Incident Response Planning is Your Security Secret Weapon

December 17, 2021
a brown notebook entitled "Emergency Plan" is held by a white man in business attire

Cybercrime numbers are soaring, putting pressure on businesses and IT teams alike to stay a step ahead of the bad guys. An estimated 74% of organizations in the United States have fallen victim to a successful phishing attack that resulted in a data breach in the last 12 months and phishing is up by almost 300% over 2020’s record-breaking numbers. No business is too small to be a target, and no industry is safe from the laser eye of greedy cybercriminals. Plus, the specter of a devastating ransomware attack is at the top of every IT professional’s mind after high-profile events in the last two years have made it the cyberattack that everyone is talking about.    

This post is adapted in part from our NEW Creating an Incident Response PlaybookDOWNLOAD IT NOW>> 

Every Business Needs to Plan Ahead for Trouble

Does every business really need to develop an incident response plan? Yes. An astonishing 94% of executives say their firms have experienced a business-impacting cyberattack or compromise within the past 12 months. That fact alone should be enough to drive companies to develop a plan for what to do when the worst happens. But sometimes even facts like that aren’t enough to gain executive buy-in on expenditures for incident response planning.  

10 Facts About C-Suite Cybersecurity Defensive Planning Stumbling Blocks 

Cyberattack frequency is growing and that makes it a real possibility that your business will face a cybersecurity threat sometime soon. Unfortunately, many organizations either don’t take that risk seriously or don’t believe it applies to them, opening themselves up to trouble.  

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Giving the Company the Best Chance of Survival if the Worst Happens 

When is the best time to make sure that you’re ready to respond in an emergency situation? Before that emergency ever happens. That logic applies to every kind of emergency from a gas leak in your building to a cyberattack in your company’s IT environment. It’s never good to be scrambling to respond in the face of a disaster. Companies that are prepared for trouble often find out that they experience less of it as well, because when everyone is on the same page for safety and security, employees are much more likely to notice problems before they grow into disasters.  

In today’s volatile cybersecurity world, it can often seem like there is a cyberattack waiting for your business around every corner. Threats like ransomware, account takeover, business email compromise, credential compromise, spear phishing and more dangerous cyberattacks are all over the news. With cybercrime consistently on the rise, it’s just a matter of time before your business is in a cybercriminal’s sights.  

That’s why smart businesses are prepared to undertake an incident response at any time. Creating, drilling and updating an incident response plan for cyberattacks is critical to making sure that your business survives the blow. It’s also a key component of strengthening your company’s cyber resilience to stand strong in the face of trouble. Making sure that a business has cash reserves to weather the storm is also vital. By ensuring that you’ve got everything in place to handle the worst, you’ll ensure that your company’s chance of recovery is the best it can possibly be. 

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Why Do Businesses Need an Incident Response Plan? 

Cybercrime has grown exponentially in just the last few years with new threats popping up constantly, and cybersecurity companies aren’t the only ones innovating – cybercriminals are innovating too. Their goal? To find new ways to circumvent, subvert or simply brute force their way through the security measures that businesses have in place to keep them away from valuable systems and data – and they’re getting pretty good at it. They’re also running up security bills for businesses attempting to stem the tide of cyberattacks like phishing that they face daily.Researchers say that the cost of phishing attacks has almost quadrupled over the past six years, with large US companies losing an average of $14.8 million annually (or $1,500 per employee) to phishing. That’s without adding the expense of dealing with an incident investigation which costs SMBs an average of $15K.  

The fact that incidents from spear phishing attacks to business email compromise schemes are more common makes the need for a strong, smooth incident response vital in times of trouble. Companies that are prepared for trouble often find out that they experience less of it. Why? Because when companies develop incident response plans, they pay more attention to security and tend to value building the kind of strong security culture that reduces risks like human error and negligence. How much of a difference can it make? An enormous difference.   

6 Major Reasons Why Every Business Should Have an Incident Response Plan 

An incident response plan doesn’t just protect your business during an incident, it also empowers your business to thrive now, come out of an incident with more cash and prevent another incident in the future. 

Reduction of Risk 

Making, testing and maintaining an incident response plan will reduce your company’s chance of experiencing a damaging cybersecurity incident. How much of a difference can it make? An enormous difference. IBM researchers announced that 39% of organizations with a formal, tested incident response plan experienced an incident, compared to 62% of those who didn’t have a plan. 

Quickly Find Unnecessary Security Expenditures 

Regularly reviewing security tools and possible cyberattack scenarios when creating an incident response plan can be beneficial for budgeting. Experts estimate that many enterprises maintain 19 different security tools, with only 22% of such tools serving as vital to primary security objectives. Almost half of the security tools that are available to IT teams are just clutter. Only about 47% of existing IT security tools are actually used daily.   

Better Security Awareness 

Companies that are prepared for trouble often find out that they experience less of it because when everyone is on the same page for safety and security, employees are much more likely to notice problems before they grow into disasters. Negligent employees create over 60% of security incidents.

Stronger Compliance Programs   

Most compliance requirements include a requirement to perform security assessments. That dovetails nicely with the assessments that companies perform when making or reviewing incident response plans. Companies with incident response plans also have a better eye on compliance and data handling practices which enables them to spot and fix vulnerabilities efficiently. 

Increased Chance of Survival 

Many businesses are not prepared for the high cost of falling victim to a cyberattack. If you haven’t planned how your business will handle a cyberattack, you may not have a solid grasp of the costs involved in a response. An incident investigation alone can cost $15,000 or more.  But having a tested incident response plan can save 35% of the cost of an incident

Improved Cyber Resilience 

Building your company’s cyber resilience is a key component of mounting a successful incident response. Cyber resilient companies can quickly make moves that enable them to isolate intrusions, minimize damage and keep functioning in any conditions. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 companies isn’t taking advantage of this simple method for boosting their cyber resilience.

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The Best Way to Respond to An Incident is to Never Have One at All 

Why take the chance that a phishing email will cause a massive disaster for your business? Stop phishing immediately with Graphus – the most simple, automated and affordable phishing defense available today.  

Graphus layers security for more protection with three powerful shields.   

  • TrustGraph uses more than 50 separate data points to analyze incoming messages completely before allowing them to pass into employee inboxes. TrustGraph also learns from each analysis it completes, adding that information to its knowledge base to continually refine your protection and keep learning without human intervention.    
  • EmployeeShield adds a bright, noticeable box to messages that could be dangerous, notifying staffers of unexpected communications that may be undesirable and empowering staffers to report that message with one click for administrator inspection.      
  • Phish911 enables employees to instantly report any suspicious message that they receive. When an employee reports a problem, the email in question isn’t just removed from that employee’s inbox — it is removed from everyone’s inbox and automatically quarantined for administrator review.   

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