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10 reasons your MSP needs a phishing incident response plan

As a managed service provider, your team is handling various IT and cybersecurity services and support for your clients, including managing security incidents. Including a phishing incident response plan as a part of your overall incident response plan is crucial for several reasons:

1. Prevalence of phishing attacks

Phishing remains one of the most common methods of cyber attacks! With 90% of attacks starting with phishing, it’s often the launch point for something more insidious. MSPs need to be prepared to quickly and effectively respond to incidents including ransomware, data breaches and credential theft.

2. Reduce response time

By having a predefined plan, your MSP can respond more quickly and efficiently to phishing incidents. Time is of the essence in these situations to minimize damage and spread of the attack.

3. Client trust and reputation

Clients depend on your MSP for their cybersecurity needs. A swift and effective response to phishing attacks can enhance your client’s trust and confidence in you and your team's ability to manage security risks.

4. Regulatory compliance

Many industries are governed by regulations that mandate specific responses to security incidents, including phishing attacks. Having a plan helps ensure compliance with these regulations, while avoiding legal and financial penalties.

Businesses that adhere to ISO 27001, NIST, or are compliant with regulations like GDPR or HIPAA often require comprehensive incident response plans.

5. Containment and mitigation

This response plan outlines steps to contain the phishing attack and mitigate its effects. This includes identifying compromised systems, isolating them, and preventing the spread of the attack, helping your MSP better prepare for an attack when it occurs.

6. Learn from an attack

Post-incident analysis and remediation is a part of this response plan, enabling your MSP to understand how the attack happened, what vulnerabilities were exploited, and how similar incidents can be prevented in the future.

7. Client education and awareness

Part of the response plan involves client education and awareness, since human error is a significant factor in phishing incidents. Educating clients can reduce the likelihood and impact of future attacks. We can help train your team to recognize and respond to potential threats.

8. Maintenance of business operations

A well-structured response plan helps ensure that normal business operations can be maintained with minimal disruption. This is vital for your client’s satisfaction and operational continuity.

9. Cost-effectiveness

Addressing phishing attacks quickly and effectively can be much more cost-effective than dealing with the consequences of a successful breach, which might include data loss, legal costs, fines, and remediation expenses.

10. Adaptability to emerging threats

Phishing tactics constantly evolve. A phishing incident response plan that is regularly reviewed and updated enables your MSP to adapt to new methods and protect your clients effectively.

Incorporating a phishing incident response plan within your broader incident response strategy shows foresight and a commitment to comprehensive cybersecurity practices, underlining your MSP's role as a protector against the broad spectrum of cyber threats.

The downloadable Phishing Incident Response plan PDF template includes four stages, the investigation stage, recovery stage, communication stage and the remediation stage, as well as additional resources for end users and your help desk.


Learn more about HacWare: MSP partners can decrease the likelihood their end users will click on a phishing email by 60%. Let us help you empower your client's end users with automated, AI-driven phishing simulations and under three-minute micro-trainings to build them into your client's first line of defense against cyber attacks.

Learn more about our partner program and how we can support your MSP's growth!

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