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Cyber incidents happen to businesses of all sizes. Do not think that your business is too small for a cyber-criminal to target your firm. In fact, smaller businesses are more likely to be attacked, since cybercriminals expect them to be less secure than enterprise companies. While the media focuses on attacks of big businesses, small to medium businesses are the low hanging fruit for bad actors.

Along with having strong security measures in place, your business needs to have an incidence response plan so you are ready to act immediately, should something go wrong. Are you prepared to respond quickly to minimize the impacts of a breach?

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), incident response has five phases:


To develop an effective incident response plan, security risks must be identified. This includes, among other things, threats to your technology systems, data and operations. Understanding these risks allows you to respond to incidents more effectively and reduce the impact of security breaches.

To identify risks, you can start by looking at system logs, examining vulnerable files or tracking suspicious employee activity.


To protect your company, you need to develop and implement appropriate safeguards. Security measures to guard against threats and steps to ensure the continuity of essential services in the event of an incident are examples of safeguards.

To protect your business against cyberthreats, you can use backups, implement security controls such as firewalls, and train employees on security best practices.


Detecting anomalies, such as unusual network activity or unauthorized access to sensitive data, are needed to limit the damage and get your systems back up and running faster following an incident.

Deploying techniques such as an intrusion detection system (IDS) is an effective way to tackle irregularities.


A plan to respond to detected cyber incidents is critical. This strategy should include breach containment, investigation and resolution strategies.

A couple things you can do to respond to an incident are isolating affected systems and cutting off access to every impacted system.


To minimize disruption, you must have a plan to resume normal business operations as soon as possible after an incident.

These steps can be part of your recovery plan:

  1. Restoring systems that have been affected by the attack
  2. Implementing security controls to prevent the incident from happening again
  3. Investigating the root cause of the event
  4. Taking legal action against perpetrators

Keep in mind that a well-crafted incident response plan will help you resolve a breach, minimize the damage caused and restore normal operations quickly and effectively. It’s critical to ensure that all staff are aware of the incident response plan and know their roles and responsibilities in the event of a breach.

An incident response plan should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that it remains relevant and effective. Cyber incidents can occur at any time, so it’s crucial to be prepared.

Collaborate with an IT service provider to ramp up your defenses

A specialist IT service provider like us may be exactly what your business needs to develop an incident response plan. By employing our expertise and experience, we can help you:

  • Protect your business against cyber incidents
  • Create a comprehensive incident response plan
  • Abide by NIST’s five phases of incident response

These are just a few of the ways we can help you with your incident response journey. If you’re looking for help protecting your business against cyber incidents, be sure to contact us to schedule a no-obligation consultation.

To provide you with an understanding of the threats small businesses face, we created an infographic titled “Small Business Incidents: What You Can Learn From Their Experiences,” that can be downloaded by clicking here.