Jun 27, 2024

Mode for cyber incident response communication

Mode for cyber incident response communication

As cyberattacks become more frequent, developing comprehensive incident response (IR) plans are becoming a critical strategy to reducing organizational risk.

The 2023 IBM Cost of A Data Breach report highlights that incident response planning and testing was the top budget priority for leaders whose organizations had suffered a cyberattack, underscoring the significant role that IR plans canplay when an organization is properly prepared.

At the heart of any incident response plan is the strategic coordination among both internal and external partied - including cybersecurity teams, digital forensics, IT, executive leadership, legal, communications, and more - through well-documented and detailed processes designed for managing and recovering from incidents.

Facilitating seamless collaboration among incident response teams during the response and recovery phases is pivotal in minimizing the damage from a cyberattack.

The risk to team communication during a cyberattack

When a cyberattack occurs, there's a risk that primary communication channels such as email, Microsoft Teams, or Slack - replace with any platform of your choice - might become inaccessible or compromised. If these essential channels are unavailable or untrustworthy, incident response teams face significant challenges in coordinating their efforts effectively.

The risk to primary communication channels during a major cyberattack

Regrettably, the alternatives commonly relied upon are not designed to support cybersecurity teams in managing communications efficiently during such incidents:

  • Lack of preparedness: Often, cybersecurity teams lack a contingency plan for backup communication channels in disaster recovery situations, leaving them in a bind and hindering the pace of recovery.
  • Use of consumer apps: It's common for teams to resort to Signal or WhatsApp for out-of-band communication. However, these applications come with a multitude of issues related to compliance, security, and the ability to scaleup for more team members in the midst of an incident.
  • Chat functions within incident management tools: While some incident management and orchestration platforms provide out-of-band chat capabilities, these often fall short in terms of necessary security features and the ability to scale for team communications.

This is where Mode steps in – a secure out-of-band communication platform designed to assist cybersecurity teams in establishing trusted communication channels for incident response teams.

How Mode empowers cyber incident response

Mode empowers your cybersecurity team to take command of response efforts during cyberattacks with a centralized and secure communication app. Whether preparing for a potential incident or responding to an emerging threat, cybersecurity leaders can quickly establish a secure channel for messaging, voice and video calling, and file sharing, ensuring reliable team communication.

With Mode, your incident response strategy benefits from enhanced team collaboration, enabling your organization to respond more swiftly, recover faster, and improve operational continuity.

  • Pre-Incident Readiness: Establishing a dedicated backup communication channel is essential for effective incident response planning, as underscored by guidelines like NIST.SP.800-61r2 and CIS Control 17. A dedicated disaster recovery space for team collaboration allows for a swift transition to secure channels when necessary.
  • Immediate Deployment: Mode helps cybersecurity administrators to quickly declare incidents and deploy the app to any user not yet onboarded, quickly gathering key stakeholders in a new "war room" within Mode.
  • Secure Communication: Mode's use of multi-layered end-to-end encryption within a closed environment ensures that communication remains secure, effectively keeping attackers out of your communication channels.
  • Efficient Sharing of IR Documents: Mode's isolated environment allows for the preloading of incident response documentation, making it readily accessible and shareable across the team. This ensures that everyone is quickly aligned with guidelines, reducing confusion and chaos during critical incidents.
  • Communication logging for E-Discovery and Learning: Mode logs communication events, preparing you to present these records for incident handling, improving post-recovery learnings, or supporting insurance and legal processes.

Operating independently of your organization’s primary network, Mode offers peace of mind, knowing that data transmitted over the app remains secure, even amidst significant incident disruptions.

Unique features on the Mode platform

The Mode platform is designed with purpose-built features to facilitate a seamless transition for your Incident Response team to secure communication channels during incidents:

  • End-to-End Encryption: Mode ensures all team communications and shared materials are safeguarded with cutting-edge, post-quantum enhanced end-to-end encryption.
  • Portal Administration: Through a centralized command portal, incident administrators can tailor the secure communication environment, managing security settings and overseeing user permissions.
  • Incident Alert System: Utilize the Mode Portal to promptly alert your team of incidents via Mode, SMS, or email, instructing them to move communications to the secure Mode platform.
  • Streamlined Activation: Users can swiftly activate their Mode application using an administrator-provided activation code, instantly connecting them to necessary Mode workspace contacts.
  • Unique User Identities: To maintain a trusted "break glass" scenario in the event of identity compromise, Mode avoids traditional identifiers like email addresses or phone numbers, ensuring user identities remain isolated. Even when using SMS or email to alert users, those contact details are not used by the IR team to create their user accounts.
  • Document Management and Sharing: Store crucial IR documents within the Mode Portal and disseminate them to your team.
  • Compliance and Oversight: Mode facilitates the recording of communication logs for comprehensive e-discovery and in-depth analysis post-incident resolution.


During a crisis, time is of the essence. Mode’s mission is to help every organization respond seamlessly and recover faster with secure team communication. Mode's application operates independently of your organization's main network, ensuring that, even in the event of a significant incident, your team can communicate with confidence, knowing the data transmitted via Mode remains secure and compliant.

Discover how Mode can refine your communication strategy in times of crisis.