Incident Response – The Five Steps
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.
Below are the five main steps that make a reliable effective incident response program:
At the core of every incident response program that works, is preparation. Even the best people cannot effectively tackle an incident if there are no predetermined 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.
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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.
* Before alerts are issued, analysts create an incident ticket, present initial findings, and lay down a preliminary incident classification.
* A report must leave space for regulatory reporting escalations.
Triage and Analysis
This is where most of the effort in correctly scoping and understanding the security incident occurs. Resources must be utilized to gather data from tools and systems for deeper analysis and to spot compromise indicators. People must be knowledgeable and skilled in live memory and malware analysis, digital forensic and live system responses.
In gathering evidence, analysts must focus on three vital areas:
a. Endpoint Analysis
> Determine the tracks of the threat actor
> Obtain artifacts to create activity timeline
> Conduct a forensic examination of a bit-for-bit copy of systems, and get RAM to parse through and spot key artifacts for determining what happened in a device
b. Binary Analysis
> Check dubious binaries or tools the attacker used and document those programs’ functionalities.
> Study existing systems and event log technologies to know the range 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.
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:
> completion of incident report for the improvement of the incident response plan and prevention of similar security problems in the future
> post-incident monitoring to keep threat actors from reappearing
> updates of threat intelligence feeds
> identifying preventative measures> identifying preventative techniques
> improving internal coordination in the organization to implement new security measures properly