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A Step-by-Step Guide to Developing Your Incident Response Program

Download guidelines for incident response procedures, creating appropriate responses, setting up a communication plan, and practicing real-life simulations.

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Cyberattacks targeted towards businesses are growing at exponential rates. In fact, according to a Cybersecurity Ventures study, in 2021, businesses will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds. And since the COVID-19 pandemic began, the FBI has reported a 300 percent increase in cybercrimes.

Additionally, threat actors have increased in sophistication, diversity of tactics, and are employing savvy techniques that make them extremely difficult to spot. 

Given this reality--whether you work in government, manufacturing, healthcare, retail, education, or another industry--cybersecurity must be your top priority. With the average cost of a data breach in 2020 totalling $3.86 million, effective threat management is crucial for every business and agency trying to avoid financial damage and regulatory fines--not to mention tainted customer relationships, reputational loss, and infrastructure harm caused by cybercrime.

That’s where incident response planning comes into play. A detailed response plan helps ensure you are prepared for the “what if” scenario. By developing this plan, organizations are better positioned to quickly react to an attack and mitigate risks to employees, stakeholders, customers, and profits. According to an IBM 2020 study, organizations with a tested incident response plan saved an average of $2 million on data breaches, compared with those that didn’t.

One of the best ways to fight cybercrime is to develop an incident response capability to quickly detect incidents, minimize loss, mitigate exploited weaknesses, and restore IT services. This template provides a step-by-step guide to help organizations:

  • Develop clear procedures
  • Create appropriate responses to each incident
  • Establish effective communication methods
  • Practice real-life simulations