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How to Respond to Security Incidents



SOC 2 controls checklist

At least once during the entire period of work, most companies have encountered information security incidents. We are talking about one, two, or more unexpected and unwanted events in the corporate network that lead to serious financial and reputational consequences. For example, access of third parties to the organization’s classified information. The classic examples include a significant distortion of information assets, as well as the theft of users’ personal data (customer base, project documentation). If you want to avoid incidents and bring your company’s security system in line with the SOC 2 controls checklist, this article is for you.

Key Information Security Risks

Not only large corporations but also small firms of various organizational and legal forms and sizes from time to time face cyber attacks. The number of affected companies is increasing every year. The actions of intruders lead to large losses for the affected organizations.

There are several main risks within corporations and firms:

  • Software vulnerability;
  • Access to confidential information through employees;
  • Neglect of basic security rules on the part of employees, which leads to the unintentional leakage of corporate information.

The main problem for many organizations is that in the rapidly developing world of cyber threats, most organizations do not even think about information security before an incident occurs. Therefore, there are often no backups, all employees have access to data, even if they do not use them in their work, and the network is not protected by anything. So, virtually anyone can inject malware there or block the work of the organization’s server.

Incident Classification

Anomalies faced by enterprises can be classified according to the following criteria:

  • Type of information threat;
  • The severity of incidents for the work of the organization;
  • Intentionality of the appearance of a threat to data security;
  • The likelihood of re-infection of the software;
  • Violated IS policies;
  • The level of the system of organizational structures that ensure the operation and development of the information space;
  • Difficulties in detection;
  • Difficulty in eliminating the identified threat that could compromise the safety of the company’s valuable data.
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Incidents can be either intentional or unintentional. If you pay attention to the first type of incident, then it can be provoked by various means, technical hacking, or intentional insider information. It is extremely difficult to assess the extent of the impact on security and the consequences of an attack. 

There is a categorization of incidents that allows you to register them in the security policy and prevent them by the first signs:

  1. Unauthorized access. This should include attempts by intruders to freely enter the system. Vivid examples of violations include the search and extraction of various internal documents, and files that contain passwords, as well as buffer overflow attacks aimed at obtaining illegitimate access to the network.
  2. Threat or disclosure of confidential information. To do this, you need to access the up-to-date list of sensitive data.
  3. Excess of authority by certain persons. We are talking about unauthorized access of workers to certain resources or office space.
  4. Cyber attack leading to a security risk. If a large number of company PCs are affected by malware, then this is not a mere accident. During the investigation, it is important to determine the sources of infection, as well as the causes of this event in the organization’s network.

What to Do When an Incident Is Discovered?

The management of anomalous events in the network implies not only the prompt detection and informing of the information security service, but also their recording in the event log. The log automatically indicates the exact time when the information leak was detected, the personal data of the employee who discovered the attack, the category of the event, all affected assets, the planned time to fix the problem, as well as actions and work aimed at eliminating the event and its consequences.

For modern companies, the manual method of monitoring incidents is no longer suitable. Since anomalies occur in seconds, an instant response is required. This requires automated information security solutions that continuously monitor everything that happens on the organization’s network and quickly respond to incidents, allowing you to take action in the form of blocking access to data, identifying the source of the event, and quickly investigating, ideally before the incident occurs.

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After investigation, following the rules of correlation, which indicate the likely attempts to harm data security in such ways, a card is created for this incident, and a security policy is formed. In the future, such attacks will be suppressed, and measures will also be taken.

Data Breach Response

If violations are detected in the organization’s network, the following algorithm of actions is recommended by the information security service:

  1. Fixing the state and analysis of the information resources that were involved.
  2. Coordination of work to stop the influence of information attacks, the conduct of which provoked the occurrence of the incident.
  3. Analysis of all network traffic.
  4. Event localization.
  5. Collection of important data to establish the causes of the incident.
  6. Drawing up a list of measures aimed at eliminating the consequences of the incident that caused damage.
  7. Elimination of consequences.
  8. Control of elimination of consequences.
  9. Creation of security policies and a detailed list of recommendations aimed at improving all regulatory documentation.

Identifying The Causes of a Security Incident

Analysis of the situation allows you to assess the risks and possible consequences of the incident.

After the consequences of the event are completely eliminated, an internal investigation is mandatory. It requires the involvement of a whole team of experienced specialists who independently determine the procedure for studying the facts and features of what happened. Additionally, various public reports, analytical tools, information flows about all threats, as well as other sources that may be useful in the process of studying a particular case, are used. Qualified specialists eliminate malicious software, close possible vulnerabilities, and block all attempts of illegitimate access.

In fact, the investigations compile a list of measures aimed at preventing similar cyber attacks. Additionally, a list of immediate response actions is compiled in case malware has penetrated the system. It is necessary to conduct training for company personnel to improve cyber literacy. You can avoid unpleasant incidents through compliance with the SOC 2 controls checklist.

Wrapping It Up

To prevent information security incidents, it is necessary to implement specialized solutions that can detect and respond to them in real-time, even at the first sign, before direct theft or other fraudulent activities. If you want to organize an effective security system in your company and comply with the SOC 2 controls checklist, we recommend that you contact UnderDefense.

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