Cyberattacks can cause major disruption to your business while putting you and your customers’ sensitive data at risk. It is crucial to have an incident response plan in place and a team ready to execute it to allow you to quickly deal with cyber threats and minimize their impact. Keep reading to learn more about incident response retainers, and how they can help save you precious time during a security incident.
What Is an Incident Response Retainer?
An incident response retainer is an agreement between an organization and an incident response provider where the provider commits to providing support in the event of a cyber security incident. The retainer typically outlines the scope of services provided, response timeframes, and associated fees. Some retainers allow businesses to use their retainer for proactive services, not just reactive, to allow them to become increasingly resilient over time.
The Advantages of an Incident Response Retainer
An IR retainer offers an alternative to having staff in-house to develop and execute an incident response plan. They are ideal for businesses who want to be prepared for cyberattacks but do not have the internal capacity or expertise needed to protect their organization. Here are some ways incident response retainers bring value to businesses.
Hiring an incident response provider at the time of an incident can become expensive – even more so when you consider that minutes wasted while finding a provider when you are actively experiencing an incident can mean millions lost. By having a retainer in place, you can set pricing upfront and avoid potentially higher costs associated with ad-hoc engagements.
Incident response retainers also reduce the cost of a cyberattack because they onboard your recovery team in advance of an incident. A successful attack can cause costly downtime and data loss, as well as opening the potential for lawsuits. Having a plan in place and a team ready to go within minutes allows your business to respond and recover quickly, saving money and protecting valuable data.
2. Timely Response
Cybersecurity incidents can occur at any time, and quick action is necessary to minimize the impact. Having an incident response retainer in place ensures that your provider can be contacted immediately, allowing for a faster response and recovery time. With a retainer, the recovery team can focus on restoring critical systems needed to run your business from the start, skipping the many steps in the first 48 hours of a breach engagement, like filling out paperwork, getting the recovery team access and familiar with your environment, and more.
3. Focus Your Resources
Having an incident response retainer means that you are always ready and prepared for an attack. This gives you peace of mind and allows your team to focus on their primary roles. Employees can turn to the experts available for support, rather than trying to navigate instances alone. Incident response providers have the specialized knowledge and experience to handle incidents swiftly and effectively because they do it every day.
Many regulatory standards require organizations to have an incident response plan in place. In addition, a plan is needed to qualify for cyber insurance to protect your business. A retainer helps organizations meet those requirements and qualify for cyber insurance.
5. Additional Services
Some incident response retainers include the ability to hire the provider to perform additional proactive services such as penetration testing or the deployment of new security solutions. Many of these additional services are helpful for finding vulnerabilities in your network and improving your business' security posture. Not all retainers allow the funds to be used for proactive services and many others provide restrictions on when the funds can be used for proactive work, like in the 11-month of the contract only.
Do you need a proactive service like an IR retainer?
Whether or not your business should work with an outside provider and sign for an IR retainer depends on your company size and budget. Retainers offer the advantage of professional expertise and service without the hassle of hiring and training security staff. For businesses with limited budgets, this may make more sense than hiring full-time staff to develop and maintain an IR plan.
Overall, having an incident response retainer in place can provide peace of mind and help organizations better prepare for and respond to cyber security incidents.
Entara is here to support your organization by providing innovative cybersecurity and IT solutions. Our innovative IR retainer offers flexible tiers of service to address the needs of businesses of various sizes. With a focus on proactive security services, Entara’s IR retainer is unique in that the retainer budget can be used immediately after onboarding and throughout the year to bolster your organization’s security posture through proactive services such as an Offensive Security Assessment. From security awareness training, to backup services and infrastructure monitoring, you can count on Entara to protect your organization from cyber threats. Contact us to learn more about the importance of proactive security tactics like our IR retainer.