No matter how good the information security practices are in your organization, attackers are more sophisticated than that, especially with the release of new techniques and tools. For this reason, periodical assessment and continuous improvement of the security processes is very important. It is not just the pre-breach security measures that ensure the overall safety of the organization, a proper incident handling approach is a necessity too. Incident handling refers to the response or a contra-measure by a person or organization to an attack.
Responsibilities of an Incident Handler
Information security is aimed to reduce the scope of any attack whereas incident handling is meant to minimize the potential damage from the attack. The process of incident handling requires extensive investigation and a goal-specific approach.
The foremost responsibility of an incident handler is to be prepared to respond to a successful attack and prevent future ones. To avoid potential damages from an attack, certain amount of preparation is required. Regularly practices like the backup of data, update of software, documenting security policy, etc. can help reduce the consequences. Monitoring security software, websites, and mailing lists and updating software patches are recommended to minimize vulnerabilities. Preparing a documented updated policy will prove to be a reliable source of reference.
2. Identifying the Attack
While preparation is foremost in the case of incident handling, identifying the severity and the process by which the attack was performed is another crucial responsibility. An incident handler is expected to identify the severity of the attack, the process to perform the attack, the intention behind the attack, and the expected consequences. The containment of attack becomes easier when the cyberattack is studied in detail, as and when it occurs.
3. Containment of Attack
Once the attack is identified, the real containment process begins. An effective containment strategy helps protect the systems, network, and data from further attack and minimizes the damage. In this process, the incident handler uses various methods to prevent the outbreak of a virus/malware before it spreads throughout network.
4. Recovery and Analysis
Recovery and analysis are the final step in the case of incident handling, that helps the organization determine the reason behind the success of the attack and the defensive techniques to protect against future attacks. This step also helps with understanding the loss and the post-attack status of the system.
Benefits of Incident Handling to an Organization:
- Reinstate the regular service process as early as possible and mitigate the negative impact on business operations.
- Ensuring that agreed levels of service quality has been retained by meeting requirements for IT service availability.
- Incident handling is performed to ensure end user satisfaction even after the turmoil.
- Bringing higher levels of productivity and efficiency throughout the organization so that the system can combat similar future attacks.
- Proper reporting and recording of the attack for future reference to the management.
Incident Handling: Is it Worth it?
When it comes to how much an incident handler can earn, Glassdoor shows that an average earning of an incident handler is $85,427 per year. Apart from the regular pay, there is a possibility of earning additional cash compensation which would range from $2,452 to $79,418.
For higher positions like, Incident Response Manager, Indeed, an American worldwide employment-related search engine shows an average salary of $90,580 per year and can extend up to $194,000 annually.
Skills Required to become an Incident Handler
Technical skills that an incident handler is expected to have:
- Knowledge of different operating systems – Windows, Unix and Linux
- Knowledge of computer programming languages like C, C++, Java, ASM, PERL
- Should know installation, patching and configuration of software
- Well -verse with web-based application security
- Should be aware with the backup and archiving technologies
- Expertise in forensic software applications
- Should know TCP/IP-based network communications
- Should know eDiscovery tools and enterprise system monitoring tools
Required soft skills to be an incident handler
- Flexibility, adaptability and team-player skills
- Problem-solving and analytical skills
- Concise writing skills
- Leadership skills
- Good oral and written communication skills
How to become an Incident Handler?
Looking for the required skills for incident handling? You should consider a master’s degree in cybersecurity with a specialization in incident management. EC-Council University offers a specialization in Incident Management and Business Continuity under our Master-level degree program. The Master of Science in Cybersecurity brings you an option to select from the five skill-oriented specializations. Our Incident Management and Business Continuity specialization focuses on responding to the breach and handling the appropriate counter measures to prevent loss of information and infrastructure. For more details visit https://www.eccu.edu/specialization-incident-management-and-business-continuity/
Note: Earning potential is based on the candidate’s efficacy in the subject and the discretion of an organization. ECCU programs provide the required knowledge and skills to enhance your ability in the selected domain. It is the student’s responsibility to exploit the resources and support extended by university and harness the required capability to compliment the earning potential, as per industry standards.