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05) Does your organisation's Incident Response Plan include alternative communication systems in case your usual systems are disrupted?

January 30, 2023
Business Resilience
Incident Response Plan
Alternative Comms

Answer yes if your organisation's Incident Response Plan contains a section for alternative communication methods. Please reference the section of any previously provided plan in the notes.

Effective and timely communication is essential when responding to an incident. An incident (security-related or otherwise) has the potential to impact your company's communication channels and render them unreachable or unusable. For example, if an incident impacts your internet services you may not be able to use direct messages or emails using the internet during the incident.

It is important that your incident response plan includes one or more different alternative communication methods to maintain response team contact and enable response plans to be controlled. Other forms of communications may include, for example, SMS, direct messaging such as Signal or WhatsApp or personal mobile phone numbers. The plan should contain or refer to a record where all of the relevant contact details for the team are maintained.

It is important that all communication methods included within the plan have had a security assessment to ensure that during an incident your communications remain secured.

How to implement the control

Ensure that your incident response plan has multiple methods for disseminating communications to your incident response team and wider staff that does not rely on normal business systems.

All relevant contact details for key people within the incident response team should be documented and maintained in an appendix to the plan or in a place which is accessible in the event of disruption (e.g. a passphrase-protected file in cloud storage).

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