A strong communications strategy is crucial for critical infrastructure companies to fully prepare and respond in a timely manner. Communications is the key to effective preparedness, response and recovery. Be it a small, medium or large company or utility, communications should be one of the top priorities. The world has become a very small when you think about how fast information can travel around the globe. This shows why the need for effective communication is essential for critical infrastructure organizations in this age of vast technology and increasing emergencies, like storm season or wildfire season. Dissemination of messages to your workers and the ability for those workers to share information is an essential part of effective emergency management.
Introduction: Incident Response Program
An incident response program is a system that supports an organization following an unforeseen crisis or emergency event. Whether it’s a security incident, data breach, malware attack, or any other threat to a business’s finances, reputation, or operations, implementing a well-developed incident response program can help businesses restore normal service operations.
In combination with effective communication, an incident response program can help to minimize the damage of emergency events and can even help to prevent them from occurring in the first place. A great incident response program has several important components:
Incident response teams and employees should be familiar with the incident response plan at their disposal. Procedures should be codified into a formal document and adopted by relevant personnel. The more prepared you are, the better the outcome will be.
Recognizing a potential emergency incident as soon as it occurs is crucial to the success of incident management. This entails properly identifying irregularities in standard operations and providing sufficient documentation as to how, when, where, and why the incident occurred.
Any networks, systems, or databases affected by an incident should be quarantined in order to reduce the extent of the damage. At this stage, it can be helpful to begin formulating a long-term plan to prevent similar incidents in the future, including rebuilding affected systems.
Once the threat has been contained, locating and eliminating the cause of the incident is the utmost priority.
When the threat has been eradicated, operations can resume with a monitoring system in place to ensure that no traces of the threat remain in operational systems.
A deep and dedicated analysis of the incident should be performed to ensure that the same incident never happens again. Necessary improvements in IT service management needs or other systems that led to the incident, such as improved endpoint management, should be identified and implemented.
What are the Benefits of an Incident Management Program?
When you adopt an incident management system, you can enjoy more efficient, structured response processes that give your incident response team members the guidance they need to be proactive in times of crisis.
Better Threat Detection, Prevention, Analysis, and Response
Strengthened network defenses allow you to identify and manage incidents faster and more effectively.
Improve Visibility and Information Sharing
Ensure smart decisions are made by encouraging communication between departments, teams, and the entire organization when emergencies occur.
Create and Clarify Accountability and Responsibility
Establish clear expectations for roles and drive better outcomes by defining clear responsibilities.
Manage Security Costs Effectively
A strong incident response program can help to provide insight into current security team expenditures and opportunities for savings.
Identify Key Opportunities for Improvement
Gain a better understanding of your overall operations and recognize areas where performance can be improved.
Putting a Plan in Place
An important component of emergency management is the communications plan. When an incident occurs, the need to communicate is immediate. Many different audiences must be reached with information specific to their emergent event.
Communication is so important for critical infrastructure companies and utilities that if a situation is not handled properly, even the image of an organization can be negatively impacted by the workers’ and customers’ perceptions of their handling of the incident.
Communicating with the Public and Stakeholders
Emergency managers aim to ensure an organization will be able to respond promptly, accurately, and confidently during any emergency and continue this level of response in the hours and days that follow an incident.
If your organization is impacted by an incident, any number of stakeholders will want to know how they will be disrupted. Regulators may need to be updated and local government officials will want to know what is going on in their region. The general public may need information, even more so if they are threatened by the incident. Many times, all of these stakeholders will want information before your own organization even has a chance to begin communicating internally.
How ARCOS can Help
With ARCOS, your company will harness the power of automation to facilitate instant communications of all types of data the company needs, whether you are tracking crews that are working in the field that need info immediately or managing contractors that are required due to an emergent incident. The need for all of this data can seem overwhelming, but we’re here to help. ARCOS’ robust incident management software and crew management software will help you get a leg up on the next event and help you get critical data flowing back and forth smoothly.