Gartner Research

How to Implement a Computer Security Incident Response Program

Published: 10 October 2019

ID: G00441567

Analyst(s): Augusto Barros , Michael Clark , Anna Belak


Increased complexity and frequency of attacks, combined with historical overreliance on preventative controls, elevate the need for computer security incident response. This research provides guidance to security and risk management technical professionals implementing an incident response program.

Table Of Contents

Problem Statement

The Gartner Approach

The Guidance Framework

  • Prework
    • Why an Incident Response Plan Is Needed?
    • Define the Scope of the Incident Response Program
  • 1. Plan
    • Create a Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT)
    • Develop an Incident Response Plan
  • 2. Prepare
    • Evaluate Tools
    • Create Incident Response Playbooks
  • 3. Practice
    • Perform Assessments
    • Conduct Exercises

Risks and Pitfalls

  • The Definition of Incident Is Too Granular or Too High-Level
  • The Incident Response Plan Is Not Continually Updated
  • Lack of Involvement From Stakeholders
  • Required Tooling or Personnel Is Not in Place

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