Research Hub > IT Incident Preparedness 2021
3 min

Are You Prepared for 2021?

Shaking the dust off your incident preparedness plans can save you from heartache in the coming year.

In the world of risk management, we spend a lot of time preparing for the unexpected, because we know that unexpected events will inevitably occur. This mindset colors everything we do in our professional careers and often spreads to our personal lives as well. I’ve endured eye rolls from my children when I forced them to participate in fire drills, what-if disaster scenario discussions and other preparedness exercises. But I know that thinking through how we would handle a surprising situation in advance arms us with a plan of action should it actually occur.

Learn how CDW can help you prepare an effective incident response.

Does your organization have a plan of action in the event of a major cybersecurity incident? Sure, you likely have an incident response plan sitting somewhere on a shared drive, but is it covered in digital cyber dust, or is it an active document that the team embraces as part of a daily routine? Regular practice helps keep your plan fresh and your team prepared to spring into action at a moment’s notice. CDW offers two services designed to shake that cyber dust off of your plan.

Check Whether You’re Ready

Our readiness assessment brings in a team of CDW incident response experts for two days to train your team on handling cybersecurity incidents. This educational opportunity requires only a small commitment of time, but the expertise we provide can make a tremendous difference during an incident. Threat vectors change frequently, so conducting these assessments on an annual basis keeps the team sharp and ready to respond.

I recently had the opportunity to assist a large school district with a readiness assessment, and the experience was all too common. Going into the exercise, the district’s team felt that they were ready for anything. It turns out they learned about several new threat vectors that weren’t on their radar. They were able to use that knowledge just a few weeks later when they discovered an active cybersecurity incident exploiting one of those new threat vectors on their network. This quick catch saved them millions of dollars because they were able to stop the incident before it spread, rapidly eradicating it from their network.

Get Real

Organizations seeking more in-depth experiences may opt to run a tabletop exercise that goes beyond a training experience and brings in real-world scenarios. In these engagements, our experts work with your IT leaders to select five or six scenarios that match your threat environment. These might include phishing campaigns, ransomware attacks, supply chain exploits, or whatever other threats keep you awake at night. We then help your team work through these scenarios and identify any gaps in your incident response plan.

We recently ran a tabletop exercise with a city government and found that their plan contained 25 critical gaps. With those results in hand, we helped the team prioritize their remediation efforts and address the most important issues. Now they are well prepared for the next incident and boast one of the premier incident response programs in the state. When the next incident strikes, they’ll be ready to roll.

Is your team at that same level of preparedness? If you’re concerned about your ability to quickly react to an emerging incident, reach out to your CDW account executive. We’ll be happy to work with you on a readiness assessment or tabletop exercise.