Benefits of a Cyber Incident Response Retainer


The Value of Strategic Incident Response

In today’s world, incident response has become a crucial component of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy. It helps minimize the damage caused by a cyberattack, reduce downtime, and protect sensitive data. Therefore, investing in incident response (IR) is essential for any organization that wants to maximize its cybersecurity and prepare itself for the inevitable experience of a cyber incident.

What is a Cyber Incident Response Retainer?

An incident response retainer is a contractual agreement between a company and a cybersecurity service provider. It guarantees that the provider will be available at any time, day or night, to help the company respond to and recover from a cybersecurity incident. So, it’s a smart investment for any company that wants to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.

Why Have an Incident Response Retainer?

There are numerous ways for companies to manage and reduce their cyber risk. However, no organization can eliminate its chances of experiencing a cyber incident entirely. Therefore, it is important for businesses to focus on both threat prevention and how to react when an event occurs.

However, not all companies have the necessary resources for an in-house IR team. So, many turn to incident response retainers to address this gap in their cybersecurity.

After all, with the growth of remote work, cloud computing, and other digital technologies, businesses know they are more vulnerable than ever to cyber threats. They also know what’s at stake: significant financial losses, damage to their company’s reputation, and legal liabilities.

Businesses require an alternative and cost-effective solution to ensure prompt and constructive assistance in the event of a security breach. So, decision-makers are investing in incident response retainers to fill this gap in their cybersecurity strategy.

What are the Benefits of Cyber Incident Response Retainers?

  • Take Care of the Logistics Before a Security Event Happens

One of the most significant benefits of having an incident response retainer is that all logistics are taken care of upfront before a security event occurs.

Handling these details in advance means that organizations don’t have to worry about crucial tasks such as payment, filling out forms, and other administrative functions in the heat of the moment.

Instead, when an organization opts for an incident response retainer engagement, the service provider learns the organization’s environment, security tech stack, and internal security team’s skills and competencies. This onboarding process helps the IR service provider understand the organization’s unique needs and requirements, enabling them to provide tailored support when a data breach transpires.

On the other hand, waiting until an attack occurs can lead to delays in finding an available and experienced IR provider. This delay can result in more extended downtime and higher costs, harming the organization’s operations and reputation.

Establishing an IR retainer can ensure an organization has the right people and lays the groundwork for successful collaboration. So, when an incident occurs, the organization can immediately contact the service provider, and the provider can quickly begin to analyze the situation, contain the breach, and start the recovery process without delay.

By having all the details taken care of in advance, organizations can focus on responding to the incident without administrative tasks holding them back.

  • Quick Response Can Help Contain the Threat

As mentioned, IR retainers allow organizations to receive immediate assistance when a breach is detected. This speedy response can help prevent the attacker from causing further damage, such as disrupting critical systems and stealing sensitive data to demand a higher ransom.

Red Canary’s 2023 Threat Detection Report mentions that any intrusion is part of a larger chain of events. If you can detect and respond to an attack in its early stages, you can contain it and avoid the exfiltration and encryption stages.

In contrast, organizations without a retainer may spend valuable time negotiating a contract with a provider or searching for an available and proficient IR team. This delay can give the attacker more time to execute their plans and make it more challenging to contain the breach.

A visual representation of a sequence of events related to a cybersecurity incident. The timeline shows that incident response during the early stages of an attack can prevent an attacker from reaching the final stages of an attack.

Security Incident Chain of Events

  • Response Time Impacts Cyber Resilience

Moreover, the response time to a security incident is heavily related to an organization’s level of cyber resilience. According to researchers at Splunk, business leaders are now evaluating security effectiveness based on resilience metrics. The top resilience metrics used to gauge security effectiveness include “Mean Time to Detect” (MTTD) and “Mean Time to Repair” (or Respond/Resolution) (MTTR). An IR retainer can improve an organization’s MTTR metric and enhance cyber resilience.

Across the board, the benefit of immediate response to cyber incidents is clear. With an incident response retainer, organizations can quickly and effectively respond to security breaches, minimize the damage caused by the attack, return to normal operations more quickly, and increase overall cyber resilience.

  • Peace of Mind with Expertise on Retainer

Guaranteed access to expertise and experience, when an organization needs it most, is another benefit of having an IR retainer.

Cybersecurity providers that offer this IR service have specialized knowledge in responding to security breaches. They have a deep understanding of the latest cybersecurity threats, tools, and techniques and can guide organizations in responding to different types of incidents.

So, organizations establish IR retainers to make sure that they have immediate and effective assistance during critical situations. Furthermore, the onboarding process enables the IR service provider to educate and train the organization’s internal security team, thereby increasing their ability to respond more effectively to security incidents.

At a minimum, organizations should have an IR retainer for peace of mind, rather than waiting for an attack to find experienced IR providers.

  • IR Retainers Can Help Cut Costs Associated with a Breach

When a data breach occurs, it can be incredibly costly for an organization. According to the IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, the global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was USD 4.45 million, a 15% increase over three years.

The longer the organization takes to respond to the incident, the more costly it can become. Additionally, not only can it lead to financial losses, but it can also damage the company’s reputation, leading to a loss of customers and trust.

Alternatively, retainers grant quick, expert assistance to reduce the time it takes to respond to the incident. As a result, an organization can avoid extended downtime associated with trying to find someone in the heat of the moment, which can delay remediation and result in higher costs.

Having a retainer in place may not necessarily result in cost savings in terms of the work required to resolve a situation. Still, organizations can expect the proactive qualities of IR retainers to lead to cost savings in the long run.

Cyber Incident Response Retainers with M.A. Polce

As one of its cybersecurity services, M.A. Polce offers Incident Response Retainers that permit direct access to expert assistance in the event of a security breach. By arranging the logistics in advance, organizations benefit from quicker response times and having reliable cyber expertise on hand to help when they need it most. In short, an IR retainer ensures timely and efficient incident management.

In times of crisis, swift and expert assistance can make all the difference. With M.A. Polce’s Incident Response Retainers, organizations can rest assured that they have access to top-tier support whenever they need it. Whether facing an incident in its early stages or a full-fledged security breach, these retainers can help minimize damage and quickly restore normal operations.

Prepare your organization to respond effectively to any incident, no matter how unexpected. Contact us to implement an incident response retainer for your organization.

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