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5 Advantages To Exercising Your Cyber Incident Response Plan

Published on 23/06/2021

According to IBM’s 2020 Cost Of A Data Breach Report, the average total cost of a successful breach in 2020 was $3.86 million. Can you afford not to put a robust Incident Response Plan in place? 

Whilst this cost includes the costs associated with detection and escalation, lost business, notification and communication activities, and ex-post response, it far outweighs the cost of introducing a pragmatic Incident Response Plan.

Effective Incident Response Planning ensures that you can respond efficiently to cyber attacks on your business, minimising the damage and disruption they can cause and enabling you to swiftly identify, contain, eradicate and remediate the threat. 

However, it is one thing to put the security controls and other mitigation measures in place, but in the event you are the victim of an attack you’ll need to understand the impact on your operations and key stakeholders and who is responsible for managing each step of your Incident Response Plan and what measures they need to take. 

That’s why testing and exercising your Incident Response Plans is just as important as developing them. Tabletop exercises and simulation scenarios provide you with an invaluable opportunity to identify what works and what doesn’t outside of a live threat. 

With that in mind, here are 5 advantages to exercising your cyber Incident Response Plan. 

1. Identify Areas For Improvement 

Exercising your cyber Incident Response Plan allows you to put your plans to the test and identify any weak points or areas for improvement and address them in advance of a real life crisis. 

2. Validation Of Areas Of Strength

An inversion of identifying areas of weakness, validating areas of strength is also important. However, as your business grows and your Incident Response Plan evolves it is important to review these areas of strength.

3. Preparing Your Team

By conducting a facilitated, simulated exercise of a cyber incident you’ll find out if your team works well together under pressure and whether collectively you have the right set of skills to handle the crisis at hand. Do you already have the right people in-house? Have you identified that an external consultant will need to be engaged to fill a specific skills gap?

4. Increased Operation Resillience

We know that a company’s capacity to recover rapidly, and with limited damage, from a crisis is directly associated with the quality of preparation. We also know that the more often you practice something, the better you get. In the short term, disruption to your operations can result in revenue loss and in the longer-term, reputational damage, which also affects the bottom line. The faster your organisation can recover from a cyber incident, the better. If you have exercised your plans, your team’s prior experience will enable faster (and more likely correct) decision making, which in turn aids in a speedier recovery.

5. Establish Flexibility

Whilst your Incident Response Plan will be created to help you overcome a wide variety of incidents, no crisis is ever exactly the same. When you have never handled a certain situation before it is easy to follow a set ‘script’ and wandering off-piste can be daunting. However, exercising your Incident Response Plan can help you become flexible when the situation throws a curveball at you. 

Hopefully your business will never need to call on your Cyber Incident Response Plan, but they should be in place and there for when you need them. Don’t wait until you are in the middle of a crisis before you exercise your Incident Response Plan for the first time, exercising your plan in advance will help you quickly and effectively identify, contain, eradicate and remediate a cyber threat, minimising damage and disruption to your business.

If you do think you have been the victim of a cyber attack or would like to speak to one of our specialists about protecting your organisation against cyber threats, please get in touch to speak to one of our specialists.

This article was published in partnership with our cyber security partners PGI.

© SES Secure Limited and, 2021. Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Financechain Limited trading as SES and, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

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