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Crisis Response Management

How Cyber Assessments Assist IT Managers Dealing with a Critical Incident 

By Paul Gibbons, VISO Information Security Officer

As an analyst with VISO, I recently navigated through what could have been a crippling cyber incident for a customer. I want to share how their proactive approach to cyber assessments was instrumental in a quick response and recovery. 

Preparedness is Key: The detailed insights from our regular cyber assessments were the first line of defence. By understanding the security landscape of the customer in advance, the team could pinpoint the nature and extent of the breach and take decisive action more quickly. These decisions were supported by solid knowledge of their information systems, enhanced by our initial cyber assessment. 

Rapid Response: Thanks to the assessments, our team was not flying blind. We had clear protocols, understood the system's architecture intimately, and knew exactly which assets were critical to the organisation and needed immediate protection. 

Team Coordination and Planning: Regular meetings to develop risk remediation plans based on the initial assessment have already fostered a strong culture of communication and collaboration within our customer teams. This multi-disciplinary approach was crucial in managing the incident effectively and efficiently. 

Learning and Adapting: Post-incident root cause analysis was also streamlined. Our previous assessments provided a baseline, making it easier to identify what changed, how it was exploited, and what needed immediate reinforcement. This analysis, in combination with our assessment, was then used to identify, prioritise, and implement further opportunities for improvement.  

Minimised Impact: Ultimately, a severe incident was prevented. We managed to protect critical data and systems and, more importantly, maintain our customer's reputation.  This experience reinforced my belief in the power of regular cyber assessments. They are not just a preventative measure but a crucial tool in any IT team’s arsenal for incident response and management. 

I'd be interested to hear from others in IT and cybersecurity. How have cyber assessments played a role in your incident management strategies.





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