Cybersecurity Incident Response: Six Key Steps

Organizations face an information security risk. So, we need a cybersecurity incident response plan.

But what is it? Also, how can it help you?

Read on to learn more.

Cybersecurity Incident Response Definition

A cybersecurity incident response manages a cyberattack. Without this, it can bring great damage to an organization.

It can also affect customers. Worse, it ruins the reputation of a business.

Moreover, an incident response plan decreases the damage of the attack. So, businesses can quickly recover and operate again.

Additionally, it involves an investigation of the incident. So, organizations can learn from it. 

Thus, they can prepare for possible incidents in the future. They can also protect their information.

Importance of a Cybersecurity Incident Response

Cyber incidents are getting bigger and more frequent. So, an incident response plan is critical to defending an organization.

In addition, poor management of attacks will drive your clients away. It can even cost you money.

So, failure to make a response plan will cause you greater damage.

For example, Target failed to secure its securities. So, it made their 2013 attack worse from the past hacks.

Also, Equifax avoided notifying their clients. So, the 2017 hack hurt its brand significantly.

Thus, a cybersecurity incident response is necessary. No matter what industry your organization belongs to.

Cybersecurity Incident Response Team

Every company should have a CIRT team. CIRT stands for Computer Incident Response Team.

This team leads the application of a company’s incident response. It composes of experts from:

  • executive management
  • information technology
  • information security
  • IT auditors
  • physical security staff
  • forensic experts
  • HR team
  • Legal department
  • communications

Six Steps of a Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan

Here are the six steps to a response plan.


We should not wait for incidents to happen before we make a plan. Remember, security incidents are not inevitable. They can happen anytime.

So, it is vital to do the following prior to a cybersecurity incident:

  • Build a team of experts.
  • Develop security policies.
  • Train employees about the best practices.


Quick identification of a breach allows for an effective response. The key to this is the following methods:

  • threat intel systems
  • intrusion detection
  • firewalls

In addition, threat intelligence helps protect information. Its experts will study the current trends in cybersecurity.

So, you can keep updated on the threats.


If an incident already took place, it is critical to contain the damage immediately. So, you can prevent the hack to penetrate your systems.

How can you do this?

It is important to take networks offline. Also, regular backups from these systems will secure your data.

Thus, you can maintain operations while troubleshooting. 


After containing the threat, it is also important to remove it as early as possible. It includes quarantining the threat and systems.

Also, it requires additional monitoring. So, you can make sure that these attacks will not resurface.


To return to the working condition, the response team should restore operations. They can do this by ensuring that the systems are no longer affected.


Most companies overlook this final stage. But, it is critical to avoid the same thing from happening again.

Also, the team will study how they can improve future response efforts. Thus, you can strengthen your security.

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