Leading during a Cyber Incident – Tips for the most crucial first few hours

Strategic Relevance

Strategic relevance lies in brand reputation, IP, and data protection—considered crucial assets in today’s digitalized world driven by data exchange and AI/ML solutions. Even a single incident can result in significant financial repercussions, affecting market analysis, raising IT security concerns, and questioning workforce skills among shareholders. Therefore, a well-thought strategic initiative is imperative for safeguarding IT systems, data, IP, and networks, as they directly impact achieving business KPIs through technology enablement. Prioritizing IT security ensures the preservation of brand reputation, intellectual property, and sensitive data, fortifying the organization against potential risks and fostering long-term success.

Challenges & Opportunities

Generally, the challenges faced include: lack of context, lack of prioritization, absence of visibility of key stakeholders, inadequate collaboration, and proper escalation procedures. Moreover, accepting the possibility of an attack is also a major challenge, as it involves acknowledging and taking action, which may be hindered by role insecurity. Overcoming these challenges is crucial for effective incident response and ensuring the organization’s security and resilience.

Future Trends

  • Rising attacks on OT and IoT devices.
  • Increase in attacks on cloud services.
  • AI-based reconnaissance with accurate information.
  • MFA hacks (Multi-Factor Authentication).
  • Increasing threat of deep fakes.
  • Continuously evolving ransomware.
  • Gaps in IT security skills and availability.
  • Explosion of BYOD devices, inviting vulnerabilities.

Best Practices & Key takeaways

Implement policies and procedures to handle all security incidents. Raise awareness and communicate effectively with all stakeholders, not limited to IT teams. Determine the investigation scope, considering the impact on the organization’s mission. Gather incident indicators such as IOCs (Indicators of Compromise). Identify the root cause, including the attack vector, depth and breadth of compromised systems, users, services, or network. Adopt a continuous learning approach for the team to acquire the skills to handle evolving incident vectors.

Mandar Sahasrabudhe
Group Chief Technology Officer
Kirloskar Management Services Private Limited

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this feature article are of the author. This is not meant to be an advisory to purchase or invest in products, services or solutions of a particular type or, those promoted and sold by a particular company, their legal subsidiary in India or their channel partners. No warranty or any other liability is either expressed or implied.
Reproduction or Copying in part or whole is not permitted unless approved by author.

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