacks.

With help of new tools and technologies, AI can provide new ways that can help to protect new devices and networks even before a threat is classified by a human researcher.

The author is Head of Digital Security, Max Healthcare


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