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7 Ways Incident Response Retainers Raise Security Resilience

7 Ways Incident Response Retainers Raise Security Resilience

You might not have heard the term “incident response retainer” before. In case you’re wondering, this is a particular type of contractor that is employed for disaster response purposes. They are employed on the basis of a retainer fee, as well as any additional fees for specific services. These employees are not really “hired” as much as they are “retained.” This means that they will not be regular employees, but will be brought in when their services are needed. Here are seven of the key ways in which incident response retainers can raise your security resilience.

1. Quick Response

The primary purpose of incident response retainers is to allow for a quick response to any cybersecurity incident, data loss incident, etc. When something like this happens, it is important to act fast. For one thing, computers are constantly writing and overwriting data. When something happens, you need to collect the relevant forensic data before it is overwritten. Once the computer starts to overwrite that crucial info, it might be lost forever. Speaking of forensics, a quick response is also essential if you want to catch the person or persons responsible.

2. Streamlining And Efficiency

An hourly employee will sometimes have less incentive than a purpose-driven contractor. They get paid the same amount per hour regardless of anything, so they have every reason to drag out their tasks. However, incident response retainers don’t work like that. They are paid by the job, motivating them to go straight in and finish the work. In the process, they will also probably help your existing IT processes to become more streamlined and efficient.

3. Liability Guarantees

Response retainers should always come with an SLA (service-level agreement) that clearly spells out their obligations. This means they are taking responsibility for your cybersecurity and that they are willing to guarantee its wellness.

An SLA will define specific parameters that must be met by the service company and its contractors. If they are not, the company that provided your response contractor can be held liable. This is great for your company because it means that your cybersecurity is guaranteed by someone with a vested interest in making it as tight as possible.

4. Manual Checks For Various Threats

If you’ve ever used an antivirus program, you are familiar with the concept of a security scan. However, automated scans like that are not always effective. It isn’t that hard for a dedicated attacker to hide a malicious file inside of a file that isn’t malicious, or perhaps to hide it in a part of the system that isn’t checked. Either way, manual checks are needed to verify the results of security scans.

An incident response retainer is someone that can be employed to do regular manual checks on all aspects of your cybersecurity environment. This might include network monitoring or the analysis of information gained through network monitoring. It will surely include checking logs, hardware, software, and a lot of other things. All of these manual checks make it less likely that an incident will occur in the first place.

5. No Employee On-Boarding Process

There are always a few expenses associated with a new employee. Training and onboarding are not free, so it is always a good thing to avoid those expenses. Apart from the financial aspects, there is also the time and trouble associated with training and preparing a new employee. When you go with an incident response retainer, you don’t have to worry about any of that. Instead, you have a ready-to-go employee that is already trained and can be employed as soon as they are needed.

6. Flexibility In Security Matters

You don’t necessarily have to limit your usage of response retainers to major incidents. They can help with a lot of different things, and anything security-related could be said to fall under their purview. With an employee of this type, you get someone with the knowledge and experience to quickly fill gaps and meet short-term needs. This can also make the whole thing a little more cost-efficient since it can help you save on labor costs. This is an employee who can fill several security roles at once.

7. Better Planning

When speaking of cybersecurity incident response, we need to talk about the need for a proper response plan. You don’t want to try and organize something like that on the fly when time is of the essence. It is far better to have a step-by-step plan that can provide a quick reference when a crisis hits. It is highly important to make sure that your incident response plan is fully optimized and correct before it is needed. Of course, experienced professionals like incident response retainers can serve as valuable sources of information and insight.


Incident response retainers are meant to function like an “ace in the hole,” and they can be very effective when used in that way. When an incident occurs and you need competent people who can respond quickly and effectively, these are just the kinds of professionals that you will need. Their job is to take responsibility for your protection and to diligently work towards the same. If you need these kinds of services and if you are looking for a reputable company that provides them, feel free to call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500.