CISA unveils government cyber security response playbooks

Playbook follows President Biden's April executive order

Hand hovering over laptop with padlock graphic superimposed

CISA has published two playbooks for federal civilian agencies to plan and conduct cyber security vulnerability and incident response.

The Federal Government Cybersecurity Incident and Vulnerability Response Playbooks follow an executive order from President Biden in May urging the US to improve its cyber security measures following a series of data breaches in critical infrastructure and federal agencies, including the SolarWinds supply chain attack and the ransomware attacks on the Colonial pipeline.

The order from Biden urged better lines of communication between law enforcement and service providers to enhance investigations.

CISA said the playbooks should provide federal civilian agencies with a standard set of procedures to respond to vulnerabilities and incidents impacting Federal Civilian Executive Branch networks.   

“The playbooks we are releasing today are intended to improve and standardize the approaches used by federal agencies to identify, remediate, and recover from vulnerabilities and incidents affecting their systems,” said Matt Hartman, deputy executive assistant director for Cybersecurity. 

“This important step, set in motion by President Biden’s Cyber Executive Order, will enable more comprehensive analysis and mitigation of vulnerabilities and incidents across the civilian enterprise. We encourage our public and private sector partners to review the playbooks to take stock of their own vulnerability and incident response practices.” 

Related Resource

Tactics to overcome supply chain shocks and risks

Build better resiliency with modern IT infrastructure

Blue cover with whitepaper title, with a white triangle in the bottom half of the coverFree download

Two playbooks outlined by CIS are for incident and vulnerability response. They should give agencies a standard set of procedures to identify, coordinate, remediate, recover, and track successful mitigations from incidents and vulnerabilities affecting systems, data, and networks. They also contain checklists for incident response, incident response preparation, and vulnerability response that can be adapted to any organization to track necessary activities to completion.    

CISA said the “Incident Response Playbook” applies to incidents involving confirmed malicious cyber activity and for which a major incident has been declared or not yet been reasonably ruled out. The “Vulnerability Response Playbook” applies to any vulnerability observed to be used by adversaries to gain unauthorized entry into computing resources. 

“Agencies should use these playbooks to help shape overall defensive cyber operations to ensure consistent and effective response and coordinated communication of response activities,” CISA said.

The playbooks also cover response activities, such as malicious activity detection or vulnerability discovery initiated by federal agencies, CISA, or third parties. CISA warned the playbooks don’t cover threats to classified data or national security systems.

Featured Resources

2021 Thales cloud security study

The challenges of cloud data protection and access management in a hybrid and multi cloud world

Free download

IDC agility assessment

The competitive advantage in adaptability

Free Download

Digital transformation insights from CIOs for CIOs

Transformation pilotes, co-pilots, and engineers

Free download

What ITDMs did next - and what they should be doing now

Enable continued collaboration and communication for hybrid workers

Recommended

BitMart suspends withdrawals following hack
cryptocurrencies

BitMart suspends withdrawals following hack

6 Dec 2021
Bridging the DevSecOps divide: Spotlight on key relationships
Whitepaper

Bridging the DevSecOps divide: Spotlight on key relationships

3 Dec 2021
Planned Parenthood cyber attack exposes data of 400,000 patients
cyber attacks

Planned Parenthood cyber attack exposes data of 400,000 patients

3 Dec 2021
Bridging the DevSecOps divide: Spotlight on zero trust
Whitepaper

Bridging the DevSecOps divide: Spotlight on zero trust

3 Dec 2021

Most Popular

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?
Sponsored

What should you really be asking about your remote access software?

17 Nov 2021
What are the pros and cons of AI?
machine learning

What are the pros and cons of AI?

30 Nov 2021
What is single sign-on (SSO)?
single sign-on (SSO)

What is single sign-on (SSO)?

2 Dec 2021