Investing financial and training resources into protecting and bolstering your company’s security operations center (SOC) will, first and foremost, go a long way toward safeguarding your digital assets from cyber-attacks. However, despite your best efforts, the potential for a data breach can never be eliminated. That is where the second benefit of a robust SOC incident response, shows its importance.
One of the hallmarks of a gold-standard SOC is its incident response capabilities. These should include a written, documented plan with the following facets:
- Preparation, including thorough training, response scenarios, drills, and advanced funding to support these initiatives.
- Identification of potential breach. This should include how it was discovered, by whom, the scope and impact, what operations have been affected, and the potential source.
- Containment of the breach to prevent the spread and further compromise. You should ensure that you have short- and long-term containment and redundancy strategies and backups in place.
- Eradication of the root cause. This includes removing malware, hardening and patching all systems, and updating or upgrading software.
- Recovery. Restore and return the affected systems to normal. Also, take steps to reduce the chances of a future breach, including file integrity monitoring, intrusion detection/protection, etc.
- Post-mortem. During this phase, you and your staff thoroughly discuss all aspects of the breach and the accompanying response. Careful documentation during this stage can serve as a highly instructional teaching tool for future teams.
Careful adherence to each of these phases of incident response can help your team build a robust SOC. Once in place, it will stave off the majority of attackers. Should an incident happen, your specialists can quickly detect, contain, mitigate and eradicate it. The result will be that your systems can be brought back to their total capacity with a minimum of disruption and delay, with stakeholders remaining in the loop at all times.