Cybersecurity incident response is an essential aspect of modern organizational security. In the event of a security breach or any other security-related incident, it is crucial to have a well-defined process to minimize the impact of top cyber security threats and recover from them as quickly as possible.
Two of the most widely used frameworks for incident response are SANS and NIST. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at these frameworks and discuss key steps and best practices for incident response.
An incident response framework is a structured approach to responding to security incidents. The goal of an incident response framework is to reduce the impact of security incidents and restore normal operations.
Incident response frameworks typically provide a repeatable process for incident response. They also often include guidelines for understanding the incident response life cycle, roles and responsibilities of the incident response team, communication plans, and procedures for reviewing and improving the incident response process.
Cyber attacks are known for their lasting impact, but you can defy that norm. According to IBM, in 2022, it took an average of 277 days for companies to regain control. If you can cut that time down to 200 days or less, you'll have a defense that saves both time and money. The solution? Implementing a well-organized incident response structure.
It can help organizations respond quickly and effectively to cybersecurity incidents, minimize damage, restore normal operations, and prevent future incidents. Additionally, implementing these frameworks can also help organizations improve their overall security posture and risk assessment.
The SANS incident response framework is a systematic approach to responding to security incidents created and maintained by the SANS Institute in the late 1990s, a leading organization in information security training and certification.
It outlines the principles, roles, and procedures for effective incident response with the aim of quickly minimizing damage and restoring normal operations. It provides a common language and structure for incident response, ensuring that all stakeholders are aligned and understand their responsibilities.
The NIST incident response framework is a set of guidelines and best practices for incident response and management developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). It provides a comprehensive and structured approach to handling security incidents. The framework is designed to help organizations effectively respond to and manage security incidents with the goal of reducing impact and restoring normal operations as soon as possible.
The SANS framework consists of six key phases: Preparation, Identification, Containment, Recovery, and Lessons Learned.
Preparation is a crucial aspect of incident response. To prepare for incidents, organizations should develop and implement an incident response plan even before the incident occurs, which should include:
The next stage of incident response is identification. During this stage, organizations should be able to detect and identify security incidents promptly.
To effectively identify incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
Once an incident has been identified, the next step is containment. During this stage, organizations should isolate the affected systems and prevent the cyber attacks or incidents from spreading to other systems and assets.
To effectively contain incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
The next stage of incident response is eradication. During this stage, organizations should remove the cause of the incident and restore normal operations.
To successfully eradicate incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
The next stage of incident response is recovery. During this stage, organizations should take steps to recover from the incident and return to normal operations.
To quickly recover from incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
The Lessons Learned phase of incident response is critical to improving the overall process after an incident occurs. During this stage, organizations should review the incident response process and identify areas for improvement.
To effectively learn from incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
The NIST framework consists of four main stages: Preparation; Detection and Analysis; Containment, Eradication, and Recovery; and Post-Incident Activity.
Similar to the SANS framework, preparation is a crucial aspect of incident response under the NIST framework. This stage involves putting the necessary plans, procedures, and systems into place to prepare for incidents.
To prepare for incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
In this stage, organizations detect and analyze incidents to understand their scope and impact. This stage is critical to making informed decisions about the response to an incident.
To effectively detect and analyze incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
The Containment, Eradication, and Recovery stages in the NIST framework are similar to those in the SANS framework.
To contain, eradicate, and recover from incidents, organizations should have the following in place:
The final stage in the NIST framework is Post-Incident Activity. In this stage, organizations assess the impact of incidents and review their incident response process.
To effectively review the incident response process and make improvements, organizations should have the following in place:
Both the NIST and SANS incident response frameworks provide a structured approach to incident response and have similar goals. However, there are some key differences between the two frameworks.
In terms of preparation, both frameworks emphasize the importance of having a well-defined incident response plan, clear roles and responsibilities, and effective communication. However, the NIST framework places a greater emphasis on identifying critical systems and assets and having a reporting plan in place.
In terms of detection and analysis, both frameworks focus on the timely detection and analysis of incidents. However, the SANS framework places a greater emphasis on triage and prioritization, while the NIST framework focuses more on monitoring systems and escalation procedures.
The Containment, Eradication, and Recovery stages of both frameworks are largely similar, focusing on isolating affected systems, removing the cause of the incident, and restoring normal operations.
The post-incident activity stage is similar in both frameworks, focusing on reviewing the incident response process, documenting lessons learned, and improving the incident response plan.
In conclusion, while the SANS and NIST incident response frameworks have similarities, organizations should choose the framework that best aligns with their specific needs and priorities.
Incident response is the foundation of any strong security program. It's essential for organizations to have a structured and repeatable process for incident response, and the SANS and NIST frameworks provide just that.
Cyber security automation and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions can play a crucial role in helping organizations to implement these frameworks effectively. With advanced machine learning capabilities, these solutions can help organizations detect top cyber security threats, such as ransomware attacks or phishing attacks, and perform threat hunts in real-time.
That's where Logsign SIEM comes in. With its advanced threat detection and incident response automation capabilities, Logsign SIEM can help you detect, analyze, and respond to incidents quickly and effectively, minimize the impact of breaches, and ensure the health and safety of your sensitive information and systems.
If you are ready to discover its unique capabilities first-hand, request a live demo and see Logsign SIEM in action!
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