The Computer Incident Response Planning Handbook: Executable Plans for Protecting Information at Risk

N. K. McCarthy, Matthew Todd, Jeff Klaben

Published by






Reviewed by

Siraj A. Shaikh FBCS CITP CSci


8 out of 10

With information and digital services as the most valuable of assets, computer incident response planning (CIRP) is increasingly essential and not simply an option any more for organisations. This book sets out to help.  

This book is not about security. This book is not about forensics. This one, sitting above a layer, offers a strategic perspective on when to deploy security and forensics capability.

The authors offer good motivation to the reader to bring home the message of how important CIRP is, particularly when computer systems are attacked.

The book is divided in two halves. The first three chapters review the threat landscape, talk about standards and crisis planning respectively.

I find the first chapter a very accessible read. The treatment of security-related standards in the following chapter is rather short and sketchy. Chapter 3 then sets the scene in terms of what CIRP is all about.

The second half of the book offers the most value to readers. Over six chapters, the authors describe CIRP templates for two different types of incident including data breaches and malware attacks.

The templates are described in very relevant detail and depth, with the thought process underlying it very well explained. I welcome this as this is the bridge between the theory and practice. I hope practitioners use this and repeat the practice for their organisations.           

The final chapter offers concluding remarks, which provide a good read for all those in management who would want to know the business case of investing in CIRP. 

I would recommend this book to industry professionals who are at the early stages of setting up CIRP - this is the one for you: with good, easy language, accompanied by a glossary, this book will be a valuable addition to your book shelves. At £32.79 (Amazon), it is pricey, but then so are cyber attacks!

Further information: McGraw-Hill

January 2013