What are the best practices in incident response and recovery?

By Ludo Fourrage

Last Updated: April 9th 2024

Too Long; Didn't Read:

Incident response and recovery protocols are crucial for cybersecurity. Best practices such as NIST frameworks help organizations prepare, detect, contain, eradicate, and recover from security breaches. Businesses with robust incident response teams save significantly on breach costs and enhance overall security resilience, as seen in case studies like the Equifax data breach.

Let's talk about some real issues that every organization needs to stay on top of. Cyber threats are no joke, and having a solid plan to deal with them is crucial.

It's like having a capable security personnel at the venue, ready to handle any trouble that comes your way.

This structured approach to managing cyber attacks is like a step-by-step guide on how to handle digital challenges effectively.

It's got phases like preparation, detection, containment, and recovery, all working together to minimize the damage and get you back on your feet faster than possible.

Authorities like the Financial Stability Board are all about these effective practices for cyber incident response and recovery, and it's not just for banks and financial institutions.

Any organization that wants to maintain legitimacy and reputation needs to be on top of this game.

But here's the real important point: having a solid incident response plan isn't just about damage control.

It's a core part of keeping your operation running smoothly, staying compliant with the rules, and making sure your brand doesn't get tarnished.

And let's not forget the financial aspect.

Businesses that have an efficient incident response team and plan in place end up saving a significant amount of money when challenges arise. It's like investing in a valuable cybersecurity insurance policy.

As we dive deeper into the details of preparation and monitoring, just remember that fostering a culture of cybersecurity is key.

It's about having a proactive team that's always on the lookout for any suspicious activity. Stay vigilant!

Table of Contents

  • Incident Response: The Best Practices
  • Incident Recovery: The Best Practices
  • Case Study: Successful Incident Response and Recovery
  • Conclusion: The Impact of Following Best Practices
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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Incident Response: The Best Practices


When it comes to being ready for cyber attacks, you have to be prepared. It's like that old saying, "fail to prepare, prepare to fail" – that's real in the IT world.

IBM says you could save like $2 million if you have a skilled team and do some testing. And Secureworks says you have to keep updating your strategies to match the latest threats.

You have to follow frameworks from NIST and SANS, like CrowdStrike says, and put together a cross-functional team.

You need a solid incident response plan (IRP) that lays out who does what, so everyone knows their role and can act fast.

For detecting attacks, you need real-time monitoring to spot any unusual activity or known threats.

TechTarget talks about different detection frameworks like ISACA and ISO, and over 70% of breaches are spotted from outside the company, according to Atlassian.

AI and machine learning can help you catch anomalies and known threats better, so you stay one step ahead of the hackers.

When it comes to containing the attack, you have to act fast.

You might need to disconnect systems right away or change access controls, depending on the situation. NIST says you should segment your network to limit the damage.

Secureworks talks about this "Integrated Preparedness Cycle" where you learn from each incident and keep improving your containment strategies.

And don't forget about removing the malware and restoring your systems.

SANS Institute has a multi-step approach to make sure you get rid of every trace of the threat and fix any weaknesses that let the hackers in. But SecurityScorecard says you have to double-check everything before restoring your systems, so you don't get hit again and can keep running your business smoothly.

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Incident Recovery: The Best Practices


Let me break it down for you real quick. When some sh*t goes down and your systems get hit, you gotta bounce back fast to keep your biz running smooth.

Most crews, like 71% of 'em, got a recovery plan locked and loaded.

This bad boy lays out all the steps to get your critical systems back online and your data restored from secure backups. It's like a cheat code for dealing with cyber attacks and ransomware, courtesy of the big dogs at CISA.

  • First up, you gotta assess the damage and figure out which areas need the most love.
  • Then, you follow the step-by-step guide to resurrect your systems and networks, with some expert advice from the industry peeps.
  • Finally, you gotta double-check that everything's running smoothly after the restoration, and keep those logs safe for future reference.

Data recovery is a whole other ball game, though.

43% of companies have had to deal with data loss, which can really mess up your flow. Here's the play:

  1. Backup, backup, backup! Keep encrypted copies in different locations to avoid losing your precious data. And don't forget to patch those backup apps.
  2. Use legit recovery software that knows its stuff, and make sure those backups are clean before you restore 'em.
  3. Practice makes perfect, so run some recovery drills to stay sharp. The NCSC's got your back with tips on dealing with malware and ransomware.

But prevention is key, right? 58% of organizations that keep a watchful eye on their systems can spot trouble almost instantly, minimizing the damage.

Here's how you do it:

  • Monitor your network traffic and behavior like a hawk, following the security guidelines from AWS.
  • Set up alerts to ping your IT squad when something's fishy, so they can jump on it right away.
  • Keep updating and patching your systems, because those cyber threats ain't playin' around.

Look, 84% of businesses know continuous monitoring is a must these days, but not everyone's got the tools to make it happen.

As one expert puts it,

"Continuous monitoring ain't no luxury. It's a necessity if you want your biz to survive in this digital jungle."

Case Study: Successful Incident Response and Recovery


The 2017 Equifax data breach was a total shitshow, but they got their act together quick. Once they realized over 147 million people's info got jacked, they locked that shit down and started the cleanup.

  • Investigation Mode: They hired these cybersecurity ninjas from Mandiant to dig deep and figure out what went down. Took 'em 60 days to map out the whole mess.
  • Protecting the Peeps: Equifax hooked up the folks affected with free credit monitoring, so their identities didn't get snatched.
  • Tightening Security: They leveled up their encryption game to keep that data on lockdown.

Equifax dropped a cool $1.25 billion to beef up their security.

Word on the street is, they've been locking it down since then. IT nerds have been taking notes on how they handled the situation – getting on that shit fast, making moves, and keeping it real with the public.

Even some Gartner analyst gave 'em props for their incident management skills.

Other companies have their own ways of dealing with breaches too. Google's got this Incident Command System that helps them scale up and manage shit effectively.

Then there's this financial company that shared their story on LinkedIn, talking about how crucial their Security Operations Center (SOC) is for fighting off cyber threats.

And Cisco Talos? They emphasized how having solid partners makes a huge difference in responding quickly and effectively.

Equifax's recovery game, combined with the wisdom from other firms, shows how following best practices can minimize damage and rebuild trust.

Their story, along with the other case studies, drives home the importance of having a tight incident response strategy. Companies need to stay on top of their game to keep their rep intact and protect their people.

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And learn about Nucamp's Coding Bootcamps and why aspiring developers choose us.

*By checking "I Agree", you are opting-in to receive information, including text messages from Nucamp. You also agree to the following Terms of use, SMS Terms of use & Privacy Policy. Reply STOP to stop receiving text messages.

Conclusion: The Impact of Following Best Practices


Let's talk about something super important that'll help your business stay on top of its game. You know that whole incident response and recovery thing? It's not just about checking boxes and following rules – it's a straight-up game-changer that can make your business more resilient and reliable than ever before.

According to IBM's Cost of a Data Breach Report, companies with an incident response team and well-tested plans saved a whopping $1.23 million on average when dealing with a data breach, compared to those who didn't have their act together.

But that's not all – having a solid incident management strategy can also help you stay operational and boost your overall security game, as Splunk showed us with their insights into ServiceNow's Security Incident Response capabilities.

Here's the deal:

  • Rapid Detection: Businesses that know how to handle things right cut the average breach lifecycle down to 280 days, compared to a whopping 314 days for those who don't.
  • Containment Efficiency: A swift containment strategy can slash potential losses by as much as 67%, stopping that breach from spreading like wildfire.
  • Cost Savings: Implementing a structured incident management plan reduces downtime and gives you better visibility into everything, saving you an average of $3.58 million compared to those who don't have their ducks in a row.

Case studies and cybersecurity exercises from Nucamp articles show a massive difference in how companies handle things long-term.

For example, case study learnings from Nucamp highlight that 96% of companies with an incident response plan that they test regularly feel fully prepared for a cyberattack.

That's the difference between being proactive and scrambling to react. A solid framework is essential for boosting your cybersecurity game, protecting your virtual and physical assets, keeping your customers confident, and ultimately, keeping that bottom line strong.

Frequently Asked Questions


What are the key phases of incident response as outlined in frameworks like NIST SP 800-61?

The key phases of incident response as outlined in frameworks like NIST SP 800-61 include preparation, detection and analysis, containment, eradication, and recovery. These phases coalesce into an organized response strategy.

How can businesses enhance their resilience by adopting best practices in incident response?

Businesses can enhance their resilience by adopting best practices in incident response such as establishing cross-functional incident response teams, having clear incident response plans, real-time monitoring, effective containment strategies, thorough eradication processes, structured recovery plans, and continuous monitoring to detect and recover from incidents.

What is the impact of well-tested incident response teams and plans on breach costs?

Businesses that leverage well-tested incident response teams and plans reportedly save significantly on breach costs, highlighting the fiscal prudence of investing in cybersecurity readiness.

How does effective data recovery play a role in post-incident recovery?

Effective data recovery plays a pivotal role post-incident, with strategies involving implementing regular encrypted backups, using reliable data recovery software, conducting data recovery drills, and continuous monitoring to ensure quick detection and recovery from future incidents.

What were some key measures taken by Equifax in their incident response and recovery following the data breach?

Some key measures taken by Equifax in their incident response and recovery following the data breach included a comprehensive investigation led by Mandiant, offering credit monitoring services to affected consumers, enhancing security with advanced encryption techniques, and investing $1.25 billion in security enhancements post-breach.

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Ludo Fourrage

Founder and CEO

Ludovic (Ludo) Fourrage is an education industry veteran, named in 2017 as a Learning Technology Leader by Training Magazine. Before founding Nucamp, Ludo spent 18 years at Microsoft where he led innovation in the learning space. As the Senior Director of Digital Learning at this same company, Ludo led the development of the first of its kind 'YouTube for the Enterprise'. More recently, he delivered one of the most successful Corporate MOOC programs in partnership with top business schools and consulting organizations, i.e. INSEAD, Wharton, London Business School, and Accenture, to name a few. ​With the belief that the right education for everyone is an achievable goal, Ludo leads the nucamp team in the quest to make quality education accessible