It’s not enough to just have a cyber security plan

Decision-making and deployment

Once your cyber security incident response plan has been deployed, it’s all too easy to fall into complacency. But an effective incident response plan is an ongoing effort, evolving as your business changes and grows. 

Does your cyber security plan work in the real world?

Of course, the best laid plans may not prosper, but you won’t really know that until you’ve tested them. Playing out real-world scenarios and ensuring your cyber security incident response plan has the mettle for it, must be done. Don’t let overconfidence lull your team into complacency. Get testing! 

Vulnerability testing

Ensuring your internal network, and externally-facing company assets, are secure is a priority. But, to truly understand just how easy – or hopefully difficult! – it can be to gain access to these, you’ll need to conduct vulnerability testing. Vulnerability assessments function as problem-spotting programmes, identifying potential threats to your business, the risks they pose, and spotting any loopholes in your networks. Use the results of your vulnerability assessment to update and enhance your cyber security incident response plan. 

Real-world scenario testing

Simulating a cyber attack so that you can be sure of your company’s ability to respond, is a must. Consider these as important as fire drills and office evacuation exercises. We recommend three levels of testing for your company’s internal teams:

  • Executive level testing: At this level, your executive team, management, and public relations teams must know what to do and how to respond to every possible scenario. A cyber security incident is not just a technical problem; it can become a communications crisis too. 
  • Response team testing: Your IT department and its service providers will be first to the front when a cyber attack compromises the integrity of your business’ digital assets. How quickly do they respond, and who is responsible for ensuring every policy and procedure is followed? 
  • End-user testing: You may think that your data capturing team, call centre agents, and secretaries, have a minor role to play in a cyber security incident response plan. You’d be wrong. The people who work at the front line of your business are an important part of your response mechanisms and play an even greater role in managing queries, helping customers understand the effects of a cyber attack, and communicating how your company is responding to one. Skipping this level of testing would be very foolish indeed. 

Debrief and decide

Here’s the big thing: cyber security incidents happen. Accidents happen. Slip-ups happen. Being prepared for them, taking ownership of them, and then resolving any problems that may have occurred as a result of a cyber security incident, must be the priority. Debriefing your team after testing your cyber security incident response plan, will give you great insight into how to rolls out on the floor of your business. Insights from your teams at the coalface can help you improve your response at every level of your business. Debrief, make decisions, and then improve your cyber security incident response plan, as you need to. 

At ProPrivacy, we help companies like yours gear up for the battle of ensuring they stay secure. Get in touch and we’ll help you test your cyber security incident response plan.

Cath Jenkin

Written By Cath Jenkin

As a communications consultant and freelance writer, Cath has helped more than 100 brands, businesses, and people, find the right words to tell their important stories. Cath points her cursor and bashes her keyboard to create useful, reliable content for people who want to learn more about blockchain technologies, finance, property, online safety & information security.

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