How to Respond to a Cybersecurity Incident

A black background with the word cyberattack written across it in white, along with a large dollar sign prominently displayed.

Despite your company’s best efforts, there’s a very real chance that at some point it will need to respond to a cybersecurity incident.

Cyberattacks continue to be a major concern in 2023, especially for small companies. That’s because many smaller businesses lack the necessary financial and technical resources to adequately protect themselves from cybercriminals.

But, no matter how large or small your company is, every organization should have a plan in place to respond to a cybersecurity incident before one happens. Only by planning ahead effectively can you truly minimize the potential damage to your business.

To that end, let’s examine some of the most effective steps you can take to respond to an such an unexpected problem.

Prepare to Respond to a Cybersecurity Incident

The existence of any plan requires preparation.

That means you need to develop policies and procedures to put into effect if and when a cybersecurity incident occurs. Ideally, you’ll not only create such a plan, but test it under various controlled conditions.

In that manner, you’ll be more confident when the time comes to respond to a cybersecurity incident for real.

Detection and Identification

Often, detecting an incident is the result of regularly scheduled system monitoring.

But, an incident may also be detected through an immediate and obvious impact on your business. For example, if a critical application was shut down by a successful ransomware attack, you’d know right away something was wrong.

If you ever detect an issue, it’s important to quickly identify the source and scope immediately, to minimize its effects.


Once you identify the problem, the next step is moving quickly to contain the impact of the issue at hand. The faster you can move, the less damage is likely to occur.

Often, this involves taking systems offline to avoid spreading malware to other parts of your infrastructure.

Of course, since you never know which areas or aspects of your system will be affected, you’ll need to account for a variety of scenarios.

You’ll want to outline potential containment scenarios in the preparation phase, and perhaps most importantly, formally document them.


After identification of the threat takes place, and containment occurs, remediation can begin.

At this point, your cybersecurity teams must use their expertise to take appropriate actions to remove malware, or eliminate the source of a data breach, before additional damage is done to your company.


Returning to normal business operations can require a wide range of recovery activities.

It may involve restoring affected systems from backups or running extensive malware removal procedures to ensure all systems safely restart.

If, unfortunately, you find yourself responding to a cybersecurity incident, you’ll see how vitally important it is to regularly back-up your systems and data resources. Don’t wait until it’s too late – back up your systems regularly!

Recovering from these problems isn’t an easy process, and without current data backups, it’s an even more difficult situation.

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Related: The Critical Benefits of Red Teaming (click image to learn more)


The final step in incident response is conducting a final tally & report once normal business have resumed.

You’ll need to identify and report what happened, which systems were affected, and inform any potential clients whose data may be compromised.

Additionally, you’ll need to document which steps you can take to avoid a similar event in the future.

The lessons learned from a cybersecurity incident should be used to strengthen your company’s security posture and enhance preparedness for additional protection.

Engaging an Experienced Incident Response Team

Of course, if an incident does occur, sometimes the best thing you can do is engage professionals in the industry. Unless your company is well-prepared with a skilled IT team, uncertainties are always a possibility.

There’s never a reason to go it alone when help is just a phone call or click away. Blue Bastion, along with our partner division Ideal Integrations, can help.

Blue Bastion offers our customers access to a dedicated incident response (IR) team, ready to assist in identifying the causes and solutions for recovering from a cybersecurity incident. Our team can be engaged with an as-needed basis, or as a component of our managed detection and response offering.

No matter what your needs entail, our experts can help your company address cybersecurity incidents, and quickly get your business up and running again.

Simply contact us at 412-349-6680, or fill out the form below, and our team of cybersecurity experts will create and execute the ultimate security plan to protect your organization.

And, as always, stay vigilant.

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