The Grasshopper, the Ants and the Incident Response Plan

November 13, 2017
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3 min read

Grasshopper has always been friendly with his next-door neighbors, the Ants. As a fellow business owner, he doesn’t see them as competition, but as community. That’s just who Grasshopper is: a low-key insect with not a worry on his mind. The only problem he sees with the Ants is that they are a little too uptight for his liking. They are constantly prepping for their darkest day: the day a cybercriminal attacks.

The Ants’ Approach: Practice Makes Perfect

From afar, Grasshopper watches them run simulations and practice their incident response plan with military-like precision. The Ants are well-trained for just about any scenario; they know what to do and when and how to do it. The necessary access has been granted to ensure they have the technology and tools to do what they need to do. They’ve aligned their people, processes and technology. When a fraudster comes along, the Ants will be ready.

Meanwhile, at the company down the street, Grasshopper has a much rosier outlook. People are generally good, he thinks. In fact, he doesn’t even have an incident response plan. This bothers the Ants. When they ask why he’s not prepping for the darkest day, he doesn’t really have a clear answer for them. “Why plan for the worst when you can hope for the best?” he asks them. That’s the way Grasshopper looks at life, and he’s not going to change.

Grasshopper’s Shortsighted Strategy

The Ants are stumped. Maybe it’s a lack of resources, budget issues or prioritization problems — they’ll never know, and it doesn’t really matter. It’s clear to them that Grasshopper is too busy having a good time with his co-workers to think about any doomsday scenarios. He would much rather talk about the new technology at his company than think about the risks associated with it. “Look at all the shiny new laptops I just bought my employees!” Grasshopper proudly shares.

The Ants are impressed but worried. They know his lack of an incident response plan is shortsighted. “When Grasshopper comes crying to us, I’m not sure if we can help,” they say to each other as they parade back to work. As if on cue, just as they leave, total chaos breaks out at Grasshopper’s company. An alarm has sounded and his employees are hopping frantically around the office.

“What’s wrong? What’s going on?” Grasshopper is frightened. Over the shouting, he learns that a sophisticated attacker has been moving laterally through the organization for months. Who knows how many customers’ records were breached and what data was exfiltrated? “Wipe all the laptops clean!” he cries. But there is no process or strategy behind Grasshopper’s panic. His employees continue to hop around without a plan or direction.

Managing a Successful Incident Response Plan

Grasshopper is a mess. He runs to the Ants to beg for help. They offer one piece of advice: Deploy IBM Resilient Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) Platform to create a central and collaborative hub for managing and resolving cybersecurity incidents. It helps Grasshopper’s team understand the size and severity of the incident and take decisive action quickly. With Resilient, and a little bit of planning, he would have had all the tools he needed to intelligently orchestrate a successful incident response process, just like his neighbors the Ants have.

Now when the next cybercriminal comes along, Grasshopper will be ready. Having an incident response plan is critical to the success of any security program, as well as the long-term sustainability of a business.

Learn more about the IBM Resilient (SOAR) Platform and request a demo

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Aubre Andrus
Children's Book Author

Aubre Andrus is a children's book author who's proudly worked with amazing brands like Disney, American Girl, Scholastic, and more. She lives in Los Angeles....
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