Incident Response and Management in Cybersecurity

The strategies and processes that firms use to recognise, address, and recover from cybersecurity events, including data breaches, cyberattacks, and system failures, are called incident response and management in cybersecurity. A component of event management, incident response refers to how an organisation deals with cyberattacks on a large scale and with various stakeholders from the executive, legal, HR, communications, and IT departments. A cybersecurity expert provides valuable insights and recommendations to improve the incident response and management processes, making the organisation better prepared for future security incidents.

In today's digital environment, cybersecurity risks are growing increasingly prevalent. Cybersecurity events can vary from minor security lapses to big data breaches that can seriously impact a company's standing and bottom line. Therefore, companies need to have an incident response and management strategy to lessen the effects of such accidents. 

Incident response and management in information security needs strong coordination between IT teams, security specialists, legal departments, and senior leadership to guarantee a rapid and efficient reaction to occurrences.

Steps in the Incident Response Process 

The incident response process typically involves the following steps:

  • Preparation: Examples of preparation include creating an incident response strategy, selecting the incident response team, and conducting training and test exercises.
  • Identification: Finding and confirming that an event has happened.
  • Containment: Limiting the incident's scope and effects is known as containment.
  • Analysis: Identifying the origin and extent of the phenomenon
  • Remove: Remove the incident's returns, and everything to normal.
  • Recovery: Assuring that normal operations have resumed and the problem has been satisfactorily fixed.

Key terms and concepts related to incident response and management

  • Incident response plan: A written, systematic process that explains how a company should respond to a cybersecurity problem.
  • Incident response team: A team responsible for planning and reacting to security events like cyber-attacks, data breaches, and systems failures.
  • Issue reaction process: The group of measures done by a company to answer a cybersecurity issue.
  • Cybersecurity incident: An event that undermines the confidentiality, integrity, or availability of an organisation's computer assets.
  • Cybersecurity incident management: How cybersecurity, DevOps, and IT professionals identify and react to issues in their business.

Incident Response Frameworks

Businesses employ an incident response framework, a structured process, to recognise, address, and resolve cybersecurity issues. It frequently involves several procedures: preparation, detection and analysis, seclusion, eradication, and complete recovery. Incident response frameworks from NIST, ISO, ISACA, and SANS are just a few of the options accessible. 

The four steps covered by the NIST framework are preparation and prevention, detection and analysis, containment, eradication, recovery, and post-incident operations. Preparation, identification, containment, eradication, and recovery are all covered under the SANS framework.

Incident Response Plan

An incident response plan is a document that outlines the procedures, steps, and duties of an organisation's incident response program. The following information is frequently included in incident response planning: 

  • How incident response contributes to the organisation's overall mission
  • The organisation's incident response strategy
  • The activities needed for each incident response phase
  • Roles and responsibilities for carrying out IR activities
  • Communication channels between the incident response team and the rest of the organisation
  • Metrics to measure the effectiveness of its IR capabilities.

Incident Response Team

During a cybersecurity crisis, an incident response team is responsible for assembling and aligning the necessary team members and resources to minimise damage and restore operations as soon as possible. 

The team's objectives include research and analysis, communication, awareness-raising, training, schedule formulation, and documentation. The team should detect and categorise security occurrences based on asset value and impact, maintain track of and educate team members on proper reporting processes, and assemble relevant data to assist incident response efforts.

Goals of Incident Management and Response

The goal of incident management and response is to quickly resume operations and reduce the impact of a cyber catastrophe. The main purpose of incident management is to deal with situations by making short or long-term repairs and restoring the IT service. The following are some of the objectives of incident management and response:

  • Verify something happened or make sure it didn't happen
  • Ensure or reinstate business continuity while reducing the impact of an incident
  • Determine the cause(s) of the occurrence.
  • Reduce the impact of upcoming events
  • Boost security and the purpose of the incident response strategy.
  • The pursuit of criminal conduct
  • Inform the relevant clients, staff, and management about the issue and your response.
  • Utilise what you've learned to improve the procedure.

To achieve these objectives, the incident management team should resolve events to decrease downtime to the company, communicate the key incidents' progress to the appropriate stakeholders, and guarantee SLAs don't breach for any reason. The incident management team should adopt standardised processes and procedures for effective and rapid response. The primary aims of an incident response technique are to identify, confine, remove, and reduce the time and expense of a cyber intrusion.

Incident Response and Management Best Practices

Here are some best practices for incident response and management:

  • Prepare systems and procedures: Carry out preventative measures, including fixing system weaknesses and setting security regulations. Create a comprehensive incident response strategy that includes an incident response's planning, discovery, analysis, control, and post-event cleanup stages.

  • Manage an event's lifecycle: Incident response management should include written documents outlining incident response processes. These procedures should include planning, identification, analysis, control, and post-event cleanup to cover the incident reaction process.

  • Pick the right tools: Businesses should pick the right tools to help them handle challenges. These tools ought to be easy to use, flexible, and scalable.

  • Automate communication and documentation: Using automation to ensure alerting of all stakeholders and complete recording of the crisis response process may help.

  • Maintain simplicity: While comprehensive, incident reaction plans must also be easy for staff to understand. A thorough plan could be challenging to implement under pressure.


Incident response and management in information security is a systematic method comprising procedures and tools for detecting, assessing, and responding to cybersecurity occurrences to minimise damage, recovery time, and total costs. Imarticus Learning offers a Post Graduate Program in Cybersecurity, a 6-month extensive programme designed to prepare students for cybersecurity expert, penetration tester, incident handler, and SOC team roles.

The full-time course is designed to assist students in finding lucrative employment in the cybersecurity industry. The course's curriculum guarantees a job and includes challenging lab work covering subjects like ethical hacking, incident response, and digital forensics.

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