Why Small businesses need an incident response plan

Why Small businesses need an incident response plan

An incident response plan is a written plan which contains detailed guidelines on how the company will handle an unexpected disaster. These unexpected events may include weather, problems with day to day operations, accidents, and cyberattacks. In the modern world, small companies are the most vulnerable when it comes to cyberattacks. Hackers search for companies which lack resources as they are less likely to have procedures in place. It is therefore beneficial to keep your company running both during and after an incident, by having a proactive and ever-evolving incident response plan as discussed below.


Helps businesses always be prepared for an attack

The business should develop a general understanding of the potential threats, then concentrate on ways to mitigate these risks. The business should have a clear understanding of the critical data systems and potential assets of the organization. This will call for full transparency to all assets including their interconnections with each other, clearly stated roles, and their responsibility. Also, policies and procedures should be written down. This way you have a paper trail and everyone is on the same page. This will also prevent your organization from trying to remember what to do while under attack. Doing so will minimize the damage done by malicious actors when under an attack. Remember if you have not created steps to mitigate these attacks you are an easier target for malicious actors.


Helps in data protection

Protecting your business data is crucial. By formulating an up-to-date incident response measure that your team follows, allows your data to be better protected as everyone is well informed. As we all know, data being viewed by unauthorized people can be used as ransom when hackers want to leak your information to the public.

Protecting data through the incident response process involves a lot of work and research by the international relations team. Some important procedures include retrieving the data that are used to detect malicious activity.


It helps temper your stress response

If during an incident you are scrambling to figure out what to do, you are more likely to make irrational decisions. This may lead you to consider paying the hacker lots of money to retrieve your data to gain control of your assets again. But if you had an incident response plan, you will be more confident in the steps you need to take. Having a plan will prevent a bad situation from becoming a catastrophe.

Experts advise that during such a situation your stress levels are high and time is always against you. Therefore, you should be able to respond not only quickly but methodically because any misstep will cause significant damage to your business.


Gives protection to your reputation

A loss in reputation will have a long-lasting effect that can end up making a business lose current and future customers. Breaches may expose your customers’ credit card information. This may lead your customers to lose faith in your company. They will likely consider moving to a competitor for more peace of mind.

Business experts advise that having an incident response plan is crucial to brand reputation and that the owners should have effective management incidents to limit the damages being caused to the business by attackers.


To protect their revenue

Business revenue is always at stake when a data breach occurs. The size of the business does not matter in such situations, even the smallest can be greatly affected by data breaches. This will not only affect direct company revenue but also the costs involved in legal proceedings, regulation and compliance fine which is associated in cases that involve unauthorized security entry into the company. Not to mention the cost associated with remediating the attack or data breach. Depending on the breadth of the attack, you could be looking at weeks of remediation time.


It is crucial that your company acts faster on detection and response of security incidents that will limit the impact on your information, customer loyalty, and the potential revenue that could be lost. If your business lacks an incident response procedure, you should consider trying a third-party managed security service which will provide your organization with a customized security plan.

The Home Depot breach, which involved 65 million customers’ debit and credit cards, costed them a total cost is $62 million. Close to 100 million customer records were brought to light and resulted in a ten percent drop in the stock price. Creating an incident response plan will help prevent a similar incident happening to your company.

I hope this article was helpful in your journey towards acknowledging the importance of why small businesses need an incident response plan. Every business should have an Incident Response plan and especially if you’re a small business. Simply because you are small, you are at greater risk for an attack. Having one ensures you are prepared for an attack, protects your data and reputation, and prevents revenue loss.

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