Cyber security

Develop Your Defence: Creating a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

You might think that cybercriminals target only multinational corporations and international organisations – and assume that your small business is safe from cybersecurity threats. This is a common misconception because the media often reports incidents related to large companies and rarely puts the spotlight on small firms. But don’t let the lack of news give you a false sense of security.

When you venture into online business, you are exposed to a wide range of cyberattacks like man-in-the-middle attacks and SQL injections. It may result in damage to electronic data and loss of income. Prevent this from happening by building a strong defence.

Develop a cyber-security incident response plan like this:

Get All the Right People Involved

Data is one of your most valuable assets; electronic data is one of the most vulnerable to cyber threats. The more data you gather and store online, the greater you are at risk of security breaches. For this reason, you must invest in network security solutions that control data system accessibility.

It isn’t enough that you have a security system protecting your data, though. You must have an incident response plan in the event of network security infiltration.

Get all authorised people involved in the plan. Include representatives from all technical teams, non-technical teams and external parties. Secure their contact information, make the plan accessible and give them regular updates, ensuring a timely response should an incident occur.

Include All Possible Angles

An effective incident response plan covers all bases. It includes the following:

  • Comprehensive identification of key assets and data, identifying what you need to protect
  • Clear definition of the key roles and responsibilities of all involved staff in possible incidents
  • Update contact lists and checklists that your staff may use as a guide during the response
  • Industry-specific threat environment analysis, including the severity of potential cyberattacks
  • Action plans for every type of cybersecurity breach, including objectives and timeframes
  • Regular reviews and updates of existing plans for the improvement of future responses

You should also be ready with post-incident analysis and media management to deal with the aftermath of cybersecurity threats and breaches.

Consider Other Actions

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Your work isn’t over after you address the actual cyberattack and optimising your network security system. There are other actions for you to consider after the incident.

First, you must keep in mind that cybersecurity incidents may lead to court cases. To prevent costly and overly complicated court cases, consult with your legal team when drafting the incident report plan.

Second, be aware of mandatory reporting requirements. The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner might require you to submit your case under either the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme or under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Finally, take note of the personal impact of the cybersecurity incidents. It affects individuals just as much as it affects your business as a whole so be prepared with ways to provide support and manage the human consequences of the attack.

Even though you don’t often hear about cyberattacks on small businesses, you cannot discount the possibility of cyber threat incidents. These incidents can occur at any time and in different forms. So, create a strong response plan to cyber threats before they harm your business.