Incident Management Process

Incident management processes address threats, ensure communication protocols, and return your business to operational normalcy.

 

incident management tools can help combat issues before they get out of hand

What Is Incident Management?

Incident management refers to the process an organization uses to discover, assess, address, and report incidents. The nature of incidents can vary but in call cases, they involve the potential damage or disruption of an organization's critical assets and/or operations. Without rapid mitigation, incidents can escalate to become disastrous. The goal of any incident management process is to return the business to operational normalcy, repair any damage, and follow communication protocols internally and externally. You can read more on the topic on TechTarget.com.

While often correlated with IT/ITIL, incident management and incident response are needed across an entire organization. Some examples of incidents requiring a coordinated, consistent, and rapid response:

  • Cyberattacks
  • Privacy Breaches
  • Natural Disasters
  • At-Risk Employee Terminations
  • Public Relations Crises
  • Product Recalls

In all cases, there is an event trigger followed by a well-executed, cross-departmental process that is handled by a formal or informal Incident Response Team. Each team member is responsible for a specific aspect of the incident mitigation activities as well as knowing how and when to escalate to another team or team member.

At the end of the process, there is a response assessment that reviews what happened, response performance, and results against Service Level Objectives (SLOs). By recording and documenting each incident, the process can be improved and lessons can be learned for future incident management situations.


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Sample Incident Response Process

incident-response-process

For a visual example of laying out an incident response process, check out this guide from LucidChart.


Why Automate the Incident Management Process?

Everyone has been part of a "fire drill" approach to handling an incident. In some cases individuals step up and guide the response, acting as a traffic cop and doing their best to both communicate and manage activities. However, even in the best situation with the best traffic cops, the response tends to be slower and less effective than it should be. In some cases, these delays and missteps can cost an organization greatly both in terms of revenue and reputation.

Automating the incident management process as much as possible will:

  • Shorten response time and cycles
  • Ensure resources are properly used and involved
  • Reduce human error
  • Allow the response team to focus on the task at hand
  • Provide an audit trail of all response activities
  • Improve communication

Centralized Governance

Having a centralized incident reporting system accessible to consistently log incidents and route them to trained personnel for the initial assessment is the first step. This alone could help ensure a rapid, more coordinated response to security incidents by providing checklists for actions to be performed and communicating status.

Once incidents are reported they can be prioritized based on reported or determining severity. While all incidents are logged and analyzed, “Critical” incidents might be routed immediately to the highest level remediation team and key executives. In addition, an alert might be sent back to the originator for immediate clarification and additional information. If a “Critical” incident has not had action taken on it within 5 minutes it could escalate to another team, fire off more alerts, etc.


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Incident Management Response Workflow Example

incident management workflow


Real-World Incident Response Example

Our customers have built incident management systems to handle a variety of incident response needs using our low-code workflow automation platform. The example below is from a Privacy Incident system that one of our customers developed to handle potential privacy breaches. Anyone in the organization can submit an incident report and the response workflow is immediately kicked off. Note that we're only showing part of the system here to maintain anonymity. The complexity of the process is well beyond what you see here.

incident-response-example-form-workflow
(Click for Larger)

 

safety incident report
Sample Safety Incident Report

Response Audit Traceability

A response audit trail is critical to response process improvement and identifying bottlenecks dropped hand-offs and turnaround time issues.

Best practice audit trails include:

  1. Verifiable evidence that can be presented internally or externally.
  2. The exact sequence of tasks or activities that have been performed.
  3. What actions were taken or not taken.
  4. Information about who performed each task(s).
  5. Time and date stamps for all activities.

Audit trails, therefore, provide explicit who, what, when, where, how information used to either confirm that tasks were performed as expected or identify errors. Audit reports can show examples of areas for improvement in a process. For instance, if there are frequent mistakes or delays unearthed by reviewing the data, workflow administrators can look for opportunities to improve forms, copy, routing, etc., and ensure a better end product.

How Can Integrify Help?

Integrify provides incident management software that allows our customers to build customized, automated response processes based on any type of incident, whether it's a cyberattack, HR issue, or any other kind of incident in need of a coordinated, rapid response. Our software is proven in the field and has been used by some of the largest companies in the world, including GlaxoSmithKline, Sony, AT&T, and BP.

The Tools to Ensure Rapid Incident Response

Our visual process designer interface lets you design custom access request workflows using drag and drop. Automatically assign tasks and route information based on your organization's unique workflow. Set alerts, reminders, and escalations to keep work moving forward.

Form Designer

Easily create responsive, Web-based forms to capture incident information. Include a wide variety of field types, form logic, templates, and layouts to ensure the correct data is captured and routed every time.

Self-Service Portal

Provide a unified front-end experience that allows users to submit incident reports, complete reviews, and track incident status. Collaborate in real-time about work being performed. Provide visibility by role to see which tasks are completed, pending, or in progress for a great user experience.

Incident Process Reporting

Track and maintain an audit trail of all your incident response workflows, including incident form data, remediation activities, and resolutions. Follow team progress and use KPI scoreboards to track the overall efficiency and drive improvements. Build custom reports to analyze and share with stakeholders.

Process Integration (API)

Create workflow applications with process integration into existing enterprise systems. Our open architecture and standalone web service allow other applications to initiate a workflow, complete a list of tasks, update process statuses, and conduct other bi-directional activities. Connect everything with Integrify.

Interested in Automating Your Incident Response Workflow?

We have a variety of resources to help you on your journey to an automated incident management workflow. 

Automate Any Business Process

To see how quickly you can begin automating your business processes, request a demonstration or trial of Integrify.


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