Why your business needs a digital incident response plan

One of the biggest threats Australian businesses face today is the growing risk of cyberattacks and other digital incidents. From Facebook and Instagram accounts being taken over to entire systems being held to ransom, the consequences can be devastating.
Regardless of size or the industry you are in, it will make a big difference to your business if you have a Digital Incident Response Plan (DIRP) in place.

What is a Digital Incident Response Plan?

A DIRP outlines the steps a business should take in the event of a digital incident or cyberattack. It covers everything from identifying the incident and assessing its impact to containing the damage and recovering from the setback.

Why have a DIRP?

  • Protect sensitive data
One of the primary reasons businesses need a digital incident response plan is to prevent the loss of sensitive data. In today's digital age, businesses collect, store and transmit a vast amount of sensitive information, including details about their employees, customers and clients. If this information falls into the wrong hands, it can be used for identity theft, fraud and other malicious activities.


Having a DIRP can help businesses quickly identify and respond to digital incidents that have compromised data. By following the steps outlined in their plan, businesses can take immediate action to contain the incident and prevent further damage.


  • Minimise the impact of digital breaches
Even with the best security measures in place, no business is completely immune to cyber attack. That's why it's essential to have a DIRP that outlines the steps to take.

For example, a digital incident response plan might include steps to:


  • isolate infected systems and prevent further data from being lost
  • shut down compromised accounts so customers cannot be contacted by hackers
  • reset passwords to prevent unauthorised access
  • notify customers and employees about the incident and provide them with guidance on how to protect themselves from identity theft or other malicious activities
  • notify relevant government bodies in accordance with current regulations
With a DIRP to refer to, a business’s managers and external IT team will know what needs to happen. Responsible parties are nominated and will be prepared to react, which can prevent the risk of confusion, mixed messages and incorrect actions being taken.
Putting a plan together doesn’t have to take a long time or be very complex. It can be a matter of applying a tested formula and tweaking it to match the needs of your business.


  • Maintain continuity and prevent a worst case scenario
Digital incidents can disrupt business operations, cause downtime and lead to lost revenue. When you have a DIRP, you can minimise the time lost to the disruption because you have a clear roadmap to respond to incidents. It’s likely that because you have taken the time to come up with a plan, you will also have backup systems so you can recover lost data and continue to operate.


  • Compliance with regulations
Many businesses in Australia are subject to data protection regulations, such as the Privacy Act 1988 and the Notifiable Data Breaches (NDB) scheme. These regulations require you to take reasonable steps to protect personal information and notify anybody who may be affected by a breach.

Having a DIRP in place will give you and your IT team boxes to check in regard to reporting obligations.

Protect your reputation with a clear DIRP

Clients and consumers have high expectations, firstly that their data is protected and secondly that a business has a professionally managed response if an incident does happen. Major businesses have hit the headlines for failing to respond appropriately, which gives cybersecurity and IT professionals case studies to learn from.
If you work with your IT provider to establish a well-thought out response plan for cyber-related incidents you can show your customers, employees, and stakeholders that you take cybersecurity and their loyalty seriously.

Contact Huon IT for an end-to-end plan for cyber security protection and response.

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