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Incident Response First Steps: A Practical Guide

Incident Response First Steps: A Practical Guide

With an increasing number of cybersecurity incidents occurring on an international scale, understanding how to respond to these incidents is more crucial than ever. This blog post aims to provide a practical guide to the 'Incident response first steps' that every organization needs to know. Remember, having an effective Incident response plan is not just about the technology involved but also involves a disciplined approach to identifying, classifying, and dealing with incidents effectively.


Cyber incidents come in a variety of forms, such as unauthorized access, malware infections, or data breaches. Each of these instances signal critical threats to an organization's operation. This guide focuses on the Incident response first steps that help minimize the impact of these threats.

Understanding Incident Response

Incident response refers to the process an organization undertakes to manage a cyber attack or data breach. The goal of this process is to manage the situation so that it limits damage and reduces recovery time & costs. An Incident response plan involves a systematic approach to handling security incidents, breaches, and cyber threats. A well-orchestrated Incident response plan will help an organization to manage security incidents efficiently.

First Steps of Incident Response

1. Preparation

The essential first step is ensuring that you are well-prepared. This involves defining, creating, and maintaining an Incident response plan and identifying your Incident response team, including their roles and responsibilities. The intention of this step is to detect any potential cyber threats before they materialize into full-blown incidents.

2. Identification

Proper identification is a make-or-break stage in Incident response first steps. It involves observing and recognizing potential security incidents. Based on various factors including behavior patterns, system logs, and irregular system activities, security professionals should determine if a mere irregularity is, in fact, a security incident.

3. Containment

Once an incident is identified, it must be contained quickly to prevent further damage. This could involve disconnecting affected systems or devices from the network or aiming to prevent further spread of malware. During this stage, a backup of systems for further analysis could also be performed.

4. Eradication

The next step is to remove the cause of the incident completely from the organization’s environment. It could involve remedial action against vulnerable software, delete malicious code, and where possible, improve defenses for the future.

5. Recovery

After the eradication phase, the process of recovery starts. This is where affected systems and devices are restored and returned to their normal functions, ensuring minimal disruption to the business. Monitoring is vital at this stage to prevent a repeat attack.


In conclusion, understanding and implementing Incident response first steps are fundamental in protecting an organization's critical assets. Preparation, identification, containment, eradication, and recovery are crucial steps in any effective Incident response plan. By executing these steps effectively, an organization can significantly reduce the damage of cybersecurity incidents, minimize recovery time, and keep an organization's reputation intact. Remember, reaction speed is of the essence, and having a response to an incident should not be considered optional but an essential aspect of any modern organization's cybersecurity strategy.