Redefining How Business Leaders Respond To An Incident
IT consultants and providers want to believe they have disaster recovery and business continuity all figured out. They set up back-ups and assume that no matter how terrible the disaster, they’ll be able to bounce back immediately.
However, we’re on a mission to help business leaders redefine how they respond to network incidents. The idea of winging it or the presumption that ‘everything will just work’ can lead to oversights that threaten organizational livelihood.
Why an Incident Response Plan is a Critical Part of Business IT Planning
The business landscape is more dependent on technology than ever before. Businesses in all industries have come to depend on at least a basic IT infrastructure to operate. Not surprisingly, as tech has come to dominate the operational business space completely, business leaders have had to pay closer attention to the threat of cyber-attacks and network incidents of all kinds.
Business leaders have a lot to consider since network incidents can take so many different forms. From outright cyber-attacks to employee error, network malfunction, or equipment breakdown, any network incident can take a huge toll on business operations. That’s why business leaders need to create dynamic and strategic incident response plans with their teams.
What to Consider When Drafting an Incident Response Plan for Your Business
The best way to protect your business against the costly and potentially devastating downtime of a network incident is to be proactive. Get a clear and cohesive incident response plan on paper. This way, when an incident occurs, you have a road map for responding to the incident swiftly and restoring secured business operations. Are you wondering how to get started? We’ve got you covered.
Here are the top five things to include in your incident response plan:
Establish Clear Roles And Responsibilities
In the chaos of a network incident, things are frazzled, and it can be easy to overlook important elements of the response and recovery process. That’s why you must assign roles and responsibilities clearly in your incident response plan. Everyone on your team should know exactly what they’re tasked with, in case of a network incident. Some businesses even designate a specific “incident response team” to isolate responsibilities and drive accountability through the entire process.
Take Stock of Strategic Resources and Tools
Be sure to create a detailed list of available resources and tools that could be deployed in the event of a network incident. By proactively organizing a list of strategic resources, you’re essentially stocking an emergency toolkit that can be tapped into as soon as an incident occurs.
Establish a Network & Data Recovery Process
When a network incident occurs, the first step in your response will be focused on restoring network functionality and securing business data. As such, your incident response plan should include detailed processes and procedures for efficiently restoring your network and locking down business data. Be sure to link each step of your incident response plan with the clear roles and responsibilities you’ve set out.
Develop a Proactive Business Continuity Plan
You also want to make sure a significant part of your incident response plan is about proactive prevention strategies. Develop a business continuity plan that has data-backup solutions and specific policies in place to ensure rebounding from a network incident isn’t an uphill battle. This step is all about protecting your bottom line. A network incident can hinder your ability to operate and provide services. Including business continuity strategies in your incident response plan helps you make sure business remains priority number one – even in the face of a network incident.
Draft Internal & External Communication Plans
Finally, you must make sure that your incident response plan includes proactive strategies for streamlining internal and external communication in the event of a network incident. Contact information should be organized and centralized for easy access. Communication channels should be designated ahead of time, with back-ups listed just in case. Team members should know who to contact for what information and how to reach them efficiently. Developing a master communication plan before an incident occurs will help ensure your overall incident response plan comes together as you’ve designed.
Support Matters: Getting Professional Help with Your Incident Response Plan
Now that we’ve gone over what you should include in a strategic incident response plan, and why they’re so important, there’s nothing left for you to do except start drafting yours! However, if you’re still a little lost on how to make all the moving pieces come together, we recommend reaching out to a team of IT professionals who have experience helping businesses plan for network incident response.
If you decide to call in back-up, the service provider you choose should:
- Have experience in incident response planning – An IT provider worth investing in should be able to give you concrete examples of how they’ve helped other businesses with incident response planning. They should know the ins and outs of preparing for the worst-case scenario. Bonus points if they can offer you testimonials from businesses in your industry!
- Understand business IT – The right IT provider will specialize in IT for business and will understand how important proactive incident response planning is. They’ll know how to optimize IT resources to support business objectives and incident response planning.
- Be committed to service and customization – Above all, a reliable IT provider will be one that is willing to go above and beyond to provide you customized service. This means getting to know your unique needs and the unique network threats that your business faces.
If your business is feeling unprepared and you’re ready to get on top of incident response planning, we welcome you to reach out to the team of experienced professionals at Palindrome Consulting. We have extensive experience helping businesses in all industries create dynamic and proactive incident response plans that actively mitigate risk and protect business continuity. We’ll work with you and your team at every level of the planning process, and we’ll always be on standby for support if and when a network incident occurs.