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Defining Incident Management Processes for CSIRTs: A Work in Progress

October 2004 Technical Report
Christopher J. Alberts, Audrey J. Dorofee, Georgia Killcrece, Robin Ruefle, Mark Zajicek

In this report, the authors present a prototype best practice model for performing incident management processes and functions.

Publisher:

Software Engineering Institute

CMU/SEI Report Number

CMU/SEI-2004-TR-015

Abstract

This report presents a prototype best practice model for performing incident management processes and functions. It defines the model through five high-level incident management processes: Prepare/Sustain/Improve, Protect Infrastructure, Detect Events, Triage Events, and Respond. Workflow diagrams and descriptions are provided for each of these processes. 

One advantage of the model is that it enables examination of incident management processes that cross organizational boundaries, both internally and externally. This can help computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs) improve their ability to collaborate with other business units and other organizations when responding to incidents. 

Future reports will extend this work and provide additional guidance to enable both newly forming and existing incident management capabilities to use the model to determine where gaps exist in their current processes and to develop plans for creating, improving, or restructuring their incident management processes. 

Although the processes defined in this document were originally developed for internal CSIRTs, the models and information presented here are applicable to other types of CSIRTs and other types of incident management and security management capabilities.