Automated Incident Response: Overview and How it Can Help

by | Nov 11, 2022 | Cybersecurity

IT executives around the world spend many restless nights wondering when the next cyberattack is going to attack their organizations, as well as how it will be done to undermine their company’s operations. According to research conducted by cybersecurity firm Check Point, the many sleepless nights appear to be warranted.

During the first six months of 2021, global cyberattacks against organizations increased by nearly 30 percent from the same six-month period in 2020. This is an alarming jump in cyberattacks given the first six months of 2020 represented the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw a record number of companies become highly vulnerable to cybersecurity issues because of the paradigm workplace shift from onsite to remote work environments. As we move towards the end of 2022, if your organization has not implemented an effective process that responds to cyberattacks such as ransomware, phishing, and SQL injections, your company runs the risk of losing a substantial amount of money within just a short period.

The key to responding to cyberattacks in a timely manner lies in establishing an automated incident response plan. Let’s discover what defines an automated incident response plan and how one implemented by your organization can help protect it against substantial financial losses.

What Does Automated Incident Response Mean?

An automated incident response plan refers to your company’s ability to discover, investigate, and then respond to cyberattacks before they become a financial burden. Responding to cyberattacks historically has fallen on the shoulders of professionals that monitored Internet traffic, investigated suspicious activities, and followed procedures to mitigate the negative impact of digital onslaughts.

As the name suggests, an automated incident response plan removes the human element from the cyberattack monitoring equation by automating repetitive tasks that decrease the amount of time it takes to detect and respond to threats online. Automated incident response represents a 24 hours per day, seven days a week cybersecurity program that strengthens the digital awareness protocols established by organizations across all types of industries that also includes nonprofits and government agencies.

The foundational advantage of implementing an effective automated response plan concerns the speed of responding to cyberattacks. Relying on the human element for responding to cyberattacks makes an organization vulnerable to sustaining significant damage because of the amount of time it takes for implementing the proper steps. An automated incident response plan dramatically reduces the amount of time your organization takes to respond to cyberattacks and thus, protects sensitive and often proprietary data and information.

How Should I Implement an Automated Incident Response Plan?

Staying several steps ahead of cyber criminals means changing the response paradigm from manual to automated reviews. How your organization develops and implements an automated incident response plan depends on what areas of a manual response plan your organization prioritize to become part of an automated incident response strategy. The strategy to automate incident responses should come from the input of every member of your company’s IT team.

One of the most common ways to automate incident responses is to use a tool that automates data collection and analysis. Quickly gathering and analyzing data sets the table for the rest of an effective automated incident response strategy. From there, your organization can automate different responses to address specific types of cyberattacks, as well as conduct a detailed digital forensic investigation to prevent similar future cyberattacks. As automated response incident plans continue to evolve into more comprehensive strategies, your company should be able to develop more effective plans that automate both responses to and the management of security breaches.

What Factors Do I Need to Consider Before Implementing an Automated Incident Response Plan?

Before refining an automated incident response plan, the members of the IT team must consider several factors. First, you have to decide whether to run an automated incident response plan on an analyst workstation or have it implemented as a server. Second, you also have to consider which machines handle the software that deploys an automated incident response plan. Designating certain machines to handle the response to cyberattacks frees up more of your organization’s computing capabilities. Third, your IT team must determine whether implementing an automated response plan requires digital integration with other cybersecurity tools.

Installing a tool such as Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) provides your organization with an effective way to combat an influx of cybersecurity threats. This type of automated incident response tool combines alerts into a package that allows members of your IT team to respond quickly to cyberattacks.

Automated Incident Response: The Bottom Line

Implementing an automated incident response plan might not go smoothly at first because of timing and the performance of certain digital tools. However, creating a workflow that members of your IT team complete during a response to a cyberattack can help your organization slowly develop a detailed automated incident response plan that fends off the most sophisticated digital attacks.

Additional Cybersecurity Resources

Top Cybersecurity Certifications to Boost Your Career

The Ultimate Guide to Multi-Factor Authentication

What You Need to Know About Text-Based Smishing Attacks


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