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Prepare for emerging threats in 2024: Strategies for enabling business continuity

Insights from Forrester: Prepare your IT incident response plan now

As we know, IT advancements of all types have opened up opportunities for businesses to thrive and flourish. However, these same upgrades also expose sensitive data to increasingly sophisticated hacking attempts.

This is nothing new. Security breaches are always a danger. However, according to a recent Forrester Report, “Planning for Failure,” there is a new paradigm in how organizations should prepare for the potential of a breach. Forrester warns that “with enough time and money, they (hackers) can breach the security defenses of even the largest enterprises. You can’t stop every cyberattack.”

Perhaps, as Forrester indicates, you should already assume you are having a breach right now, and focus your security efforts on IT incident response, rather than increasing your spend on breach prevention. After all, being prepared to promptly counter security breaches and contain damage is necessary if enterprises are to survive meticulously planned cyberattacks.


Unfortunately, Forrester explains that many organizations are lagging in their adoption of this approach. The report highlights that although, “during the past 12 months, 45% of network security decision-makers at enterprises reported at least one potential compromise or breach of their sensitive information…only 24% of network security decision-makers reported increased spending on their incident response program as a result.”

Admittedly, there are different ways enterprises can gear up to face IT incidents related to hacking, virus attacks, data theft, financial frauds or simple business disruptions. However, while investing in state-of-the-art security tools and hiring the best minds may offer some level of security, cyber criminals are far more adept in finding loopholes, even in the latest tools. The lesson here is that not all security breaches can be detected or thwarted, so you must rely on your IT response team to offer as much protection as possible.

A well-designed IT incident response plan helps establishes a standard response process and communication protocols, making it easy for organizations to respond to cyber threats quickly, and in an organized manner. Otherwise, in addition to inflicting major financial losses, lack of timely responses can damage the reputation of your company and cost you customers.

According to Forrester: “Every enterprise needs an incident response plan, but enterprises often fail to map out their incident response plan prior to a breach or other security incident. Without a proper plan in place ahead of time, it’s extremely difficult to contain or stop the incident once detected and preserve appropriate forensic evidence while you help restore IT services. You must also understand the extent of the incident and what information the attackers compromised so that you can determine if you need to contact law enforcement and send breach notifications to affected parties, such as your customers, partners, and employees.”

That may sound like a large undertaking, but it is critical to successfully combating these modern security threats. Toss in the complexity of communicating with internal (IT staff, executives, employees) and external stakeholders (customers, partners, executives) during a breach, and it’s clear that a proactive, template-driven approach to IT incident management and response can improve how your organization navigates the seemingly inevitable data breach.

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