An Important Guide for Cloud Incident Management

As cloud infrastructures continue to grow, there’s more at stake when cloud incidents occur. That’s why it’s essential to have a cloud incident management strategy in place.

That way, you can detect and respond to an issue as quickly and efficiently as possible. And, most importantly, ensure your business stays up and running.

1. Detection

Detection is the process of monitoring systems, networks, services and data for signs of anomalous activity. Using effective cloud monitoring solutions that integrate with alerting tools, it’s possible to detect critical incidents and notify responders at the right time.

The detection phase can include detecting anomalous events, tracking the source of those events and determining how they impacted the business. It also includes identifying the potential threat and taking corrective action to mitigate it.

Malware infects a cloud provider’s servers as it does on-prem, compromising cloud service applications and leaking data. This malware can be delivered via various methods, including email attachments, social media links, web-based exploits and phishing attacks.

As a result, cloud incident response teams must be able to quickly identify and contain threats in a dynamic environment that evolves rapidly. Traditional incident response (IR) methodologies can’t meet cloud infrastructure demands, so responders need specialized knowledge and tools that adapt to the changing security landscape.

Ultimately, IR for a cloud environment must follow an optimized approach for every stage of the cloud incident lifecycle. Unit 42’s cloud IR team is staffed with experienced cloud experts who understand the specific nature of cloud investigations and have the expertise to quickly identify, respond and contain cloud-specific threats using industry-leading tools.

2. Monitoring

Cloud monitoring is keeping track of your cloud services and applications. It involves tracking performance, user activities, storage costs, bugs and other vital metrics.

It can help you determine how well your services perform and whether they deliver the expected value to customers. It lets you identify and fix issues before they affect your business operations.

Using a centralized platform to monitor your cloud environment will allow you to detect and mitigate incidents quickly. It will enable you to avoid squandering your resources on service disruptions and focus your technology on revenue-generating product innovations instead.

To start, you need to understand your cloud monitoring needs. It will include identifying the correct type of monitoring solution and the specific features you need.

You also need to ensure that the solution is secure and provides privacy for your data. It will prevent your data from being accessed without your permission.

Finally, you must integrate the monitoring tool with other IT tools and services. Ideally, it should work with endpoint security solutions, productivity suites and identity and authentication services.

Ultimately, you need to develop a system that delivers a single pane of glass for your teams to manage and triage incidents across the cloud and non-cloud environments. It will help your teams identify and resolve issues faster, accelerating your organization’s cloud transformation.

3. Response

Cloud-first organizations that adopt the cloud as part of their business strategies have the power to deliver products and services at an accelerated pace. But this also means they must safeguard their cloud-based assets from critical service-disrupting incidents.

Incident response in the cloud is unique, as it requires resources different from those used for traditional on-premises environments. For example, cloud security teams must monitor APIs, applications, user roles and access policies — resources not always available in a traditional data center environment.

A typical incident response process includes detecting anomalies, identifying and investigating actual security incidents and then containing, eradicating and recovering the affected systems. Often, the incident is followed by retrospective analysis, which helps determine how to improve the incident response process in the future.

In addition, relying on logs as a source of information can help detect an incident more quickly. But the data in those logs must remain protected to prevent attackers from deleting or manipulating them.

An incident response plan can help organizations identify and respond to cloud incidents more efficiently. The plan should ensure that all relevant information is gathered and communicated throughout the incident response process. It should include playbooks, messaging scripts, process flows and a status page that allows users to track incident updates.

4. Recovery

Recovery is a crucial part of cloud incident management, as it helps mitigate the negative impacts of data loss on an organization. In addition to protecting critical systems and data, it also ensures business continuity.

The first step in cloud incident recovery is to create a detailed plan describing the steps needed to recover critical systems, data and networks, cyber security elements and cloud service providers in an outage or disaster. It includes defining policies for DR, obtaining management approval and developing procedures.

Creating a list of the services and applications your business relies on and identifying their dependencies is essential. It will help you determine your Recovery Time Objective (RTO) and the target duration of operations when systems and infrastructure are unavailable.

Creating this plan will also help you identify critical vendors and partners. This knowledge may then be applied to develop recovery plans that preserve continuity with them in the event of a disaster.


Many organizations need help with a fast and efficient recovery process following an outage, resulting in costly interruptions to their business. It is especially true when a company’s backups are stored in the cloud. It can lead to days or weeks of downtime and loss of essential data.

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