A Beginner's Guide to Incident Response Planning

Have you ever considered what would happen if your organization experiences a security breach or cyber attack?

Incident response planning is the process of detecting, investigating, and mitigating security incidents. It is crucial for organizations to have an incident response plan in place to effectively carry out this process.

In this article, we will provide beginners with the best practices for creating an incident response plan and the significance of incident response software in streamlining the procedure.

What is an Incident Response Plan?

An incident response plan is a set of procedures that your security team can use to identify, eliminate, and recover from cyber threats. It helps your team respond quickly and consistently to any type of external threat.

Incident response plans ensure that responses are as effective as possible and minimize the damage caused by threats such as data loss, resource abuse, and loss of consumer confidence.

Why is It Important to Have an Incident Response Plan?

ransomware attacks techniques

Cyber incidents can cause significant damage to an organization and can lead to costly expenses. Having an efficient incident response procedure can significantly reduce these costs.

In addition, incident response planning protects your company’s reputation. Failure to handle a security breach appropriately risks losing business and the confidence of investors and shareholders.

How can you ensure that your network is prepared for a disaster? It is important to prepare both your network and employees for future disasters. In addition to an incident response plan, a comprehensive disaster recovery plan can minimize the damage caused by disasters.

The Significance of Incident Response Software

Incident response software plays a crucial role in minimizing the impact of network disasters. It provides a structured and efficient process for detecting, investigating, and mitigating security incidents.

By automating the incident response procedures, incident response software helps organizations minimize damage from security incidents and safeguard their reputation.

For instance, FreshService is an IT service desk software that offers incident management features, such as incident tracking, priority management, and collaboration tools, to streamline incident management processes and improve overall IT service delivery.

In conclusion, incident response planning is a vital process that organizations should undertake to prepare for potential security breaches or cyber attacks.

By implementing an incident response plan and utilizing incident response software, organizations can minimize damage caused by security incidents, protect their reputation, and maintain consumer confidence.

What Are the Necessary Steps Involved in Incident Response?


Effective incident response relies on proper preparation, and without established guidelines, even the most skilled incident response team will struggle to address an incident.

A solid plan is essential, and an incident response plan should comprise the following components to respond to security incidents effectively:

  1. Preparation: Perform a risk assessment to prioritize security issues and determine the most sensitive assets and incidents that the Cyber Incident Response Team (CIRT) must prioritize. Develop a communication plan, document roles, responsibilities, and procedures, and recruit CIRT members.
  2. Develop and Document IR Policies: Establish incident response management policies, procedures, and agreements.
  3. Define Communication Guidelines: Create communication standards and guidelines to facilitate communication during and after an incident.
  4. Integrate Threat Intelligence Feeds: Continuously collect, evaluate, and synchronize threat intelligence feeds.
  5. Conduct Cyber Hunting Exercises: Conduct operational threat hunting exercises to identify incidents affecting your environment, promoting proactive incident response.
  6. Assess Threat Detection Capability: Assess your current capability for detecting threats and revise your risk assessment and improvement programs.
  7. Identification: When an incident is detected, the team should gather additional evidence, assess the severity of the incident, and record the “Who, What, Where, Why, and How” of the incident.
  8. Observe: Use firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, and data loss prevention to monitor security events in your environment.
  9. Detect: Correlate alerts within a SIEM solution to detect potential security incidents.
  10. Alert: Create an incident ticket, document initial findings, and classify incidents initially. The reporting procedure should also account for regulatory reporting escalations.
  11. Evaluation and Analysis: Collect data from tools and systems for further analysis and identifying indicators of compromise. The individual should have a thorough understanding of live system responses, digital forensics, memory analysis, and malware analysis.
  12. Containment and Neutralization: This is one of the most critical phases of incident response, and it is based on the intelligence and indicators of compromise gathered during the analysis phase.
  13. Coordinated Shutdown: Conduct a coordinated shutdown of all identified compromised systems in the environment. To ensure proper timing, notify all members of the IR team.
  14. Wipe and Reconstruct: Wipe the infected devices and completely reconstruct the operating system. Change the credentials of all compromised accounts.
  15. Requests for Threat Mitigation: Issue requests for threat mitigation to block all egress channels connected to identified domains or IP addresses used by threat actors for command and control.
  16. Recovery: Carefully restore affected production systems to prevent a recurrence of the incident.
  17. After-Event Activity: Ensure that all information that can be used to prevent similar occurrences in the future is adequately documented.
  18. Complete an Incident Report: Document the incident to improve the incident response plan and enhance additional security measures to prevent future security incidents.
  19. Monitor After-Event Activity: Use a security log analyzer to examine SIEM data for any indications of tripped indicators that may be related to the previous incident.
  20. Update Threat Intelligence: Update the organization’s threat intelligence feeds.
  21. Determine Preventive Actions: Develop new security measures to prevent future incidents.
  22. Gain Cross-Functional Support: Organization-wide coordination is essential for the successful implementation of new security initiatives.


To sum up, developing an incident response plan is crucial for any organization’s cybersecurity program to mitigate the impact of security breaches and cyber attacks.

When creating a plan, it is important to focus on essential aspects such as defining roles and responsibilities, setting up communication protocols, and practicing the plan regularly. Furthermore, utilizing incident response software can improve efficiency.

By following these guidelines, your organization can develop a comprehensive incident response plan to safeguard valuable data and reputation.

CyberSecurity Solution

Related articles:

Signs to Detect Data Breach & What to Do When It Happens

IT Service Management Tools: Why Essential for Businesses 

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments