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November 14, 2023 | Updated on: April 11, 2024 | Reading time 6 minutes

Creating an Incident Response Plan

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Director of Support

Security incidents can happen without warning. An estimated 2,200 cyber attacks occur daily, with a cyber attack happening every 39 seconds on average – yet according to IBM, more than 77% of organizations do not have an incident response plan. To mitigate the potential impact of security incidents – and protect your critical data – you need a well-defined incident response plan (IRP) in place.

What is an Incident Response Plan? 

An incident response plan is a comprehensive strategy developed to effectively manage and mitigate the aftermath of security incidents or data breaches. The goal of an IRP is to minimize damage, reduce recovery time, and maintain business operations (or reduce business downtime) during and after an incident. 

Incident response plans are also critical to an organization’s compliance. Many regulatory bodies and industry standards – such as GDPR, HIPAA, and ISO 27001 – recommend or require organizations to have an incident response plan to handle potential breaches.

4 Key Steps for an Effective Incident Response Plan

When creating your Incident Response Plan, a framework like the NIST CSF can give you a great starting point. This framework provides a structured approach to handling incidents, emphasizing the importance of documentation, analysis, and continuous improvement. 

The NIST incident response framework includes four key phases that you can customize to your internal policies and procedures:


This phase involves identifying your most critical assets, creating an incident response team with designated roles and responsibilities, establishing policies and procedures, and providing training and education to employees. 

  • Create an incident response team with designated roles and responsibilities
  • Conduct training and awareness programs for employees
  • Establish communication channels and contacts.

Detection and Analysis

In this phase, your plan outlines how incidents will be detected, categorized, and analyzed. This can include implementing detection systems, monitoring logs, and examining network traffic patterns to spot anomalies. 

  • Implement security monitoring tools and systems
  • Define the criteria for identifying incidents
  • Develop incident detection and alerting processes

Containment, Eradication, and Recovery

Once an incident is detected, this phase defines the steps for containing the breach, eradicating the root cause, and restoring systems to a secure state. This usually involves isolating the affected systems, removing malware, and applying security patches.

  • Contain the breach 
  • Address the root cause 
  • Apply security patches

Post-Incident Activity

After the incident is contained and resolved, this phase of the plan details steps for conducting a post-incident analysis, reporting the breach to relevant authorities if necessary, and documenting lessons learned. 

  • Develop a plan for system and data recovery
  • Assess the impact of the incident on the organization
  • Review and update the incident response plan based on lessons learned

Automating your Incident Response Plan 

The NIST framework provides a structured and comprehensive approach to incident response to help you prepare for, detect, respond to, and recover from incidents consistently and effectively. However, with a proliferation of SaaS applications expanding and complicating your infrastructures, your critical data grows increasingly more challenging to protect. Third-party applications and extensions pose massive risks – 75% of browser extensions are deemed high-risk!

How SpinOne helps

According to IBM’s 2023 ‘Cost of a Data Breach’ Report, organizations that had a fully deployed AI and automation program were able to identify and contain a breach 28 days faster than those that didn’t. SpinOne is an all-in-one SaaS security platform comprised of powerful, automated solutions that elevate and enable your Incident Response Plan. With SpinOne, you get complete protection on one platform:

Identify risky extensions and applications

  • Inventory and gain visibility of all SaaS apps and browser extensions that have access to your critical SaaS data
  • Leverage 24/7 continuous monitoring and ongoing risk assessment to get complete visibility into potential business, security, and compliance risks of each application and browser extension

Protect your SaaS environment

  • Allowlist or blocklist risky applications or browser extensions to prevent unauthorized access
  • Identify and manage misconfigurations, security drifts, and compliance breaches within your SaaS applications through automated detection and response.

Respond to threats in real time

  • Get complete visibility on data exposure by monitoring files shared outside or inside your organization – and change access and ownership of files through automated policies.
  • Stop an attack in progress – SpinOne blocks the source of a ransomware attack by revoking API access to the malicious application, immediately stopping the spread and reducing the impact of a cyberattack.

Recover critical data immediately

  • Meet your RTO and reduce potential business downtime from 21 days to 2 hours.
  • With Spinbackup’s automated, 1x, or 3x daily backups, you can ensure all your data is quickly and accurately recovered.

To learn more about fortifying your Incident Response Plan with SpinOne, try it free for 15 days.

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Written by

Director of Support at Spin.AI

Nick Harrahill is the Director of Support at Spin.AI, where he leads customer support, success, and engagement processes.

He is an experienced cybersecurity and business leader. Nick’s industry experience includes leading security teams at enterprise companies (PayPal, eBay) as well as building programs, processes, and operations at cyber security start-ups (Synack, Elevate Security, and Spin.AI).

Credentialed in both cyber security (CISSP) and privacy (CIPP/US), Nick has managed teams focused on vulnerability management, application security, third-party risk, insider threat, incident response, privacy, and various facets of security operations.

In his spare time, Nick enjoys trail running and competing in ultra-marathons, camping, hiking, and enjoying the outdoors.

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