Computer Incident Response Teams & Incident Response Policy

By | November 25, 2016
Computer Incident Response Teams & Incident Response Policy

Computer Incident Response Teams & Incident Response Policy


Computer Incident Response Teams & Incident Response Policy

Revised July 01, 2023

Computer Incident Response Teams (CIRTs or IRTs) play a crucial role in information security incident response. The effectiveness of incident response relies on careful planning and practice. An Incident Response Policy serves as a guiding document that outlines the necessary steps to be followed during an incident and provides specific requirements for the team to fulfill their tasks.

Key components of an effective Incident Response Policy include:

  1. Communication:
    • Establishing internal and external communication channels to coordinate incident response efforts.
    • Defining communication protocols for team members and stakeholders involved in the incident response process.
  2. Escalation Notification:
    • Outlining the escalation procedures to notify appropriate individuals or teams about the incident based on its severity and impact.
    • Setting up mechanisms to ensure timely and accurate reporting of incidents to management and relevant stakeholders.
  3. Incident Tracking Forms:
    • Implementing standardized incident tracking forms or templates to capture essential information about each incident.
    • Ensuring consistent and thorough documentation of incident details, actions taken, and their outcomes.
  4. Incident Reporting and Documentation:
    • Establishing procedures for reporting incidents to regulatory bodies, legal entities, or other external parties as required.
    • Maintaining comprehensive documentation of incident response activities, which can serve as a reference for future incidents and regulatory compliance.
  5. Investigation Checklists by Technology Platform:
    • Developing checklists specific to different technology platforms (e.g., servers, network devices, applications) to guide the investigation process.
    • Outlining key steps and tools to be used during the investigation, ensuring a systematic approach to identifying and analyzing incidents.
  6. Remediation Checklists by Risk and Threat Classification:
    • Creating checklists that categorize incidents based on their risk and threat level.
    • Providing detailed remediation steps and actions for each category to facilitate a structured and efficient response.
  7. Security Information Event Management:
    • Implementing a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system to collect, correlate, and analyze security event data.
    • Enabling real-time monitoring and detection of potential incidents and anomalies.
  8. Evidence Collection and Handling:
    • Establishing procedures for collecting and preserving digital evidence in a forensically sound manner.
    • Ensuring proper documentation of evidence chain of custody to maintain its integrity and admissibility in legal proceedings, if necessary.
  9. Forensics Investigation and Documentation:
    • Defining processes and guidelines for conducting forensic investigations to determine the root cause of incidents and gather supporting evidence.
    • Documenting findings, analysis, and any remediation actions taken during the investigation.
  10. Data Retention and Destruction:
    • Establishing policies and procedures for the retention and disposal of incident-related data in compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
    • Safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of sensitive information throughout its lifecycle.
  11. Non-Disclosure Agreements:
    • Implementing non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with internal and external parties involved in incident response to maintain confidentiality and protect sensitive information.

During the incident response process, the following steps are typically followed:

  1. Identification:
    • Locating and identifying incidents that have occurred within the environment.
    • Assessing the scope and impact of the incidents.
  2. Containment:
    • Taking actions to minimize further damage, ensure business continuity, and prevent additional attacks.
    • Implementing measures such as blocking attack signatures or applying content filtering to restrict malicious activities.
  3. Eradication:
    • Collaborating with network, systems, or application personnel to address the underlying cause of the incident.
    • Gathering evidence while resolving the issue and removing any artifacts from affected systems.
  4. Recovery:
    • Prioritizing and implementing a phased approach to restore affected systems and services.
    • Coordinating actions such as deploying new technologies, applying patch updates, or rebuilding systems to ensure a secure and functional environment.

     5. Review and Lessons Learned:

    • Conduct a thorough review of the incident response process and procedures.
    • Analyze the effectiveness of the incident response team’s actions during the incident.
    • Identify any gaps or weaknesses in the incident response plan.
    • Assess the timeliness and accuracy of communication during the incident.
    • Evaluate the containment measures taken and their success in minimizing damage and preventing further attacks.
    • Review the eradication efforts and ensure that all artifacts related to the incident are properly addressed and removed.
    • Assess the recovery phase and determine if it was executed in a prioritized and coordinated manner.
    • Identify any areas where additional training or resources may be needed for future incidents.
    • Document lessons learned from the incident and incorporate them into the incident response policy and procedures.
    • Continuously improve the incident response process based on the review and lessons learned.

Please note that this article is for informational purposes only and should be adapted to suit the specific incident response requirements of individual organizations.


References and Related Articles

Additional Articles

Enhancing Cybersecurity with National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Information System Acceptable Use Policy (AUP)

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IT & Security Framework and Policy Development Team

Exploring the Implications of Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence in Texas Higher Education: Ethical Considerations, Privacy, and Security

Note: This article has been drafted and improved with the assistance of AI, incorporating ChatGTP suggestions and revisions to enhance clarity and coherence. The original research, decision-making, and final content selection were performed by a human author.


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