- What is the nature of the problem, as it has been observed so far?
- How the problem was initially detected? When was it detected and by whom?
- What security infrastructure components exist in the affected environment? (e.g., firewall, anti-virus, etc.)
- What is the security posture of the affected IT infrastructure components? How recently, if ever, was it assessed for vulnerabilities?
- What groups or organizations were affected by the incident? Are they aware of the incident?
- Were other security incidents observed on the affected environment or the organization recently?
Define Communication Parameters
- Which individuals are aware of the incident? What are their names and group or company affiliations?
- Who is designated as the primary incident response coordinator?
- Who is authorized to make business decisions regarding the affected operations? (This is often an executive.)
- What mechanisms will the team to communicate when handling the incident? (e.g., email, phone conference, etc.) What encryption capabilities should be used?
- What is the schedule of internal regular progress updates? Who is responsible for them?
- What is the schedule of external regular progress updates? Who is responsible for leading them?
- Who will conduct “in the field” examination of the affected IT infrastructure? Note their name, title, phone (mobile and office), and email details.
- Who will interface with legal, executive, public relations, and other relevant internal teams?
Assess the Incident’s Scope
- What IT infrastructure components (servers, websites, networks, etc.) are directly affected by the incident?
- What applications and data processes make use of the affected IT infrastructure components?
- Are we aware of compliance or legal obligations tied to the incident? (e.g., PCI, breach notification laws, etc.)
- What are the possible ingress and egress points for the affected environment?
- What theories exist for how the initial compromise occurred?
- Does the affected IT infrastructure pose any risk to other organizations?
Review the Initial Incident Survey’s Results
- What analysis actions were taken to during the initial survey when qualifying the incident?
- What commands or tools were executed on the affected systems as part of the initial survey?
- What measures were taken to contain the scope of the incident? (e.g., disconnected from the network)
- What alerts were generated by the existing security infrastructure components? (e.g., IDS, anti-virus, etc.)
- If logs were reviewed, what suspicious entries were found? What additional suspicious events or state information, was observed?
Prepare for Next Incident Response Steps
- Does the affected group or organization have specific incident response instructions or guidelines?
- Does the affected group or organization wish to proceed with live analysis, or does it wish to start formal forensic examination?
- What tools are available to us for monitoring network or host-based activities in the affected environment?
- What mechanisms exist to transfer files to and from the affected IT infrastructure components during the analysis? (e.g., network, USB, CD-ROM, etc.)
- Where are the affected IT infrastructure components physically located?
- What backup-restore capabilities are in place to assist in recovering from the incident?
- What are the next steps for responding to this incident? (Who will do what and when?)