What are the six steps of the recovery process?

You are maintaining the changes and self-control achieved in the Fourth Stage in the long term. This is a good opportunity to evaluate your current actions and redefine your long-term sobriety maintenance plans, including relapse prevention. But long-standing changes often involve setbacks. It's important to note that most people who successfully change themselves go through the stages three or four times before going through the cycle of change without at least one mistake.

Most will return to the stage of contemplating change. The slips give us the opportunity to learn. The Stages of Change model helps clinicians identify which therapeutic strategies would be most appropriate for a particular participant in addiction therapy at a given time. For example, motivational interviews are best suited for people who are in the stages prior to contemplating and contemplating change.

On the other hand, relapse prevention is the most appropriate strategy for people who are in the action or maintenance phase of change. As therapy participants go through the different stages of change, addiction specialists adjust their therapeutic approach to match the participant's changing motivation. Even with strong cyber defenses, your network is still susceptible to hackers, social engineers, ransomware, and other digital dangers. Given the rapid development of technology, there are likely to be some gaps and flaws that malicious actors can use to organize an attack or gain access to your system.

For cases like these, the best response is to develop a comprehensive incident recovery process. The incident recovery process is a crucial component of any cyber defense plan. Used to designate specific functions, establish staff hierarchy and prioritize tasks following a serious cyber attack or data breach, this is a multi-stage process that requires the cooperation and dedication of all IT staff. Given today's modern reliance on IT, a standardized incident recovery plan has many benefits.

While a standardized incident recovery process is sufficient for most scenarios, the recovery process for an IT security incident is very smooth. The six steps below provide a complete guide to incident recovery, but feel free to add or subtract phases as needed. It's important to remember that the incident recovery process is a continuous cycle. Because your IT team is constantly responding to new and emerging threats, it will review this and all other steps on an ongoing basis.

However, the preparation phase remains one of the most important steps in your incident recovery plan. While the proper identification and classification of security incidents makes the remaining phases of the incident recovery process more manageable, some complications still need to be considered. For example, a large organization may receive thousands of network scans daily. Because it's not feasible to address each of them, most IT teams rely on cybersecurity systems to evaluate them and focus on incidents that have immediate or serious consequences.

During the containment phase of the incident recovery process, your team isolates the threat and mitigates any additional damage. They can achieve this through multiple routes, depending on the systems affected and the extent of the damage. Sometimes, you can keep the entire system up and running throughout the incident recovery process. This approach is generally reserved for cases where sensitive data has not been compromised or when a cyber attack is not considered serious.

Instead, your IT team can monitor daily activities to detect suspicious actions and address the incident at a later date. The recovery phase of incident response revolves around testing systems that were repaired, replaced, or reinforced during the eradication phase. Successful testing allows operations and service delivery to resume. Often referred to as the follow-up phase or “lessons learned”, the final step in the incident recovery process requires a thorough review of the entire situation.

Since this phase involves reviewing the information you've already collected, this should be the easiest step in your plan. Try to review as much pertinent information as possible during this step. While it may be the easiest part of your incident recovery plan, you'll want to make sure it's a learning experience for all your staff. While most experts recommend a six-step process for incident recovery, it's not an immovable rule.

Some organizations and certain incidents may only require a few steps. Similarly, you may need to introduce some additional steps to ensure that the incident is properly addressed. However, threat analysis can also be used in a more general sense. In this case, it is often implemented during the final “lessons learned” phase of the incident recovery process to provide an in-depth view of current and future threats.

Extensive testing of systems is recommended to ensure proper functionality. While an important component of the recovery phase, system testing is useful at several points in the incident recovery process. Testing your cyber defenses during the initial phase of preparing or identifying threats, for example, can give you an idea of vulnerable entry points for hackers and other malicious actors. While internal communications are covered in the initial preparatory phase of the incident recovery process, this concerns only internal communications between IT staff.

In some cases, especially when it comes to a consumer or patient data breach, you'll also need to contact the general public. In these cases, it's best to maintain communications throughout the incident recovery process. A good strategy includes an initial press release to announce the incident and provide any initial details you may have, followed by regular updates until the resolution is complete. When working with an outside consultant or recovery team, it's critical that you maintain communications at all times.

Knowing what the other party is doing and how it is progressing will help create a schedule for the entire incident recovery process, which will be useful when communicating with consumers, staff and other interested parties. The onboarding or training of any new employee should take place as close as possible to the initial preparation phase. It often doesn't help to place someone in a situation where they are immediately left above their head. While the majority of your incident response team will be comprised of current staff, some new additions may be required to fill the gaps.

Most incident recovery processes can follow the six steps described above, but they are not exactly uniform across applications. With so many different variables to consider and with so many possible avenues of attack, it takes real diligence to cover all your bases. If you are currently creating or reviewing your incident recovery plan or are actively responding to a cybersecurity threat, contact RSI Security today. Aftercare resources, such as 12-step groups, sober living homes, and support for family and friends, promote a life rich in rewarding relationships and meaning.

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Blanche Taboada
Blanche Taboada

Lifelong internet geek. Award-winning twitter fanatic. Award-winning bacon enthusiast. General zombie practitioner. Passionate zombie maven.