Top 10 Best Incident Response Tools in 2021

Incident Response Software is crucial for enabling organizations to identify and resolve security issues quickly. These include addressing various cyberattacks, malware, exploits, and various other internal and external threats and suspicious activities. 

Generally, the incident response software works along with other security tools like antivirus, firewalls, etc. For being able to do the same, the tools garner information from system logs, endpoints, authentication systems, etc.

Selecting the best tool for your organization might turn out to be something of a challenge. To help you find the ideal incident response tool, here is a thorough guide to everything you need to know about the solution, including a list of the top 10 incident response tools.

What is Incident Response Software?

Incident Response (IR) platform is responsible for guiding the countermeasures against all cybersecurity breaches. It also deploys preplanned and automated threat responses. Automated tasks consist of threat hunting, using pay blocks as real-time threat responses, and anomaly detection. 

These platforms provide you with a response playbook meant to contain and remediate breaches. The planned workflows, runbooks, or playbooks guide or automatically respond to the threats in real-time. These will get triggered via detecting threats or types of incidents. 

Also, the IRA platforms run as per the policy of SLA. For example, the playbook might escalate to a specific threat level when a high-priority device gets infected. The automatic synchronization and operation will help response teams minimize the time and resources needed to manage incidents.

What are the Common Features of Incident Response Software?

Incident response platforms generally offer the following features:

  1. Anomaly detection and SIEM data ingestion
  2. Incident Response Software provides a database of regulations and other best practice response plans.
  3. IRPs can correlate data from SIEM, endpoints, and several other sources.
  4. The incident response playbooks have customizable pre-built standards.
  5. Provides automated response to all security alerts
  6. It processes tree and timeline analysis for the identification of threats.
  7. To analyze real-time detection and forensics, it attacks behavior analytics.
  8. Helpful in-network access analysis, access, and credential lockdown
  9. Isolates infected systems and malicious files
  10. It also automates escalation to assign tasks to the appropriate people.
  11. A service-level agreement (SLA) tracking and management systems are provided as well.
  12. It can retain forensic data as well for post-incident reporting and further analysis.
  13. Remediates planning and process automation
  14. Compliance report issuance
  15. Private breach reporting policy preparation 

What are the Benefits of Incident Response Software?

Incident response tools have become a necessity for current companies. Given below are all the benefits offered by an incident response software:

  1. Faster Resolution and Escalation 

If you have a well-defined and properly-used incident management procedure, then the application support will naturally become a part of your business. Incidents will get solved faster, consistently, and follow the best practices in the market. Otherwise, poorly documented and irregular incident management will lead to multiple tries at resolutions and regular firefighting.

  1. Optimized Security at Remote Sites

The incident response tools can manage all your remote sites conveniently. Moreover, it will ensure a regular presence of security, proper maintenance, and managerial oversight. 

  1. Reduces Downtime

One of the chief advantages of having an incident response tool is reducing company downtime. It will create a thorough action plan for all possible situations and guide the employees on the best ways to respond to different incidents.

  1. Incorporates a System of Trust and Transparency

An incident response software will help you build and maintain public trust whenever your company faces a state of emergency. For instance, if you can quickly recover all data when a natural disaster occurs, the public will understand that your company is very reliable. Moreover, loss of essential data might make it way too difficult to regain your customers’ trust. This, in turn, will damage the company’s reputation.

  1. Better Overall Process Handling

Many more deployments will occur when you pair the incident response system with regular integration and delivery techniques. These will be executed rapidly as compared to the previous month’s stats. Moreover, it will accumulate less technical debt for the Engineering and Operations teams, creating a well-built fixes system.

Who Uses Incident Response Software?

  1. Information Security (InfoSec) Professionals

InfoSec professionals utilize incident response software to alert and remediate security threats to an organization. Moreover, it also helps to monitor the dangers, and with the help of this software, professionals can automate and quickly scale their response to security alerts.

  1. IT Professionals
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The companies that do not have dedicated information security teams need IT professionals to take up security roles. All those professionals with limited security backgrounds rely on incident response tools to help identify threats, make proper decisions in case of security incidents, and so on.

  1. Incident Response Service Providers

The incident response service providers use incident response tools to actively and ensure the client’s system and other security services, providers.

What are the Alternatives to Incident Response Software?

  1. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) software: They combine both endpoint antivirus and endpoint management solutions to perform the function of investigating, threat-hunting, and removing any security threat that might have entered the network’s devices.
  2. Managed Detection and Response (MDR) software: These can monitor several items like your company’s networks, endpoints, and other IT sources to find any security incidents.
  3. Extended Detection and Response (XDR) software: These are tools that can automate the procedure of finding and remediating security issues across all hybrid systems.
  4. Incident Response Service Providers:  This is suited to serve those companies that don’t wish to purchase any incident response software (in-house) or develop their own open-source solutions. Such companies employ incident response service providers.
  5. Log Analysis Software: Log analysis software allows you to document the application log files for recording, analytics, and log management.
  6. Log Monitoring Software: Log monitoring software detects patterns in the log files and alerts the users. This way, it helps to resolve performance and security problems.
  7. Intrusion Detection and Prevention Systems (IDPS): IDPS is needed to inform IT administrators about anomalies and attacks on IT infrastructure and applications. Such software detects malware, security attacks, and other web-based security threats.
  8. Security information and event management (SIEM) software: SIEM software offers security information alerting, in addition to centralizing security operations into a single platform. But, SIEM software cannot automate remediation practices, unlike incident response platforms. 
  9. Threat intelligence software: Threat intelligence software offers organizations with data-related to the latest forms of cyber threats such as zero-day attacks, new types of malware, and so on. 
  10. Vulnerability Scanner Software: Vulnerability scanners are software that regularly monitors your applications and networks to find security vulnerabilities—these work by maintaining an up-to-date database of known vulnerabilities and conducts scans to find potential exploits. 
  11. Patch Management Software: Patch management tools allow you to ensure that the elements of a company’s software stack and IT infrastructure are of the latest kind. Then, they alert users about necessary updates or execute updates on their own.
  12. Backup Software: Backup software protects business data by making copies of data from servers, desktops, and other devices in case of any user data, corrupt files, and so on. In case of data loss from any security incident, this software can restore information to its old state via a backup.

Challenges with Incident Response Software

Cyber incident response systems face a lot of challenges in companies all around the world. Given below are the top 5 challenges that incident response software faces:

  1. Risk Volume

Around 80% of companies have reported having faced a hike in cyberattacks and suspicious activities in 2020 as compared to that in 2019. This number increases for specific industries, with banks having a surge of more than 238%. Besides, there have been spikes in certain types of attacks like phishing scams, cloud-based attacks, and cyberattacks. 

Not every incident can turn into an attack. However, before becoming an attack, every attempt was an incident first. This means that the numbers pale when compared to the total number of incidents. So, the volume of incidents can be way too much for businesses to handle.

  1. Privacy

Based on the industry your company is situated in, it could be already following several regulatory guidelines. These can all differ very widely and as per the agency or organization that administers them and institutions responsible for storing, processing, or transporting sensitive information.

For instance, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) needs stringent standards to handle all sorts of personal health information such as medical records. So, regulatory compliance is very challenging with stable rules. Moreover, these standards get updated over time in response to attacks and require constant patching. Hence, there is a lot of shifting privacy needs that make compliance pretty challenging to maintain.

  1. Insider Threats

A lot of cybersecurity frameworks are built on the assumption that attacks are generated from the outside. But that’s not an absolute scenario. A lot of times, it is seen that the companies are not well-equipped to deal with attacks that come from within. 

People who have privileged access to the company’s network are the most common perpetrators. As per a study of the 2020 insider attack statistics, around 2,500 internal security breaches take place in the US every day. This score makes it just under 1 million per year.

  1. Lack in Information

Another reason why a company can’t detect and respond to risks is information is lack of information. The key challenge here is compiling, categorizing, and processing all the data required for practical incident response tools. This is quite true for small to medium-sized businesses that have fewer resources dedicated to IT.

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There is a lot of information that you need to store and optimize for real-time analysis and decision-making. Moreover, you need to protect the data as well with encryption, authentication, and so on. Risk detection requires knowledge of all the information there is its location and how to access it quickly. 

  1. Budget Constraints

It is seen that often incident management systems are hard to implement since the organizations lack the necessary budget for the same. A lot of cuts are expected to be incurred by IT spending. This means that departments that were already running on a low budget will now have even less bandwidth for any cyber defense operations. This includes incident response management.

How to choose the right tool for your needs

Every organization’s requirements for incident response tools will be different. And one device might seem to fulfill your needs now but might not do the same in the long run. You need to consider a lot of things before investing in an incident response platform. 

The most crucial aspect here is understanding all the challenges and risks that your business is trying to resolve. You can’t just procure all those incident response tools that do not determine your organization’s needs. 

The security team of the company needs to determine what is best for your business. Do ponder over the following questions before buying an incident response platform:

  • What is the goal of your organization, and what are the requirements to achieve the same?
  • What the company needs to protect, and what you are protecting it from.
  • Is it necessary to protect the complete network or just a subset of critical systems?
  • What are the organization’s challenges currently when it comes to visibility, control, and expertise?
  • How should the security policies, security workflows, and plans be adjusted?
  • How will the tools help the organization in measuring its success?
  • Will the incident response tools encourage or hinder vulnerability and penetration testing efforts?
  • What is the budget of the tools, and if it is sufficient or not

Also, your security team needs to adopt the OODA loop approach. The reason is that as time passes by, it will become necessary to tweak the incident response software and the overall setup. For instance, when the security team finds the nuances of network traffic and system behaviors. Then, the tools need to be tuned as per the needs. 

Moreover, it also becomes necessary to determine if the data collected will help or hinder decision-making. Establishing new security standards or adjusting the policies might become required. Alongside the same, you will need to update the incident response plan’s documents as and when the tools evolve. 

How to Buy Cyber Incident Response Software

You can’t just pick any random incident response software for your company. There are several things to consider before finalizing the right incident response tool. Given below are the steps that you need to follow to pick the right tool:

  1. Gather Requirements for the Incident Response Platform

Before starting to look for incident response software, you need to have an effective incident response program in place. Moreover, the company needs to weigh in the software’s current stack and check if it is easy to use. Also, it is imperative to choose software that meets the company’s needs in terms of functionality. 

  1. Compare Incident Response Software Products

You need to research incident response software products and providers based on reviews and vendor rankings. It is also acceptable to sort the products based on languages supported. 

You need to compare these software products’ features wherein buyers can judge qualities with actual user rankings. 

  1. Choosing a Product

A company will have a selection team likely to include members from the IT teams, security teams, or incident response teams. People responsible for day-to-day use of incident response software need to be part of the selection team.

The selection of the incident response software needs to be done based on prices, features, support packages, etc. Moreover, you need to weigh in implementation systems and other services as well.

You might already know that many vendors allow a short-term trial of the product before you purchase it. Day-to-day users of the product need to test the software’s abilities before they decide. And the trial period helps with the same.

Best Free And Open-Source Incident Response Tools

1. Sumo Logic

Sumo Logic - Incident Response Tools

This security analytics software makes use of a cloud-based system and can work on its own or with other SIEM solutions on multi-cloud and hybrid environments. It makes use of machine learning to enable enhanced threat detection and investigations. Also, it can detect and respond to several security issues in real-time. 

It follows a unified data model and allows security teams to accumulate security analytics, log time management, compliance, and other solutions into one. This improves all incident response processes and also automates several security tasks. Moreover, it is easy to deploy, use, and maintain, and doesn’t need any costly hardware or software upgrades.

2. AlienVault

AlienVault Incident Response Tools

AlienVault is a one-stop solution that incorporates threat detection, incident response, and compliance management in a single tool. It offers elaborate security monitoring and remediation for cloud and on-premise environments. 

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Moreover, the tool comes with several security capabilities that include detecting intrusions, asset discovery, vulnerability assessment, email alerts, etc. This is an easy-to-use incident response software that uses lightweight sensors and endpoint agents. It can also detect threats in real-time. 

3. Cynet 360

Cynet 360 - Incident Response Tools

Cynet is an incident response platform that provides you with a comprehensive set of remediation actions capable of addressing several issues. It deals very well with infected hosts, attacker-controlled network traffic, malicious files, and compromised user accounts. Your team will get transparency of their environment in just less than an hour, and it takes a single click to remediate attacks. 

The central management system will allow you to distribute the open-source incident response across the entire environment. Moreover, you can also build your own remediation policies meant for automated threat blocking and removal. 

This tool allows you to check the attack scope and indicators to reduce the overall investigation time. Cynet has a 24/7 action plan ready to assist you whenever needed.

4. GRR Rapid Response

GRR Rapid Response Incident Response Tools

GRR Rapid Response is another excellent open-source incident response system that you can utilize to perform both live and remote forensic analysis. It allows you to have a smooth and scalable method for threat analysis. GRR Rapid Response consists of 2 parts: the first one is the GRR client, which is deployed on the system to be investigated. The second one is the GRR server, which will help analysts implement various actions and process the collected data.

5. TheHive

TheHive Incident Response Tools

TheHive is yet another excellent incident response open-source platform that you can use for case and alert management. It allows multiple analysts to work together at the same time. It has been designed to second the MISP and gather intelligence from mailing reports, SIEMs, and computer telephony providers. 

Moreover, it comes with dynamic dashboards that track all cases’ metrics and support orchestration automation and response. TheHive can tag, sort, and filter evidence to investigate and export it for sharing threat intelligence.

6. Wazuh

Wazuh Incident Response Tools

This is a one-stop solution for compliance, integrity monitoring, incident response, and threat detection. It provides you with a constant monitoring system that exists across both cloud and on-premise environments. 

Wazuh is a Host-based Intrusion Detection System (HIDS) and System Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution. It works through a monitoring and response agent connected to a server system that collects intelligence and executes analyses. It can be integrated with several threat intelligence sources.

7. Osquery

Osquery Incident Response Tools

This is an open-source tool that you can use to enable endpoint visibility. It allows you to look for several types of information and run processes rapidly. It also looks for open network connects, loaded kernel modules, browser plugins, etc.

Osquery is compatible with Windows, Linus, and macOS devices. Its working involves transferring system information into a relational database system. You can easily query this database via SQL to filter and search status information to perform analyses. With Osquery, you can perform queries manually, schedule queries, or launch questions through API.

8. MISP

MISP Incident Response Tools

Malware Information Sharing Platform is a threat intelligence open-source platform that allows you to collect, share, and store information about cybersecurity threats, analyses, and indicators. MISP can be used in a Docker container or on any other standard Linux machine. It provides functionality for inclusion with SIEMs, network intrusion detection systems, and Linux Intrusion Detection System. 

Moreover, it features a comprehensive database of incident indicators, with an automatic correlation engine and functionality for building event graphs. It is also extensible via pre-built or custom-built python modules.

9. Zeek

Zeek Incident Response Tools

Zeek is formerly known as Bro and is a framework for security monitoring and network traffic analysis. It allows you to extract network data to analyze and automate detection and monitoring tasks. It is compatible with Linux, FreeBSD, and Mac OS X devices.

It relies on behavior analysis and threat detection, unlike others that are based on signature-based detection. Zeek also includes app layer analysis, activity logging, and an API for extension via plugins. It can customize analyses through scripting in a Zeek-specific language.

10. MozDef

MozDef is a collection of microservices that you can use along with Elasticsearch in a SIEM form. It automates interfacing with several security tools via API. MozDef can be used in a Docker container or directly on a CentOS 7 system. 

It includes automation functionalities meant for metrics, incident handling, response workflows, and information sharing. Moreover, MozDef also has features meant for real-time collaboration, scaling, and log management.

Conclusion

These are some of the top incident response tools that are currently available in the market. Hope this article helped you to understand the incident response process. Also, it should have provided you with the details required for you to choose your software.   

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