Risk Management

3 Reasons Why You Need an Incident Response Plan

When reputation, revenue, and customer trust is at stake, it’s critical that an organization can identify and respond to security incidents and events. Whether a breach is small or large, organizations need to have an incident response plan in place to mitigate the risks of being a victim of the latest cyber-attack.


Incident response strategies and plans layout what defines a breach, the roles and responsibilities of the security team, tools for managing a breach, steps that will need to be taken to address a security incident, how the incident will be investigated and communicated, and the notification requirements following a data breach.


Below are the three most important reasons why you need an incident response plan today. 


Protect Your Data

Protecting data is of importance both personally and professionally. By following an updated incident response plan, your team can proactively protect your data. Data in the wrong hands could be held for ransom when a hacker deploys ransomware (Wanna Cry, Petya, NotPetya, etc.) or when proprietary information is leaked to the public.


Protecting data assets throughout the incident response process includes countless tasks and responsibilities for the IR team. Important procedures include secure backups, leveraging logs and security alerts to detect malicious activity, proper identity and access management to avoid insider threats, and strong attention to patch management.


Protect Your Reputation & Customer Trust

IDC found that 78% of consumers would take their business elsewhere if directly affected by a data breach. If a security breach is not properly handled quickly, the company risks losing some or all its customer base. A data breach doesn’t instill confidence in your customers. You probably know by now that it can literally be a PR nightmare for organizations.


Not to mention, if your company is a publicly traded organization, investor and shareholder confidence can dramatically decrease following a publicized data breach. Just look at the stock prices for some of the largest data breaches within the last few years – Equifax, Target, Yahoo, Sony, and many more.


Protect Your Revenue

A thorough incident response process safeguards your organization from a potential loss of revenue. According to the Ponemon Institute’s 2017 Cost of Data Breach Study, the average cost of a data breach is $3.6 million. Consider the Home Depot breach, which involved more than 65 million customer credit and debit card accounts had a total breach cost of $62 million. With the Target data breach, more than 100 million customer records were exposed and resulted in a 10 percent drop in stock price.


Revenue is at stake with any impactful data breach. While your organization may not be a Home Depot or Target, your small to mid-size organization can still be greatly affected by a data breach. In fact, sixty percent of small and medium-sized businesses go out of business after six months following a data breach. Not only is direct company revenue at stake but also the costs for legal, remediation, forensic investigations, and regulatory and compliance fines when dealing with a security breach.


The faster your organization can detect and respond to a data breach or even security incidents the less likely it will have a significant impact on your data, customer trust, reputation, and a potential loss in revenue. If your organization doesn’t have an incident response process in place, consider leveraging a third-party managed security services provider to implement a customized approach for your business.


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