Cybersecurity incidents are increasing, and it is highly likely that all organisations will, at some point, face a security incident. When a cybersecurity incident occurs, it is essential that it is managed effectively to reduce the amount of harm.

What is a cybersecurity incident?

Cybersecurity incidents take the form of many different guises. These incidents are often characterised as ransomware, malware, service denial, and phishing attacks. These cyber-attacks usually involve:

  • Unauthorised access to a system
  • Attempted access to a system
  • Breaches of the security policy of systems, to affect its availability or integrity

How to prepare, prevent, and manage cybersecurity incidents

Failure to put relevant systems in place might mean that your business does not know how to respond to or is not aware of a cyber incident occurring. It is vital to put in place and test incident management processes and policies.

Your incident management policies and processes should assess how you can support business continuity by improving your resilience. Companies also need to define the roles of their incident response team.

Your business may need to use the services and specialist knowledge of a cybersecurity firm to establish an incident response capability. These specialist firms use tools and techniques to detect, manage, and analyse your cybersecurity and cyber incidents.

Effective incident management will reduce the amount of harm and damage caused by the cyber attack. The technical assistance and guidance from a certified cybersecurity firm are usually needed to respond to the incident, limit further damage, and get your systems back up and running.

Cybersecurity firms are experts in addressing the root cause of incidents to ensure businesses are not vulnerable in the future from repeated attacks. Response methodology includes non-technical and technical responses, such as forensic investigation, and the preservation of incident details and the remedial actions taken.

All organisation should ensure they establish adequate data recovery capabilities. This often means creating a physical off-site back-up of company and customer data, with regular data archiving.

Who should cybersecurity incidents be reported to

You have specific responsibilities in sharing information with regulatory bodies when a cybersecurity incident occurs.

If your organisation’s ongoing operations are at risk, or those of your supply chain or partnerships, you should report the incident to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). The NCSC may coordinate a cross-government response with relevant government bodies when significant or widespread cybersecurity incidents occur.

As part of their response, and as part of GCHQ, the NCSC’s actions may include identifying the attacker, their motives, and identifying other victims or potential victims if the incident spreads.

If you believe your business is the victim of a scam or fraud, you should report it to the UK’s Action Fraud or Police Scotland if your business is located in Scotland.

If the incident affects your company’s data, you have a legal obligation, under GDPR, to report the incident to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

If the NIS defines your company as an Operator of Essential Services (OES), you may need to report the incident to your Competent Authority.

Incident management by OmniCyber Security

Cyber threats and cyber attacks are a genuine threat, and one of the most significant business concerns today. All companies should be prudent and put in place preventative and response measures. Omni Cyber Security is a world-class market-leader in UK IT security and compliance. We help organisations understand their risks, and we provide the expertise that is needed to mitigate them.

Contact Omni Cyber Security today for further advice and assistance.