5 Benefits of Having a Proactive Incident Response Plan

by Brad Garland
As technology changes and evolves, staying up to date means continuing to grow, develop, and improve practices to mitigate risk. This leads to multiple methods available for securing and protecting your environment, and, unfortunately, expanding opportunities for security threats. No matter how hard you work, even the best network in the world isn't immune to incidents.proactive-plan.jpg

Taking a proactive approach to security is often a big part of standing fast against threats. Too many companies take a reactive approach, creating strategies of attack if a breach occurs. Unfortunately, this leaves your systems vulnerable; the mindset of "if" versus "when" can put blinders on, obscuring an ability to foresee danger on the horizon. A proactive incident response plan takes an alternate stance, admitting that the possibility of a threat is always lingering and thus focuses on preparing a system accordingly.

When used appropriately, a proactive response plan aims to use electronically stored information efficiently to reduce risk while maximizing an organization's ability to gather digital evidence. By executing a proactive plan versus a reactive plan, you can implement the measures necessary to benefit your business. This can also help you increase reaction or identification time for a potential event.

Crime Prevention

One of the biggest assets of an effective proactive incident response plan is a better ability to prevent crime. Cyber threats are, unfortunately, exceedingly common, especially when your company has something valuable to offer, like healthcare information or personal financial records.

Rather than living in fear, a proactive plan makes it easier to see when these kinds of threats are forthcoming. Thinking proactively offers numerous advantages to your crime prevention strategies, allowing you to better detect malicious activity and abnormalities. The more you know about your environment in a normal state, the quicker you will be able to identify an incident in the early stages. Rather than striking back after an assault has been initiated, you can do your best to stop an attack in its tracks when appropriate proactive measures are in place.

Reduced Investigative Costs

Facing a cyber attack comes with many necessary tasks, from investigating the source of a breach to implementing additional security measures to prevent current weaknesses from leading to further complications. Companies who do not prepare for the enduring possibility of attack are often shell shocked when something happens, making the investigation process longer and harder than ultimately necessary, but those who do are much more likely to be ready to take action.

A proactive incident response plan assumes that incidents are always possible, which makes acting on an issue much easier. Engaging with or, at the very least, identifying reputable outside resources can help reduce the price and turnaround time of negotiating during an incident. In addition, you won't lose any time looking, vetting, and contacting investigative agencies; instead, you'll be ready for anything at the first sign of trouble. No one wants to keep investigative resources on speed dial, but when something happens, you'll be glad the connections are there.

Targeted Security Monitoring

When you aren't expecting an attack, a surprise problem can create an internal panic, forcing you to channel all of your resources into figuring out what happened. This may seem like a good use of time and energy while in the midst of fighting back, but in reality, all you're doing is leaving yourself vulnerable. When an organization is reacting to an incident, security controls are somewhat limited, which makes it more likely that an additional problem can catch you unawares while you're distracted by what happened.targeted security monitoring

By using a proactive approach, your company has a better opportunity to implement targeted security monitoring that can identify many types of threats before they increase in severity, providing you with an opportunity to mitigate future problems. When you're expecting an attack, you can put a game plan in place for how to respond to a crisis while still staying on top of current security practices.

Confidence of Clients and Investors

If you were looking to invest in a company or hire a company to provide services for you or your family, would you trust someone with a history of bungled security issues? How a business responds to a breach can be a huge deciding factor in public perception and consumer trust, whether creating a responsible persona or highlighting procedural failures. It only takes one publicized problem to seriously harm a reputation, making your response plans extremely valuable.

With a more proactive plan in place, organizations are better able to respond appropriately to incidents. By implementing a higher level of "security maturity," it's possible to grow investor and client confidence, both in security and across the board. A proactive plan can help reduce reputation risk during and in the aftermath of an incident, putting your company in a much better overall position.

Avoidance of Penalties

A security breach can feel like your world is crashing down around you, but some problems aren't exclusively internal. Depending on the nature of your company and the kind of incident in question, outside authorities may require involvement. Law enforcement agencies may request the immediate release of any electronic info or related data at any time, and if you don't have a plan in place for organization, there may be additional trouble on the horizon.

A proactive incident response plan lets you make necessary information readily available, allowing you to avoid any legal penalties by presenting forensically sound data quickly and efficiently. A reactive plan doesn't afford the same flexibility, forcing you to collect information while in the midst of managing an unforeseen situation. This can seriously interfere with your security practices and procedures, taking eyes off of your network and wasting time that could be devoted to rebuilding defenses.

Rather than building the wall higher and higher in an attempt to stop a security breach through reactive planning, a proactive plan can be the asset your company deserves. When you want to do right by your business, the proper professional resources can be a major advantage. Contact us today to learn more about how you can implement a proactive incident response plan to increase the effectiveness of risk management while safeguarding your business against attack.
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