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Top 10 Reasons to Have an IR Plan and Retainer

Posted July 11, 2022

Thinking about worst-case scenarios is not fun. However, anticipating and preparing for cyber threats not only protects your organization, but it also protects your customers. Combining a comprehensive incident response (IR) plan and incident response retainer can provide impactful benefits to any organization in any field.

Here are just 10 of these significant benefits:

  1. A cyber incident won’t force you to close your doors
    “Incident response and disaster recovery are essential to keeping your organization functioning in the face of an adverse event, which sometimes can be crippling… but does not necessarily need to be,” said Joe Vigorito, a leading cybersecurity expert, in a recent webinar on incident response. “Today, blended or multi-prong attacks are common and often sophisticated. Recovery from such attacks requires a tested IR plan as well as a strong team.”
  2. A cyber-attack or security breach will cost you significantly less
    Organizations with IR plans in place spend 25 to 50 percent less money and effort mitigating an attack versus those who don’t, shared Vigorito.

    Sixty percent of organizations targeted with ransomware pay the ransom. According to Vigorito, “Victims may feel they don’t have the wherewithal to recover from an attack without cooperating. They sense that paying and getting a decryption key will be faster than recovering from backups, but if you have good, solid, offline, tested backups, that is always the better (faster and less costly) approach.”

  3. You maximize the chances of getting cyber insurance payback
    Quick and expert response can enable you to identify the type of attack or ransomware variant and the origination or attacker. This attribution is key in determining whether your cyber insurance provider will pay your claim.
  4. You reduce the risk of reputational damage
    Proper digital forensic practices preserve evidence for potential use in criminal or civil litigation proceedings. “It is important for protecting the organization’s reputation from a statutory, regulatory, and even legal perspective.”
  5. You increase your chances of protecting your customer’s data
    Being prepared and minimizing the duration of compromise reduces the risk to your sensitive data.
  6. You’ll be confident that you are ready to resume operations safely
    A comprehensive IR plan can prevent your organization from attempting to recover impacted systems too quickly, risking additional compromise. With an IR retainer in place, experienced incident responders can contain and eradicate any threat before restoring operations.
  7. It gives you peace of mind
    Having an IR retainer gives you access to expert help when potentially malicious activity is found on your network. Quick analysis can mean the difference between identifying a false positive or ignoring a devastating threat.

    When combined with an effective vulnerability management program, having an IR plan and retainer means that you no longer need to worry that your institution may have vulnerabilities of which you are not aware, or live in dread of getting a call about an incident for which you are not fully prepared. You know that your trusted cybersecurity partners are only a phone call away and can rapidly deploy a team to remediate the threat.

  8. It helps you qualify for – and save money on – cyber insurance coverage
    Having an IR plan in place and practicing that plan is not only a requirement of many cyber insurance providers, it could also lower the cost of your premium. Think of it like car insurance costing less with regular maintenance and security features like an active alarm system.

    You’re more likely to pass audits with flying colors.

  9. It’s good to be prepared.
    Having an IR plan and practicing that plan through exercises called IR Tabletops means that all of your key players will be better prepared to respond to a security incident faster and more effectively, which in turn will minimize the impact on your customers and your organization.
  10. You need to!
    Many industry regulations such as CIP, PCI, ISO 27001/22301, GDPR, SOC-2, and others require you to have an IR plan in place and to regularly practice that plan to be in compliance.

GreyCastle Security offers expert assistance at every stage of Incident Response. To discuss your organization’s cybersecurity needs, send us a message, call us at (518) 274-7233, or note our Incident Response Hotline: 800-403-8350.


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