Incident Response Plan Basics
This post contains part of the text from the SecurityMetrics Incident Response Plan Basics Checklist.
To view the full interactive checklist, download the PDF below:
Identification (or detection) is the process where you determine whether you’ve actually been breached by looking for deviations from normal operations and activities.
Proactively search for a breach:
Utilize FIM (File Integrity Monitoring)
Notice any system anomalies
Malfunctioning antivirus software
Atypical log-in times
Presence of unexpected IPs
Reduced operating speed
Document how you’ve been breached and how you were notified by using these four high-probability scenarios:
The breach is discovered internally (e.g., review of intrusion detection system logs, alerting systems, system anomalies, or anti-virus scan malware alerts)
Your bank informs you of a possible breach based on reports of customer credit card fraud
Law enforcement discovers the breach while investigating the sale of stolen card information
A customer complains to you because your organization was the last place they used their card before it began racking up fraudulent charges
Preparation often takes the most effort in your incident response planning while being the most crucial step to protect your organization.
Make an Incident Response plan:
Assign employees specific roles and responsibilities in case of a data breach
Ensure your employees receive proper training regarding their incident response roles and responsibilities
Develop and regularly conduct tabletop exercises
Evaluate your incident response plan
Make adjustments based on staff performance
Ensure that all aspects of your incident response plan (such as training, hardware, and software resources) are approved and funded in advance
Update your Business Continuity Plan
Once You’ve Been Breached
When you experience a breach, it’s important to get your staff quickly involved in fixing the problem.
Assemble your Incident Response team
Inform franchisees of your Incident Response Plan (IRP)
Train franchisees of immediate and long-term actions
Preserving the valuable forensic evidence of your data breach is essential for identifying what information was stolen and how to prevent a future breach.
When you discover a breach, remember:
Don’t get rid of evidence
Don’t do anything hasty
Don’t wipe and re-install your systems (yet)
Follow your incident response plan
Contain the Breach
To contain a breach, you must isolate the affected system(s) to prevent further damage.
Implement your IRP
Disconnect from the Internet
Document the entire incident
Disable remote access capability and wireless access points
Change access control credentials (usernames and passwords)
Segregate all hardware devices in the payment process
Quarantine instead of deleting (removing) identified malware
Preserve firewall settings, firewall logs, system logs, and security logs
Restrict Internet traffic
Contact your merchant processing bank
Consider hiring a law firm experienced in managing data breaches
Consider Public Communication
The public, including those whose information was breached, needs to know quickly the scope of the breach and your plan for remediation.
Determine how and when notifications will be made
Know legislated mandatory time frames
Identify who is responsible for public statements
Seek the guidance of your legal counsel
Inform employees not to announce the breach before your company announcement
Craft specific statements about your breach by:
Deciding what type of organization you are
Finding what mandate you should follow
Researching who your target audience is
Publish statements through all or a mixture of:
Investigate and Fix Your Systems
Once you’ve identified the source and have taken the proper steps to prevent a future breach, it’s time to go back online.
Bring affected systems back online
Ensure all systems have been: