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Security Focus: An Introduction to Incident Handling

Nov 30, 2000, 20:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Chad Cook)

"Incident handling is a generalized term that refers to the response by a person or organization to an attack. An organized and careful reaction to an incident can mean the difference between complete recovery and total disaster. This paper will provide a logical approach to handling two common forms of attack - virus outbreak and system compromise. The method that this article will propose includes the following sequence of steps that should be followed in the case of all types of attack."

"Comprehensively addressing the issue of security includes methods to prevent attack as well as how to respond to a successful one. In order to minimize the potential damage from an attack, some level of preparation is needed. These practices include backup copies of all key data on a regular basis, monitoring and updating software on a regular basis, and creating and implementing a documented security policy. Regularly-scheduled backups minimize the potential loss of data should an attack occur. Monitoring vendors' and security web sites and mailing lists is a good way to keep up to date with the state of the software and patches. It is necessary to update software in order to patch vulnerabilities that are discovered. It is also vital to update anti-virus software in order to keep system protection up-to-date. A documented security policy that outlines the responses to incidents will prove helpful in the event of an attack, as a reliable set of instructions."

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