incident response planning mistakes

Channel Insider content and product recommendations are editorially independent. We may make money when you click on links to our partners. Learn More.

Although ransomware attacks decreased from nearly 189 million to 133 million between the second and fourth quarters of 2021, they hit a new high during the first half of 2022, with 236.1 million attacks worldwide. These numbers show that cyberattacks are happening more frequently, yet most companies are still unprepared to deal with them via an incident response management plan, which can lead to costly mistakes.

Top 4 Incident Response Planning Mistakes

Businesses face several common challenges when responding to ransomware attacks. If they don’t implement incident response plans, understand their own environment, work with the right vendors, or test backups, their response won’t be effective and recovery will take longer. Below, we’ll look at these four common mistakes in more detail.

Failing to implement a response plan

An incident response plan helps you detect, respond to, and recover from breaches in network security. Such plans address problems like data loss, cybercrime, and service outages threatening daily work. As simple as it may sound, most businesses fail to implement a solid response plan.

Here’s what your plan should include to inform and guide your response to an incident:

  • Parameters to define an incident with all the relevant legal and regulatory requirements
  • An incident response team, including members and roles (e.g., who will perform forensics and analysis)
  • Methods for preserving and collecting evidence with specific procedures to restore services

Lacking an understanding of your own environment

To effectively respond to incidents, you must have a clear overview of your company’s on-premises and cloud environments along with its security tools and policies. Businesses that don’t prioritize this information are likely to struggle to support a comprehensive investigation, since their security team won’t have the right tools and information to deal with the attack. They’ll also fail to provide key indicators about the nature of the incident.

A lack of documentation relating to your environment can ultimately increase the investigation costs, as incident responders will charge for the time they spend tracking down the information.

Working with the wrong vendors

Under the pressure of dealing with an incident as quickly as possible, businesses tend to rush the decision of which incident response consultant to use. The best way to minimize risk is to develop a strong long-term partnership with a reputable service provider.

Having a quality incident response consultant not only helps your organization meet the specific requirements of your environment but also deals with the attack in the most efficient manner. Ideally, select consultants with proven incident response experience, and go for the ones that are available 24/7 remotely or on-site. They should offer cost-effective services and be flexible enough to meet your needs.

Failing to test backups

It’s crucial to review your backups regularly to ensure they’re serving their purpose since ransomware backups play a key role in defending your organization against cyber incidents and especially ransomware attacks. In addition, test the restore speed of complete system backups so you can reach the fastest speed irrespective of the type and nature of the incident.

If you’re one of the many organizations that rely on cloud service providers, make sure your contract covers incident response. Having the right type of agreement with your provider can help your company maintain access of forensic images of your emails, servers, and other assets that are stored remotely.

Can Automation Help Businesses Avoid These Mistakes?

Automation can play a big role in dealing with ransomware attacks and stop them eventually by enabling automated incident detection.

Some companies are catering to the needs of the business world with solutions that provide a fast and simple way for teams to collaborate and manage their response. Platforms like Challo help you create tasks, coordinate with your team, and reference resources, which eventually increases the effectiveness of your response and accelerates resolution time.

Most ransomware attacks target medium or large enterprises, and for obvious reasons — they have a larger attack surface with more unguarded entry points. Medium or large enterprises also have diverse teams all across the globe that use countless apps and technologies, increasing the chances of network and security breaches.

More than half of ransomware attacks target four industries: public administration, healthcare, banking, and retail. Businesses can use automation to enable quick incident detection, isolate infected devices, disable hijacked user accounts, and enforce zero-trust systems.

Bottom Line: Incident Response Planning Mistakes

Businesses need to create an effective incident response plan to deal with ransomware attacks. To get started, determine the critical components and single points of failure in your network and address them. Next, create a workforce continuity plan and train your staff on incident response. Finally, look into enhancing your plan through an automation platform.