An Overview of the Incident Response Process

Contrary to public perception, incident response is a process and not a one-off event. To make incident response successful, teams need to use a harmonized and organized strategy to approach any incident.

These are the five key steps that compose an effective incident response program:

Preparation
Where To Start with Companies and More

Preparation is the core of every incident response that works. Even the best men cannot work effectively without preset guidelines. A solid plan should be there to support the team. Development and documentation of IR policies, threat intelligence feeds, cyber hunting exercises and communication guidelines are the most crucial elements of this plan.
The Essentials of Companies – Revisited

Detection and Reporting

This part is concerned with monitoring security events for detecting, alerting and reporting foreseen security incidents.

* Security event monitoring is possible with the help of intrusion prevention systems, firewalls, and data loss control measures.

* To detect potential security incidents, the team should correlate alerts within an SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) solution.

* Prior to issuing alerts, analysts make an incident ticket, document their initial findings, and then designate an initial incident classification.

* A report must leave space for regulatory reporting escalations.

Triage and Analysis

This is where most efforts to properly scope and understand the security incident takes place. Resources must be utilized to gather data from tools and systems for deeper analysis and to spot compromise indicators. Team members must be very skilled and knowledgeable in live system responses and digital forensics, along with malware and memory analysis.

As evidence is gathered, analysts must concentrate focus on three main areas:

a. Endpoint Analysis

> Know the tracks left by the threat actor

> Obtain artifacts to create activity timeline

> Conduct a forensic analysis of a detailed copy of systems, and have RAM scan through and point to key artifacts to know what transpired on a device

b. Binary Analysis

> Check into suspicious binaries or tools utilized by the attacker and document the abilities of those these programs.

Enterprise Hunting

> Go through presently used systems and event log technologies and determine the extent of compromise.

< Document all affected accounts, machines, etc. to control and neutralize damage.

Containment and Neutralization

This counts among the most critical steps of incident response. The approach for containment and neutralization is developed from the intelligence and compromise indicators gathered found in the analysis phase. Normal operations can resume once the system has been restored and security has been verified.

Post-Incident Activity

After the incident has been resolved, there is still more work to do. All information useful in the prevention of similar problems in the future should be documented. This step can be divided into the following:

> incident report completion to enhance the incident response plan and avoid similar security issues in the future

> ponst-incident monitoring to stop the reappearance of the threat actors

> updates of threat intelligence feeds

> identifying measures for preventive maintenance

> improving internal coordination in the organization to implement new security measures properly