BSIT 380 - Week 11 Posting - What is an Incident Response?

In cybersecurity, an "incident response" refers to the organized approach to addressing and managing the aftermath of a security breach or cyberattack, also known as a security incident. The goal is to handle the situation in a way that limits damage and reduces recovery time and costs. An effective incident response plan is critical to any organization's cybersecurity strategy and includes the elements of preparation, identification, containment, eradication, and recovery.

Preparation is the foundation of incident response. It involves setting up an incident response team, defining their roles and responsibilities, and developing a response plan. Identification consists of detecting and determining whether a cybersecurity event is a security incident, which requires practical monitoring tools and awareness to recognize signs of a potential breach, such as unusual system behavior, alerts from security tools, or reports of suspicious activity. Once an incident is confirmed, the immediate goal is containment, limiting its scope and preventing further damage. After containment, the next step is to find and eradicate the incident's root cause, which may involve removing malware, deactivating breached user accounts, or fixing vulnerabilities. In recovery, affected systems are restored and returned to regular operation. This process must be carefully managed to avoid reintroducing the threat. It often includes validating systems functioning normally and monitoring for any signs of compromise.

After the incident is resolved, conducting a post-incident review is crucial,  analyzing what happened, how it was handled, what worked well, and what could be improved. The insights strengthen the incident response plan and overall security posture.