Incident Response Policy

The policy and associated guidance provide a well-defined and organized approach for handing any potential threat to computers and data.

This policy is applicable to all WashU information, infrastructure, systems, and network segments.

The audience for this policy is all WashU faculty, staff, and students.  It also applies for all other agents of the university with access to WashU information and network for contracted services. This includes, but not limited to partners, affiliates, contractors, temporary employees, trainees, guests, and volunteers.  The titles will be referred collectively hereafter as “WashU community”.

Roles & Responsibilities

At WashU, computer and network security incidents are processed by Office of Information Security (OIS) in coordination with the department, WashU Protective Services, Human Resources, and/or General Counsel.

OIS should be notified of all computer and network security incidents that may affect the confidentiality, availability, and/or integrity of the computer equipment or information at WashU.

WashU departments and schools may use their own incident handling procedures to SUPPLEMENT this process under the direction of the OIS.

  • If the incident involves law enforcement or has legal ramifications, it is important to preserve the scene, document the situation, and not to destroy evidence that may reside within the system. There are forensic processes that must be adhered to and it is highly recommended that the OIS be involved and a trained computer forensics expert be used or may require outside experts to handle.
  • OIS will notify the Area Specific Compliance Office (ASCO) for incidents that involve protected information.

OIS will formalize a post incident response process and documentation of the lessons learned. 

Policy Compliance
The OIS will measure the compliance to this policy through various methods, including, but not limited to – reports, internal/external audits, and feedback to the policy owner.  Exceptions to the policy must be approved by the OIS in advance.  Non-compliance will be addressed with management, Area Specific Compliance Office, Human Resources, or the Office of Student Conduct.

Related Policies

Incident Management Process

Policy Review
This policy will be reviewed at a minimum every three years. 

Title: Incident Response Policy
Version Number: 3.0
Reference Number: IR-01.02
Creation Date: September 18, 2009
Approved By: Security and Privacy Governance Committee
Approval Date: May 19, 2016
Status: Final
Scheduled Review Date: March 1, 2022
Revision Date: February 26, 2019
Revision Approval Date: March 15, 2019
Policy Owner: Office of Information Security