Cyber incident response and recovery

All organisations need to be able to successfully respond to and recover from cyber attacks. This relies on being prepared and drawing on a broad range of organisational capabilities including technical cyber incident response and recovery, IT incident management, IT disaster recovery, business continuity, crisis management and operational resilience.

This capability is increasingly important as:

  • Cyber incidents and the crises they can trigger are increasingly complex, with malicious threat actors constantly evolving their tools and techniques to have as much impact as possible.
  • Businesses are dependent on interconnected and interdependent IT, regulations are strict, and public expectation of transparency is high.
  • Operational resilience is a key regulatory requirement for many industries, with a particular focus on cyber security, as companies become more technology reliant.

In this environment, it is essential that organisations have well-documented, understood, and exercised plans and processes; ready to respond when a cyber incident or crisis occurs and to quickly recover. These should encompass the entire organisation – from technical first responders to functional teams, business units and strategic decision makers.

Benefits of an effective cyber incident response and recovery plan

Rapid response

There is a clearly defined response framework and supporting governance, clear ownership, pre-agreed decision-making authority and escalation pathways; all enabling rapid response when needed.

Integrated response

The response and recovery capability spans both business and technical concerns, drawing on broad cross-organisational capabilities; ensuring you have the right people engaged from the outset.

Increased readiness

People, processes and tools are rehearsed and ready to respond when a cyber attack occurs; building a strong ‘muscle memory’ that can be quickly triggered.

Emerging stronger

Business as usual operations are quickly restored and lessons learned are identified and addressed to help prevent recurrence; enhancing overall operational resilience.

Our approach to cyber incident response and recovery

Our incident response and recovery team has a broad range of capabilities to be able to provide support across the prepare, respond and recover phases of a cyber crisis or incident.

“PwC demonstrated an exceptional ability to blend technical skill with executive-level communication.”

Forrester c4 2019

Ensuring you are prepared to respond and recover from cyber incidents and crises

We can help to:

  • Perform an assessment to identify gaps in your current response and recovery capabilities and help to address these.
  • Identify the key cyber threat scenarios that you need to prepare for, ensuring that the most plausible and potentially damaging scenarios are considered.
  • Create scenario response playbooks and technical runbooks to help ensure a coordinated response, covering highly technical step-by-step guidance, through to organisational and strategic decision making support.
  • Define response frameworks and the underpinning processes.
  • Ensure business continuity plans help maintain the most important business services in the event of a cyber attack.
  • Ensure you have the right forensic data and technology available to thoroughly investigate a crisis or incident and inform a containment strategy.
  • Create response and recovery training and coaching materials and deliver these through a range of mediums, targeting both technical-level teams and senior management.
  • Run tailored exercises ranging from discussion-based ‘plan walk-throughs’ to immersive, multi-team simulation exercises and war games for teams from technical experts through to senior leadership level.

Provide expert cyber response capability

We can help to:

  • Provide on-demand access to a technical response team to quickly scope, contain and remediate the incident, as well as manage your broader organisational response.
  • Establish the technical and strategic response structures which will coordinate decision making across all business functions.
  • Identify all stakeholders and develop a communication strategy that ensures they are appropriately engaged and informed where necessary.
  • Provide a project management office capability for the duration of the crisis or incident.
  • Investigate to determine the scope of malicious activity and impact to the business.
  • Monitor for attacker activity with security tooling deployed across the environment.
  • Proactively hunt for evidence of root cause(s) compromise.

Helping to recover and restore business as usual operations, understand root cause and address lessons learned

We can help to:

  • Facilitate a post incident or crisis review to help establish root cause(s), identify lessons learned and form plans to address both.
  • Realign strategic programmes to ensure they are addressing the root cause(s) and lessons learned.
  • Plan and deliver strategy and transformation programmes, helping to build sustainable security capabilities.
  • Plan the rebuild and recovery of the systems, applications and processes impacted by the incident or crisis with priorities agreed with functional leaders.
  • Plan and execute a remediation event to remove attacker access to the environment.
  • Analyse and take action to close off the attack paths.
  • Rapidly enhance detection and response capabilities to act as a compensating control until improvements are implemented.


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Contact us

Richard Horne

Richard Horne

Cyber Security Chair, Risk and Quality Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7775 553373

Claudia van den Heuvel

Claudia van den Heuvel

Crisis Management Specialist, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)207 212 1598