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Master Your Security Incident Response Communications Program

Learn how to talk to your stakeholders about what’s going on when things go wrong.

  • When a significant security incident is discovered, usually very few details are known for certain. Nevertheless, the organization will need to say something to affected stakeholders.
  • Security incidents tend to be ongoing situations that last considerably longer than other types of crises, making communications a process rather than a one-time event.
  • Effective incident response communications require collaboration from: IT, Legal, PR, and HR – groups that often speak “different languages.”

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • There’s no such thing as successful incident response communications; strive instead for effective communications. There will always be some fallout after a security incident, but it can be effectively mitigated through honesty, transparency, and accountability.
  • Effective external communications begin with effective internal communications. Security Incident Response Team members come from departments that don’t usually work closely with each other. This means they often have different ways of thinking and speaking about issues. Be sure they are familiar with each other before a crisis occurs.
  • You won’t save face by withholding embarrassing details. Lying only makes a bad situation worse, but coming clean and acknowledging shortcomings (and how you’ve fixed them) can go a long way towards restoring stakeholders’ trust.

Impact and Result

  • Effective and efficient management of security incidents involves a formal process of preparation, detection, analysis, containment, eradication, recovery, and post-incident activities: communications must be integrated into each of these phases.
  • Understand that prior planning helps to take the guesswork out of incident response communications. By preparing for several different types of security incidents, the communications team will get used to working with each other, as well as learning what strategies are and are not effective. Remember, the communications team contains diverse members from various departments, and each may have different ideas about what information is important to release.

Master Your Security Incident Response Communications Program

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should implement a security incident response communications plan, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Dive into communications planning

This phase addresses the benefits and challenges of incident response communications and offers advice on how to assemble a communications team and develop a threat escalation protocol.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Centra Networks

Guided Implementation

10/10

$7,437

16

Yamana Gold

Guided Implementation

10/10

$10,000

2

Hamilton Public Library

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

20


About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Try Our Guided Implementations

Get the help you need in this 2-phase advisory process. You'll receive 4 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation #1 - Dive into communications planning
  • Call #1 - Establish the SIRT.
  • Call #2 - Explore the elements of effective security incident response communications.

Guided Implementation #2 - Develop your communications plan
  • Call #1 - Create an internal communications plan.
  • Call #2 - Develop an external communications strategy.

Author(s)

Logan Rohde

Contributors

  • Loren Dealy Mahler, President, Dealy Mahler Strategies LLC
  • Glendalynn Dixon, Consultant, Facilitator, Advisor, Technology Industry
  • Edward Gray, Lecturer, Ivey Business School at Western University
  • Keith Marnoch, Director, Media & Community Relations, Western University
  • TJ Minichillo, Global Head Cyber Intelligence & Analytics, Energy Industry
  • Tracy Olmstead Williams, President & CEO, Olmstead Williams Communications
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