Mean time to respond - AWS Security Incident Response Guide

Mean time to respond

Mean time to respond is the average time it takes to begin the initial response to a possible security incident. Specifically, this is the time between initial alert or discovery of a possible security incident and first actions taken to respond. This is similar to mean time to acknowledge, but is the measurement of specific responsive actions (for example, acquire system data, contain the system) compared to simple recognition or acknowledgement of the situation.

You can use this metric to track your preparedness to respond to security incidents. As mentioned, preparation is key to effective response. Refer to the Preparation section of this document.

The higher the mean time to respond, the greater the need to verify that your team is both properly trained on how to respond so that response processes are effectively documented and utilized. The lower the mean time to respond, the better your team is at identifying an appropriate response to identified alerts and performing the required responsive actions to begin the journey back to safe operations.