[Explanation] What is an Incident? Key Points for Effective Resolution and Management
Apr 27, 2023
What is an incident?
How much do you know about incidents?
Incident is a word that is widely used from the IT field to the medical field.
All of them have one thing in common: they all have a negative meaning, like an "accident”.
Incidents are inevitable, and once they occur, they often have a serious impact on the organization.
However, by learning how to respond appropriately, it is possible to minimize the damage caused by the incident.
This article describes the main types of incidents, their causes, and how to respond to them.
It generally means an unexpected event, failure, or problem. A very similar term is “accident”.
An accident is a situation where an event has already occurred and damage has already been done.
Unlike an accident, an incident means that an event has occurred but no damage has been caused.
A near-miss means that an accident is about to occur, so it is distinguished from an incident where an accident has already occurred.
The meaning also varies depending on the type of industry.
Incidents in IT Services
In IT services, it means that a system or service has failed or is experiencing problems.
The failure of an IT service may lead to a loss of trust from users, since the quality and safety of the service may be questioned.
Information Security Incidents
In information security, it means security problems such as cyber-attacks due to hacking into websites and web services, data leaks and losses, etc.
These problems can have serious consequences, such as leakage of confidential information and loss of business opportunities, and can lead to loss of trust in the organization as a whole.
Incidents in Medicine and Nursing
In medicine and nursing, it means an error occurred or nearly occurred in the course of medical care, but did not impair the patient and did not result in a medical incident.
Examples include surgical errors, drug-related problems, and patient mix-ups.
What is incident management?
Incident management is a procedure for managing troubles in a system or other system in phases from occurrence to resolution.
The purpose of incident management is to restore service as quickly as possible.
Specifically, it consists of the following flow.
(1) Reception: Incidents are confirmed by user inquiries.
(2) Classification: The type of incident, scope of impact, priority, and responders are classified.
(3) Response: If the incident can be handled at the responsible level, the help desk will respond to the incident and resolve it.
(4) Escalation: If it is difficult to handle the incident at the responsible level, escalate the issue to a more specialized department or maintenance vendor to resolve the problem.
(5) Recording and reporting: The cause of the problem and the measures taken are recorded and shared within the organization. Reporting is also made to users at this time.
Proper incident management allows the organization to resolve problems quickly and efficiently, minimizing future damage.
Incident Management Challenges
Incident management is a procedure aimed at early resolution.
However, even if the procedure is followed, it is sometimes difficult to find a solution.
Below are some tough incident management challenges.
1. Not knowing who the responders are
In incident management, it is sometimes difficult to know who the responders are.
Incidents can happen unexpectedly.
If you are not prepared on a regular basis, you may not know who is responding where, which may delay your response.
2. Lack of skilled personnel
Incident management requires a certain level of technical skills and experience in order to respond appropriately.
If there are no personnel who can properly take care of the situation, it will be difficult to solve problems.
3. Lack of problem management
Problem management is the process of identifying the cause.
Even if an incident is resolved once, if the cause is not determined, the same problem can occur again.
Therefore, it is necessary to properly manage the problem and work on measures to prevent recurrence.
4. Incidents are not shared
Information about incidents may not be shared.
If information is not shared, appropriate information cannot be accurately conveyed when a problem occurs, which may lead to delays or errors in response.
Points for promptly resolving incidents
When an incident actually occurs, how can we work to resolve it promptly?
There are three points to promptly resolve the incident.
1. Organize a response desk
In order to respond to an incident, it is necessary to consolidate all the response points into a single point of contact.
If there are two points of contact, users will be confused and responders will not be able to share information, which makes it difficult to respond appropriately and quickly.
By clarifying the point of contact within the organization, information can be shared smoothly, and the issue can be resolved promptly.
2. Detect, classify, and consider solutions to the occurrence
The main points of incident response are detection,classification, and consideration of solutions.
Quick implementation of these points will enable early resolution.
For detection, the introduction of monitoring tools will increase the possibility of speeding up the process.
Also, accurately classifying incidents and taking appropriate measures to resolve them are the key points for prompt resolution.
3. Manage and resolve incidents
Finally, it is important to implement and resolve proper incident management procedures.
Incidents should be received, classified, handled, and, if difficult to handle, resolved through escalation.
After resolution, the incident is recorded and reported, and a follow-up investigation is conducted to prevent recurrence.
This series of procedures must be properly implemented to ensure prompt resolution.
What is an Incident Process Interview?
So far, we have introduced incident management, issues, and points for resolution.
But if you want to ensure that you have the right people for incident response, how do you identify them?
One way to answer this question is through the incident process interview.
In an incident process interview, the interviewer presents an example of an incident, and the interviewee gathers information to solve the problem.
The interviewer observes and evaluates the process of the interviewee's problem solving.
The incident process interview is conducted as follows
① Presentation of a case study: The interviewer presents a case study of an incident and explains the problem.
②Gathering information to solve the problem: The interviewer gathers information by asking questions to the interviewer.
③Extraction of problems: Based on the information collected in ②, the interviewer extracts the problems.
④Presentation of solutions to problems: Based on the problems identified in ③, the interviewer presents solutions.
⑤Evaluation of the interviewee: Based on the process from (1) to (4), the suitability of the candidate is comprehensively evaluated.
The Incident Process Interview allows us to measure the interviewee's ability to reason about the situation, make judgments, and think logically, all of which are essential for incident response.
However, not all aptitudes can be measured, and it is important to evaluate them comprehensively in combination with other methods.
Incidents need to be addressed by any organization, and in order to properly respond, it is important to follow incident management procedures.
Ensure that personnel are available to respond appropriately and securing personnel who can respond appropriately.
Be prepared for incidents on a regular basis by taking sufficient measures to deal with them.
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