Incident Response Process Cyber Security: Step-by-Step Guide to Addressing Threats

When it comes to Cyber Security, understanding and being able to effectively respond to threats is crucial. An integral part of this is the Incident response Process - a systematic approach to handling security breaches or attacks, ensuring the impact on a business or organization is minimal. A key aspect is understanding the difference between the 'attack surface' and 'attack vector'. This blog post will guide you through the process step-by-step, detailing every aspect and shedding light on what these terms mean and how they can inform your Cyber Security strategy.

Understanding the Basics: Attack Surface vs Attack Vector

An attack surface is a sum of the different points (the 'surface') where an unauthorized user (the 'attacker') can attempt to enter data to or extract data from an environment. Conversely, an attack vector is a path or means by which a hacker can gain unauthorized access to a computer or network to deliver a payload or malicious outcome.

Effectively, the attack surface is what the attackers target, and the attack vector is how they try to penetrate it. By understanding the difference between the two, you can better comprehend the nature of potential attacks and consequently develop a more robust Incident response Process.

Incident Response Process Step-by-Step

Step 1: Preparation

The first step of the process is preparation. This involves developing an Incident response policy, establishing a capable response team, ensuring you have the right tools and systems in place, and investing time in training and education.

Step 2: Detection

The next step in the process is detection. This can happen via network monitoring tools, intrusion detection systems, or even a report from an end-user. It's here that understanding your attack surface can prove vital in spotting unusual activity or potential vulnerabilities.

Step 3: Analysis

Once an incident has been detected, the next step is to analyze its impact and severity. This involves tracing back the incident to its source (the attack vector) and determining the scope of the damage.

Step 4: Containment

After understanding the incident's impact, the focus should shift to containment of the risk. This is an important step because it helps to limit the damage and prevent further spread of the security breach.

Step 5: Eradication

The next step is eradication where the threat is completely removed from the system. After ensuring that the threat has been completely eradicated, it's crucial to identify any vulnerabilities that were exploited and secure them to prevent future attacks.

Step 6: Recovery

Post-eradication, the system or network must be restored to its normal function. It is advised to thoroughly test and monitor the system during recovery to ensure there are no lingering threats and the system is functioning as expected.

Step 7: Lessons Learned

The final step of the Incident response Process is conducting a post-incident review. This involves analyzing what went wrong, what steps were effective, what needs improvement, and documenting these findings for future reference.


In conclusion, a robust understanding of the Incident response Process, as well as clear comprehension of the attack surface and attack vector, play pivotal roles in effective cyber security. It's not just about detecting and responding to threats, but also learning from them to enhance security measures and response plans. Prioritize preparation, stay vigilant for detection, analyze incidents thoroughly, ensure containment and eradication, recover diligently, and always seek lessons for future incidents.

John Price
Chief Executive Officer
October 6, 2023
8 minutes