An Overview of the Incident Response Process
Contrary to public perception, incident response is a process and not a one-off event. To make incident response successful, teams need to use a harmonized and organized strategy to approach any incident.
Below are the five main steps that make a reliable effective incident response program:
At the core of every incident response program that works, is preparation. Even the best incident response group cannot tackle an incident effectively when there are no preset guidelines. A solid plan should be there to support the team. To successfully address security events, this plan should include four elements: IR policy development and documentation, communication guidelines, threat intelligence feeds, and cyber hunting exercises.
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Detection and Reporting
This part is concerned with monitoring security events for detecting, alerting and reporting foreseen security incidents.
* To monitor of security events in the environment, the team can use firewalls, and set up data loss and intrusion prevention systems.
* Detection of potential security incidents is done by by correlating alerts within a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution.
* Before alerts are issued, analysts create an incident ticket, present initial findings, and lay down a preliminary incident classification.
* When reporting, there must be room for regulatory reporting escalations.
Triage and Analysis
This the step where the bulk of the effort in successfully scoping and understanding the security incident happens. Resources need to be utilized for data gathering from tools and systems for further examination, and also to identify compromise indicators. People must be knowledgeable and skilled in live memory and malware analysis, digital forensic and live system responses.
In gathering evidence, analysts must focus on three vital areas:
a. Endpoint Analysis
> Know the tracks left by the threat actor
> Get artifacts necessary to the creation of a timeline of activities
> Conduct a thorough analysis of a detailed copy of systems from a forensic perspective, and let RAM go through it and identify main artifacts to find out the events that happened on a device
b. Binary Analysis
> Look into malicious binaries or tools used by the attacker and document the capabilities of such programs.
> Study existing systems and event log technologies to know the range of compromise.
> Document all machines, accounts, etc. that may have been compromised for damage containment and neutralization.
Containment and Neutralization
This counts as one of the most vital phases of incident response. Containment and neutralization is based on the intelligence and compromise indicators found in the analysis stage. Normal operations can resume once the system has been restored and security has been verified.
More work must be done even after the incident is resolved. Any information that can help prevent similar issues in the future must be properly documented. This phase can be split into the following:
> incident report completion to enhance the incident response plan and avoid similar security issues in the future
> post-incident monitoring to prevent threat actors’ reappearance
> intelligence feed updates
> identifying preventative measures> identifying preventative techniques
> improving coordination across the organization for proper implementation of new security methods