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August 1, 2001

"Incident Response" Like E.R. for I.T. Attacks

Sebastopol, CA--Seventy percent of businesses reported I.T. security breaches in 2000, and the rate is on the rise.

Is your organization ready to respond to such an incident head-on? Will you be able to tell whether an incident is an attack or a glitch in the system? Do you know how to assess the possible damage from an incident? A just-released book, Incident Response by Kenneth R. van Wyk & Richard Forno (O'Reilly, US $34.95), shows you how to answer questions like these and create a plan for exactly what to do before, during, and after an incident.

"Incident response is often something that's thrown together as necessary when there's a crisis," says Forno. "As a result, the response is often chaotic and not useful if the victim company wants to seek legal recourse against the alleged source of the attack. Incident response needs to be integrated with the total security and operations process for the organization--it can't be thrown together or operate in a vacuum!"

"Incident response needs to become as much a part of our professional lives as ambulances or fire departments are in our personal lives," adds van Wyk. "Incidents need to be handled in a business-like and efficient way, as you would expect from a fire department or ambulance."

The authors of Incident Response draw on years of experience developing and taking part in incident response teams at the highest levels of government and business. They guide you through both the technical and administrative details of effective incident response planning as they describe:

  • What incident response is, and the problems of distinguishing real risk from perceived risk
  • The different types of incident response teams, and advantages and disadvantages of each
  • Planning and establishing an incident response team
  • State of the Hack information about different types of attacks
  • Recommendations and details about available tools for incident response teams
  • Resources available to incident response teams

"There has been an ever-increasing number of incidents that have had high levels of impact," explains van Wyk. "In my view, many companies are missing the principal point of incident response--that the business is the patient in an emergency room. The incident response team needs to ensure that the patient survives. All solutions, whether they are technical, or whatever, need to flow from that basic premise. Far too many companies miss that point entirely."

Incident Response shows how to put in place an incident-response process that is as planned, efficient, and businesslike as any other I.T. operation in a mature organization. Incidents happen, and being able to respond to them effectively makes good business sense.

Online Resources:

Incident Response
By Kenneth R. van Wyk & Richard Forno
August 2001
0-596-00130-4, 234 pages, $34.95

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