What is Event/Incident Response?
Event Response is a key process within any business continuity or incident management program. Similarly, Incident Response is a key process that refers more specifically to reaction to IT-related risk events, such as a data breach. Both processes involve the planning and execution involved in an organization’s reaction to any event that impacts their operations, service or functions. Having an annual schedule of updating your event and incident response plans can help your business stay on track with a clear timeframe and ensure you’re staying on top of the ever-changing risks posed to your organization.
A strong event/incident response plan should enable your organization to keep operations up and running (at least at a minimal level) in the midst of a crisis (e.g. a hurricane, data breach, pandemic, etc.). Being able to respond quickly to an interruption helps maintain business resiliency. Your plans should provide clear guidelines for if the time comes to respond to an incident/event; there should be no question for employees across all departments about how to move forward, which is why responses should be outlined on various levels.
Taking a risk-based approach from the start enables you to lay out what is most vital to keep running and determine what could stand to be paused until a later date. In order to optimize time and resources, it’s critical for stakeholders contributing to response plans to provide honest, transparent recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives.
Here are just a few ways risks can materialize when you forego having a mature Event Response plan in place:
- Maintaining a comprehensive BCP is very resource-intensive without the right software; employees’ valuable time and energy are spent manually carrying out administrative tasks instead of focusing on achieving long-term, strategic goals.
- If you’re not prepared following disaster, you may not be able to fix interruptions in your critical lines of business. This can lead to severe financial impacts.
- A lack of preparedness and subsequent revenue loss can decrease stakeholder and consumer trust. Lower market valuations and customer retention rates lead to – once again – negative financial impacts.
- Should there be any form of legal charges brought against you, you’ll have no defense if you’re unable to prove that there was anything you could do to prevent the event from happening in the first place.
- Immediately following an event, it’s critical to track remediation efforts to provide a paper trail for future auditors and regulators (and most importantly, to ensure you do not make the same mistake twice).