The definition of a “security incident” can include any incident that violates an organization’s security policies or harms its security posture. Or in other words, it has the potential to harm confidentiality, integrity, or availability of IT infrastructure. Depending on the specifics in the incident response plan, there might be several elements to include in the incident response form.
What is an incident response form?
As an organization’s incident response plan comes into action, the incident response team follows various processes and procedures relevant to mitigating an incident. These processes and procedures are tested and improvised using tabletop exercises. An incident response plan may require an individual to report the incident in a pre-defined form. This pre-defined form used in the organization is called the incident response form. An incident response form may have different components to be filled by various job roles. Any individual, who wishes to report an incident, uses this form to ensure that incident response remains documented right from the first step.
Contents of an incident response form
- Date and time of detecting the incident
- Who detected the incident?
- Date and time of notifying the incident
- System/application involved
- Type of incident
- Incident description
- Information about other individuals involved
- Witness(es) involved
- Parties to whom the incident has to be notified
- Identification measures (verification, assessment, possible solutions)
- Containment measures
- Evidence collected
- Mitigation measures
- Recovery measures
Evaluation and improvements
- Total time taken to respond to an incident
- Corrective actions
- Potential improvements in processes and procedures
- Any additional resources needed in the future
- Other recommendations/conclusions
- Reviewer details
- Verification of corrective actions’ implementation
- Initial report
- Documentation during incident
- Final review and approval
Ending notes: Do you really need this?
Many regulations across the globe put an obligation on organizations to disclose a data breach to the concerned regulatory authority. This regulatory authority may require an organization to elaborate on the incident and justify the actions they took. Besides, law enforcement agencies may require collected information to conduct their investigation. An incident response form is evidence that your organization has documented procedures in place. It helps an organization’s security team in maintain an authoritative record of the incident and the actions they took. At the same time, it ensures that your organization meets the compliance requirements. So think about what to include in your incident response form.