What Is an Incident Response Plan for IT?

An IT security team can better detect, eradicate, and recover from cyber attacks with the help of an IT incident response plan. It is meant to facilitate a unified and speedy response from your team in the face of any external danger.

The effectiveness of replies is maximized with the help of IT incident response plans. Damage from hazards including data loss, resource misuse, and a drop in consumer confidence may be mitigated using contingency plans.

The article will examine incident response plans for IT.


Those tasked with carrying out the IT incident response plan are known as the incident recovery team. It is common practice for personnel of the IT department to be responsible for gathering, archiving, and analyzing information about incidents. To fulfill legal requirements, your IT team may need to collaborate with attorneys and communications professionals.


If one hasn’t already happened, there will eventually be an attack on your network. If this has happened to you, you already know the havoc that may ensue after a cyber assault. A loss of data or capability may be devastating, regardless of whether the danger is virtual, such as a security breach, or physical, such as a power outage or natural catastrophe. You may lessen the impact of potential dangers and be ready for various scenarios by using incident response and disaster recovery plans.


Even if you take every precaution, there is no way to guarantee the complete safety of your network. You should also have a comprehensive disaster recovery plan to help limit the impact of any disasters that your organization may face.


Determine the critical components of your network

It is essential to back up your data and duplicate it offsite in case of a catastrophic failure of your network. Due to the vastness and complexity of modern corporate networks, it is essential to prioritize your data and systems.

Identify single points of failure in your network and address them

Having a backup strategy for your network’s hardware, software, and employee positions is as essential as having data backups. When an event happens, your network might be compromised if there are any single points of failure. Use failover functions or more redundancy to solve the problem.

If the first employee appointed to react to an incident cannot do so, a backup should be named. Keep crisis response and operations strong while minimizing network and company interruption by setting up backup systems and procedures.

Create a workforce continuity plan

In case of a security breach or natural catastrophe, entering specific areas or continuing with certain procedures may be impossible. Employee safety is of paramount importance in both scenarios. Making it possible for them to work from home may keep employees safe and reduce disruptions to the company’s operations.

Create an incident response plan

Create a written strategy for handling incidents, and ensure that everyone in the firm, from the CEO on down, knows their part. The members of the incident response team’s duties and responsibilities should be outlined.

Business continuity procedures must also be included in the strategy. The necessary hardware, software, and other infrastructure components should also be included. The IT incident response plan should include critical internal and external communications and procedures for recovering networks and data.

Train your staff on incident response

A complete understanding of the incident response strategy may be necessary for IT. It is, nevertheless, essential that all members of your business understand the significance of the strategy. Afterward, you should train your personnel to use the incident response plan you’ve developed.

Employees’ ability to work with IT to resolve issues as quickly as possible depends on their collaboration. Additionally, being aware of fundamental security principles might lessen the likelihood of a severe breach.

The United States Department of Commerce operates the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which offers standards and recommendations for several technological fields.

The Computer Security Incident Handling Guide (SP 800-61 Rev. 2) is a document published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that outlines the organization’s guidelines for managing and responding to cybersecurity incidents.

We will introduce the incident response framework developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and demonstrate how to develop an IT incident response plan under NIST standards, providing you with templates and real-world examples to follow.

NIST cybersecurity Framework written on a notebook


What does an incident response plan allow for? The Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) of NIST is responsible for creating benchmarks and measuring techniques for the IT industry, including cyber security. The Computer Security Incident Handling Guide, created by ITL, is a widely used framework for IT incident response (IR) (Special Publication 800-61). Detection or analysis, containment or eradication preparation, and recovery are its four primary phases.


Here are the most critical arguments in favor of developing a solid IT incident response strategy:

  1. The inability to repeat a process or prioritize work without a strategy for handling incidents is a severe drawback.
  2. Gaps are revealed: in medium-sized businesses with limited people or poor technology maturity, an incident response plan reveals glaring holes in the security process or tools that can be filled in before a crisis happens.
  3. Helps you be ready for any emergency since security events may occur at any moment with no notice.
  4. Troubles with coordination might arise while trying to keep everyone informed in a big company during a crisis. Coordination may be accomplished with the use of an incident response mechanism.
  5. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect.” An incident response plan does just that by establishing a straightforward, repeatable procedure followed in every event.
  6. Knowledge is preserved via an incident response plan, which guarantees that lessons gained and best practices for handling a crisis are not lost over time.
  7. An organization’s liability may be mitigated using an IT incident response plan that includes thorough documentation so that auditors and authorities can see what was done to avoid a breach.


The National Institute of Standards and Technology has established a four-stage procedure for handling incidents. The National Incident Management System (NIST) method stresses that responding to incidents is not a sequential procedure that begins with detection and concludes with elimination and recovery. On the other hand, incident response is an iterative process wherein the best methods of protection for an organization are continually refined via trial and error.

Even though many aspects of an assault are not entirely known at the detection stage, they are exposed after incident responders “join the scene,” creating a feedback loop between detection and analysis and containment and eradication. The team may use this knowledge to anticipate better and prevent future assaults.

After every event, there is significant work to record and examine what occurred during the incident, provide feedback on previous phases, and allow better incident preparedness, detection, and analysis.



To prepare for events:

  • Make an inventory of IT assets such as networks, servers, and endpoints, noting which are vital or contain sensitive data.
  • Monitor typical activities to establish a baseline.
  • Create clear reaction actions for typical security issues.

Analysis and detection

The analysis process includes:

  • Establishing a standard of operation for the impacted systems.
  • Tracing the causes of any anomalous behavior.
  • Determining the extent of the problem.

During detection, data is gathered from many sources, including IT systems, security technologies, publicly accessible information, and internal and external persons, to detect potential threats and identify their signs.

Containment, eradication, and recovery

The purpose of a containment strategy is to halt an assault before it may inflict irreparable harm or deplete all available resources. Once the event has been confined, the next step is eradication and recovery. It involves getting rid of everything that may have contributed to the occurrence.

Post-incident activity

Learning from past events to better handle future ones is a vital component of the NIST incident response approach. Use the new information to refine the process, revise the incident response policy, strategy, and procedures, and incorporate the changes.


Our crisis response services at phx-IT result from a blend of human expertise and modern tools. You may acquire the quickest and most precise findings using security analysis expertise and cutting-edge security technologies. To ensure your information technology needs are met, you can rely on our team.

If you are a business in Phoenix, Arizona, and need to schedule a visit from IT professionals, please contact phx-IT immediately.

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