The Value of a Comprehensive Incident Response Plan

on January 2nd, 2017
Big data

In today’s world of big data, a comprehensive incident response plan is necessary for all businesses. Your company needs to have a plan in place for when, not if, a portion of your business or customer data is compromised. Without such a plan, your business may start to look a little like Yahoo! in your customer’s eyes. Proactive incident response planning can help your business stand out as one doing everything possible to prevent and minimize these big data breaches.

Great Idea, What Now?

The need for a plan isn’t new. In May of 2015, the Department of Justice issued their best practices for responding to a data breach. In that report, the DOJ mentions the importance of having specific steps and procedures to follow when responding to an incident.

Not only does an incident response plan need to list what to do, but also who should take each action. While writing on how to improve an incident response plan, Doug Drinkwater points out the many sources suggesting each team involved should have a specific role in the plan. He further adds that the teams involved need to include more than information technology or cyber security. Most importantly, ongoing plan testing and improvement helps ensure the most effective and prompt response when a data breach occurs.

Skip A Plan At Your Own Risk

What are the downsides of not having a plan in place? At the very least, your response is slow and data is compromised for longer than it would otherwise have been. There are over 40 different data breach notification statues you could go against without planning proper legal representation. Large businesses with poor data breach practices can also be torn apart by the media, from Target to Yahoo!, none are safe. The loss of customer and shareholder confidence can also be significant if a data breach is handled poorly.

Good Planning Can Avert Disaster

A comprehensive incident response plan, executed promptly and properly, can prevent a data breach from becoming a data disaster. The problem can be contained more rapidly. The root cause of the breach can be found and managed. Recovery from the breach can proceed much more quickly, getting your business back on track with the least amount of down-time possible. In some industries, regulatory compliance may require a solid data breach response plan.

In an ideal world, there is no need to worry about a data breach. Unfortunately, this is not an ideal world. Just as your company needs to prepare for a natural disaster, it needs to prepare for human disasters. A data breach by an outside party is one such disaster. Proper preparation can not only save face, it can minimize damage to your customers and business significantly.

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