Building the Right Incident Response Team for Your Business

A cybersecurity incident is one of the most frightening risks facing an organization, especially one that depends heavily on sensitive data to deliver their products or services. Whether the company is relying on its internal IT personnel or partnering with a managed security services provider (MSSP), having the right incident response team in place can mean the difference between rapid response and remediation and an ongoing security threat that compromises essential data and applications.

What is an Incident Response Team?

An incident response team (IRT) is tasked with handling the detection, containment, and remediation of cybersecurity incidents for an organization. Typically, this team will be responsible for monitoring threat intelligence feeds, managing intrusion detection systems, conducting vulnerability assessments, and analyzing forensic data. An incident response team will also typically play a role in the development of the organization’s incident response plan, which establishes the processes and procedures that the team will follow in the event of a cybersecurity incident.

The team itself may not be performing these tasks at all times. Each member will likely have other responsibilities within the company in addition to their incident response team obligations. During periods of calm, the team should meet frequently (at least once each quarter) to evaluate the organization’s current security status and review the incident response plan. They can use this time to review data, discuss existing cybersecurity trends, and make recommendations for improvements or changes.

During a time of crisis, however, the incident response team needs to work together to resolve issues quickly and calmly. They need to be able to identify what technical actions should be taken to address the incident to minimize damage, but after the threat has passed, they also need to be able to determine what happened and how the same incident can be avoided in the future. While it’s easy to focus on the technical side of cybersecurity measures, the incident response team needs to deal with non-technical aspects as well, such as communicating security policies to employees, addressing legal issues, and responding to personnel issues related to insider threats.

Who Needs to be on Your Incident Response Team?

A typical incident response team is a cross-functional team that draws its members from a variety of roles and departments across an organization. They typically include the following roles:

Team Lead/Manager

Typically the organization’s Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) or another member of the executive staff, this person is responsible for the overall coordination of the incident response team. They inform management about security incidents and work to ensure that the team gets the budget and resources it requires.

Technical Lead

This position requires extensive knowledge of cyber threats and incident response procedures. They’re responsible for managing the rest of the team and coordinating efforts when an incident actually occurs. In addition to documenting key processes and decisions, they produce forensic reports in the aftermath of incidents to address vulnerabilities.

Technical Subject Matter Experts

Depending on the size of the organization (or the MSSP), the incident response team could consist of several team members with different technical skills. People who specialize in system administration, network administration, programming, intrusion detection, and technical support are often necessary to carry out an incident response plan effectively. During periods of calm, they are responsible for implementing security measures devised by the team to address vulnerabilities and threats.

Legal Expert

Any organization that handles data or faces compliance guidelines needs to have a knowledgable legal expert who can ensure that policies and controls are aligned with the requirements stipulated by law. They should review and approve privacy policies, any disclosure agreements, and review employee policies to protect the organization from liability. In the event of an incident, they may also need to serve as a point of contact for law enforcement or other government authorities.

Communications/Public Relations

Typically a member of the marketing team, these individuals are responsible for issuing statements and answering questions in the event of a security incident. If there is a data breach, for instance, they will need to communicate with the media to disclose the incident and explain what steps are being taken to address the situation.

Outsourcing Your Incident Response Team

Putting together an incident response team can be a daunting challenge for many organizations, especially smaller businesses that simply don’t have the personnel resources to fill every role. That’s why companies often choose to outsource this role to a dedicated MSSP with the experience, tools, and proven track record necessary to design and implement an incident response strategy.

There are a number of advantages that come from outsourcing an incident response team:

  • Comprehensive incident response plan creation by expert cybersecurity consultants.
  • 24/7 security monitoring with state-of-the-art cybersecurity platforms.
  • Experienced forensic investigation and remediation of security issues.
  • Easy-to-reach technical support for any cybersecurity challenges facing internal teams.
  • Up-to-date knowledge base of the latest security trends and threats.
  • Accelerated incident response times and access to threat intelligence feeds.

Accelerate Your Incident Response Plan with Compuquip

As a leading cybersecurity MSSP partner, we’ve been helping companies throughout the state manage their security risks for decades. Our threat management and incident response services can not only help to prevent data breaches, but also ensure a rapid recovery in the aftermath of an incident. Whether you need a co-managed SIEM solution, access to threat intelligence feeds, or a crack incident response team that can keep your valuable data secure, Compuquip Cybersecurity has the tools and the experience to protect your business. Contact our team today to learn more about our cybersecurity solutions.