A cyber incident response plan is an officially documented strategy containing guidelines and policies for handling unexpected events such as cyberattacks and data breaches. This plan is the final piece in every cybersecurity preparedness framework. In addition to drafting response procedures and policies for allocating resources, formulating a cyber response plan also involves staff cybersecurity training.
Many organizations don’t realize that employees are an integral part of incidence response planning. This is somewhat ironic, given that human error is the leading cause of data breaches. Yet despite this, only a fraction of employees receive regular cybersecurity training, if any at all. As a result, even the most elaborate incident response plan is incomplete without the staff on board. Crucially, a big part of security planning hinges on how well the employees can identify, handle, and eliminate an imminent threat.
To drive this point home, here are five reasons why cybersecurity training is vital in incident response planning and overall security posture.
Reduce incident response time
Training your employees on what to expect and how to act in the midst of a cyberattack can have a vast impact on the steps to follow after the attack. An IT outage or cyberattack can quickly spark panic and confusion among employees. This type of response is what you don’t want during an IT crisis. Instead, train your employees to work as a team and take the necessary actions. Taking the necessary steps will help resolve issues quickly and efficiently, minimizing response time and downtime.
Minimize business risk
Although cybersecurity training does not guarantee immunity from attacks, well-trained managerial and IT staff can help minimize damage during a successful attack. One of the crucial steps in responding to threats is containment. Employees equipped with the knowledge of cybersecurity best practices can significantly limit the risk just by having the basic education in what to do before, during and after an attack.
Additionally, the response team can activate pre-planned continuity procedures to ensure that all mission-critical functions of the business remain unaffected by an ongoing attack. Remember, a critical incident response goal is damage control.
Maintain customer trust and protect business reputation
Incident preparedness is primarily about technical procedures, but there’s also a social responsibility element to it. Employees need cybersecurity training to learn sensitive and helpful ways to handle breach incidents without ruining the brand’s reputation or breaking customer trust.
For instance, the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) requires all covered organizations to report data breach incidents of a particular nature. However, these types of announcements can result in a PR nightmare if not handled professionally or in a coordinated manner. In some cases, employees leak sensitive attack details on public forums and social media that only stain a company’s image.
Enhance overall cybersecurity
In addition to responding to threats, training also covers cybersecurity best practices, security compliance, and employee accountability. The thing is, employees are by far the most significant cybersecurity liability. Still, through training, you can turn them into a powerful cybersecurity asset. Every system is only as strong as its weakest link. Security-cautious employees can drastically strengthen your cybersecurity stance.
It’s no surprise then that cybersecurity training is so closely tied to regulatory compliance. Data safety standards such as the HIPAA, FISMA, FACTA demand that employees undergo some level of security responsibility training.
The cyber threat landscape is constantly evolving
A practical cybersecurity incident response plan is not an option but a necessity in today’s dynamic cyber threat landscape. The threat landscape is also constantly changing. That’s why it’s important to work with a partner that is aware of current threats and how to handle them. It’s all well and good to invest in proactive security measures, but not at the expense of incident responsiveness. In the unfortunate case of an attack, breach, or IT failure, it’s all-hands-on-deck to deal with the situation.
Developing a cyber incident response plan can get complicated fast. Work with a digital security expert to ensure you cover all the bases. Contact KME Systems today to help your organization create a solid response plan incorporating the human factor as a security asset.