Once a plan of action is created, it must be agreed upon and actively
implemented. Any aspect of the plan that is questioned during an active
implementation can result in poor response time and downtime in the
event of a breach. This is where practice exercises become invaluable.
Unless something is brought to attention before the plan is actively set
in production, the implementation should be agreed upon by all directly
connected parties and executed with confidence.
If a breach is detected and the CERT team is present for quick reaction,
potential responses can vary. The team can decide to disable the network
connections, disconnect the affected systems, patch the exploit, and
then reconnect quickly without further, potential complications. The team
can also watch the perpetrators and track their actions. The team could
even redirect the perpetrator to a honeypot
— a system or segment of a network containing intentionally false
data — used to track incursion safely and without disruption
to production resources.
Responding to an incident should also be accompanied by information
gathering whenever possible. Running processes, network connections,
files, directories, and more should be actively audited in real-time.
Having a snapshot of production resources for comparison can be helpful
in tracking rogue services or processes. CERT members and in-house
experts are great resources in tracking such anomalies in a system.
System administrators know what processes should and should not appear
when running top or ps. Network
administrators are aware of what normal network traffic should look like
when running snort or even
tcpdump. These team members should know their systems
and should be able to spot an anomaly more quickly than someone
unfamiliar with the infrastructure.