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Types of Security Incident Management and How to Handle Them Effectively

The digital world offers unprecedented opportunities, but it also presents new and evolving challenges, including an alarming increase in cybersecurity incidents. Security Incident Management plays a crucial role in maintaining a secure IT environment by detecting, responding to, and mitigating these incidents.  

By effectively managing security incidents, organizations can minimize the impact of breaches and ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their data. A whopping 96% of businesses consistently perform data backups, with 36% of them choosing to store their backup data in offshore locations. 

This article explores five different types of Security Incident Management: Reactive Incident Management, Proactive Incident Management, Outsourced Incident Management, Integrated Incident Management, and Managed Detection and Response. Each type has its own approach to incident detection, response, and prevention. Understanding these different approaches can help organizations choose the right strategy based on their unique needs and goals. 

Exploring the Five Varieties of Security Incident Management 

Security incident management is a critical aspect of cybersecurity, ensuring that organizations can effectively respond to and mitigate security incidents. Here are five different types of security incident management explained: 

  1. Incident Management

Reactive Incident Management is a traditional approach that focuses on responding to security incidents after they have occurred. It involves identifying incidents through real-time monitoring and alert systems, followed by a structured incident response process. 

A. The incident response process in Reactive Incident Management typically involves:

  • Identification: Detecting security incidents through real-time monitoring systems that analyze network traffic logs, system logs, and other relevant data sources. 
  • Containment: Isolating affected systems or devices to prevent further damage or spread of the incident. 
  • Eradication: Removing malware or unauthorized access from affected systems to eliminate the root cause of the incident. 
  • Recovery: Restoring affected systems or devices to their normal functioning state. 
  • Lessons Learned: Documenting details about the incident for future reference and knowledge sharing. 

B. Common tools and technologies used in Reactive Incident Management include:

  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems: Collect and analyze security event logs from various sources and generate alerts for potential incidents. 
  • Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) and Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS): Monitor network traffic for unauthorized access attempts and known attack patterns. 
  • Security Incident Response Platforms (SIRP): Provide a centralized platform to manage and coordinate incident response activities, including communication, documentation, and collaboration. 

C. Challenges in Reactive Incident Management:

  • Lack of visibility into security incidents due to siloed IT infrastructure. 
  • Time-consuming manual processes for incident detection and response. 
  • Difficulty in prioritizing incidents based on severity and impact. 
  • Inadequate incident documentation and knowledge-sharing practices. 

D. Benefits of implementing Reactive Incident Management:

  • Faster detection and response to security incidents. 
  • Reduction in incident resolution time and associated costs. 
  • Improved incident documentation and knowledge-sharing practices. 
  • Enhanced visibility into security incidents across the organization. 
  1. Proactive Incident Management

Proactive Incident Management focuses on preventing security incidents before they occur by identifying vulnerabilities, implementing preventative measures, and leveraging threat intelligence. 

A. Strategies used in Proactive Incident Management include:

  • Threat Intelligence: Gathering information about emerging threats, vulnerabilities, and attack techniques to proactively identify potential risks. 
  • Vulnerability Assessments: Conduct regular scans of systems, applications, and networks to identify weaknesses that attackers could exploit. 
  • Security Controls: Implementing preventive measures such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, endpoint protection solutions, data encryption, access controls, etc., to reduce the likelihood of successful attacks. 

B. Challenges in Proactive Incident Management:

  • Rapidly evolving threat landscape and emerging vulnerabilities. 
  • Lack of skilled resources and expertise for proactive incident management. 
  • Resistance to change and adoption of new security practices. 
  • Balancing proactive incident management with other IT priorities. 

C. Benefits of implementing Proactive Incident Management:

  • Reduced the likelihood of security incidents and breaches. 
  • Increased visibility into potential risks and vulnerabilities. 
  • Enhanced decision-making based on proactive threat intelligence. 
  • Improved security posture and compliance with regulations. 
  1. Outsourced Incident Management

Outsourced Incident Management involves partnering with a third-party provider to handle incident detection, response, and management functions. Organizations can benefit from outsourcing incident management in scenarios where they lack the necessary expertise, resources, or round-the-clock coverage. 

A. Key considerations when choosing an outsourced incident management provider:

  • Experience: Ensure that the provider has a team of skilled professionals with experience in incident response and management. 
  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs): Define clear SLAs, specifying the expected response times, resolution times, and communication processes. 
  • Compliance: Verify that the provider follows industry-standard security practices and complies with relevant legal and regulatory requirements. 

B. Challenges in Outsourced Incident Management:

  • Loss of control and visibility over the incident management process. 
  • Ensuring effective communication and collaboration with the outsourced provider. 
  • Compliance with legal and regulatory requirements while outsourcing incident management. 
  • Potential impact on internal resources and staff augmentation needs. 

C. Benefits of Outsourced Incident Management:

  • Access to specialized expertise and 24/7 incident response capabilities. 
  • Cost savings compared to maintaining an in-house incident management team. 
  • Scalability to handle fluctuating incident volumes and complexity. 
  • Improved incident response time and reduced impact on business operations. 
  1. Integrated Incident Management

Integrated Incident Management integrates reactive and proactive approaches to optimize incident detection, response, prevention, and coordination across different incident management teams within an organization. 

A. Core components of Integrated Incident Management include:

  • Collaboration and Information Sharing: Promoting effective communication, coordination, and information sharing between reactive incident response teams, proactive vulnerability assessment teams, and other stakeholders. 
  • Centralized Incident Management Platforms: Utilizing centralized platforms that provide a comprehensive view of security incidents, enable documentation, automate workflows, and facilitate collaboration. 

B. Challenges in Integrated Incident Management:

  • Complexity in integrating different incident management tools and technologies. 
  • Ensuring effective communication and coordination between reactive and proactive teams. 
  • Aligning incident management processes with organizational goals and objectives. 
  • Managing the transition from traditional siloed incident management approaches to an integrated model. 

C. Benefits of implementing Integrated Incident Management:

  • Streamlined incident detection, response, and prevention processes. 
  • Improved collaboration and communication between different incident management teams. 
  • Enhanced visibility into security incidents across the organization. 
  • Optimal resource utilization and elimination of redundancy in incident management efforts. 
  1. Post-Incident Review and Improvement

Once an incident is resolved, it’s essential to conduct a post-incident review (PIR) to evaluate the incident response process and identify areas for improvement. This type focuses on learning from past incidents to enhance an organization’s security posture. 

A. Features of Post-Incident Review and Improvement:

  • Comprehensive Analysis: A thorough examination of the incident, including its causes, impact, and response, is a key feature of post-incident reviews. 
  • Actionable Recommendations: PIRs should provide actionable recommendations for improving incident response processes, technology, and training. 
  • Feedback Loop: Establish a feedback loop to ensure that recommendations are implemented, and their effectiveness is monitored over time. 
  • Documentation Standards: Define clear standards for documenting PIRs to ensure consistency and completeness. 
  • Reporting: Summarize the findings and recommendations in a clear and concise report that can be shared with relevant stakeholders and decision-makers. 

B. Benefits of Post-Incident Review and Improvement:

  • Continuous Improvement: PIRs help identify weaknesses in incident response processes, enabling organizations to continually improve their security posture and response capabilities. 
  • Knowledge Sharing: Lessons learned from PIRs can be shared across the organization to increase awareness of security risks and better prepare employees to recognize and respond to incidents. 
  • Risk Mitigation: By addressing the root causes and vulnerabilities exposed during the incident, organizations can reduce the risk of similar incidents occurring in the future. 
  • Compliance and Reporting: PIR documentation can be valuable for compliance purposes, demonstrating that the organization takes incident management seriously and actively works to improve its security measures. 

C. Considerations Post-Incident Review and Improvement:

  • Timeliness: Conducting the post-incident review promptly after resolving the incident is crucial to ensure that details are fresh in the minds of those involved and that any necessary improvements can be implemented swiftly. 
  • Cross-Functional Involvement: Involve team members from various departments and roles to gain diverse perspectives and insights into the incident. This can include IT, security, legal, compliance, and management teams. 
  • Documentation: Thoroughly document all aspects of the incident, including the timeline of events, actions taken, and their outcomes. This documentation serves as a valuable reference for future incidents. 
  • Data Analysis: Analyze data related to the incident, such as logs, alerts, and forensic evidence, to understand the attack vectors and methods the attackers use. 


In summary, organizations face various security incidents that can have severe consequences if not appropriately addressed. By implementing the right approach to Security Incident Management, organizations can effectively detect, respond to, and prevent security incidents. 

Reactive Incident Management focuses on responding to incidents after they occur, while Proactive Incident Management emphasizes prevention through vulnerability assessments and threat intelligence utilization. Outsourced Incident Management provides access to specialized expertise, while Integrated Incident Management optimizes incident detection, response, prevention, and coordination. 

To ensure the best possible protection against cybersecurity threats, organizations must evaluate their needs and goals before choosing the right type of Security Incident Management approach for their business. 

Explore Embee‘s Security Incident Management services for comprehensive incident management solutions tailored to your organization’s needs. 

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