Your company's emergency IT response team is crucial to survival and execution of a business continuity plan in the event of a cyber-attack or IT system failure. If for any reason your IT systems are attacked or go offline, there need to be people in place that have pre-defined roles for dealing with these situations quickly and efficiently. In the event of an IT emergency, this team can respond immediately to identify and fix errors, getting systems back up and running before any lasting damage is caused.
What is a Computer Security Incident Response Team?
A Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) is a part of your organisation or outside party that receives reports of security breaches, analyses such reports, and responds to the senders. An internal CSIRT can be assembled as part of your existing organisation, or you may employ outside expertise such as government, university, or security firms that specialise in cyber attacks and have the necessary tools to respond and fix errors quickly.
A computer security incident can involve a real or a suspected breach to all systems and IT infrastructure or a business or organization. Typical incidents involve the introduction of viruses or worms into a computer network. DoS (Denial of Service) attacks and any unauthorized tampering with software or hardware by hackers or outside parties are also commonplace and require professional attention immediately after detection.
IT Response Team Roles:
Your business or organisation may identify several positions or roles within the IT response team. These are not limited to but may include:
Incident Response Manager:
The role of the Incident Response Manager is to oversee and prioritize actions during the detection, analysis and containment of an incident. They are also responsible for making sure all software and hardware has optimum levels of protection in place to alert and protect the business in the event of a security breach.
They will oversee the rest of the response team and allocate priorities to different members for best practice in an emergency situation.
Time, location, and details of an incident need to be identified in order to successfully breach and treat the affected area of your business. Either a single person, or a team of security analysts will work to recover this information and report back to the Incident Response Manager in order to work together and get to the bottom of a breach.
Analysts can decipher false alarms and serious threats to a business by monitoring software and the types of threat that appear at any given time.
The role of a Threat Researcher involves trawling through the internet and using previous threat records to identify potential threats that may disrupt the business. They work closely with the Security Analysts and Incident Response Managers to deal with any threats and track big viruses when they are released on the internet to unsuspecting victims.
It's not just the IT response team that need to be aware of the dangers that are prevalent in the IT world. Managers, HR teams, and PR teams all need to be briefed on any threats received, especially if they involve members of your in-house team or a wider threat to customer security and personal information. You may need to use your PR team in order to restore confidence in your customers and stakeholders should any sensitive information or data be leaked or compromised.
You may also need to rely on your HR team to discipline any employees that may be involved in an internal threat or breach of IT regulations.
Communication is Critical:
Confidential communication throughout the duration of an IT security threat is crucial. The Incident Response Manager needs to be the central point for all communications across the business. It's important that information is kept secure and that everybody is on the same page when understanding and dealing with the severity of a threat.
Also, communication channels must be kept secure in case the person on organization responsible for the threat is monitoring your internal or external communications. Although rare, some hackers are violently malicious and expect large ransoms in return for restoring order within an organization. Therefore, they will stop at nothing to disrupt and damage a business in order to demand money for returning systems to a functioning level.
Hiring for your IT Response Team:
After checking the credentials of all employees to see if anyone can deal with your IT security issues from within your company, the next step is to consider hiring from outside your business.
Look closely for people that are well connected to the cyber security industry. Be sure to verify and check the credentials of potential hires before making any hiring decisions. As the cyber security industry is fairly tight knit, you can always double check references that have been produced by potential employees.
With everything verified, you may be able to ask your new hire to train up relevant members of your existing team in order to strengthen your options when the business receives an IT threat.
Ask your cyber security expert to double check that you have all the latest software installed for monitoring and supporting your IT team when a threat is imminent. You may find out that you've been paying too much for software that isn't particularly relevant to your industry, or that you need to update your systems in order to keep up with advances in cyber threat technology.
By using the information given in this post, you will be ready to face a cyber security or IT problem before it occurs.This will help to save time, energy, and money whilst maintaining trust and protecting the information about your business, and the credentials of your customers.
If customer information is ever leaked, this can cause massive amounts of damage to a company, especially if this information is leaked to the press. Therefore, it's crucial for all businesses to have an IT response team in place.