Policy 919 - Information and Cyber-Security Incident Response Policy

Section: Information Technology
Policy Number: 919
Responsible Office: Information Technology
Effective Date: 5/1/19
Revised: 5/1/19; 6/11/20

Policy Statement

An incident is defined as “any adverse event that compromises some aspect of a computer or network security.”  Incidents are grouped into the following categories:

  • Loss of confidentiality of information
  • Compromise of the integrity of information
  • Misuse of service, systems, or information
  • Damage to property, systems, or St. John’s University’s (St. John’s) assets

The purpose of this policy is to provide a well-defined, organized approach for handling any potential threat to computers and data, as well as taking appropriate action when the source of the intrusion or incident at a third party is traced back to the institution. 

This policy facilitates the development of an incident response plan, process, and procedure that:

  • Helps personnel identify, react, categorize, and classify a cyber and/or security incident quickly and effectively
  • Minimizes loss of information or disruption of services due to an incident
  • Ensures that post-event recovery is correct and complete
  • Protects computing systems and corresponding data
  • Uses technical and managerial personnel efficiently and effectively while responding to an incident
  • Communicates incident response measures to appropriate internal and external parties
  • Properly handles legal issues

Scope and Applicability

This policy applies to the University Community. Adherence to this policy helps safeguard the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of St. John’s information assets, and protects the interest of St. John’s, its customers, personnel, and business partners.


Institutional data and computing resources must be monitored to detect system, security, and operational events that may compromise their confidentiality, integrity, or availability.  

Formalized incident response and investigation procedures are in place.  Events are logged to ensure a timely response to information security incidents and to communicate information security events and vulnerabilities associated with information systems in a manner that allows appropriate and timely corrective action to occur. 

While preventing every incident from occurring is not feasible, two key aspects are established to manage the impact of an incident:

  • A formalized plan detailing procedure for incident prevention, detection, assessment, forensics, containment, and recovery activities to mitigate computer security risks. 
  • Designated team(s) to respond to an incident and a list of person(s) responsible for following the procedures set forth in the plan.


The following are definitions relevant to the policy:

  • Computing Resources: All St. John’s information processing resources including all St. John’s owned, licensed, or managed computing services, hardware, software, and use of St. John’s network via physical or wireless connection regardless of the ownership of the computer or device connected to the network.
  • Institutional Data: All data owned or licensed by St. John’s.
  • University Community: Includes faculty, administrators, staff, student workers, graduate/technical assistants, alumni, interns, guests or agents of the administration, external individuals and organizations accessing St. John’s network services, and other authorized users.


St. John’s reserves the right to audit networks and systems on a periodic basis to ensure compliance with this policy. Instances of non-compliance must be presented to, reviewed, and approved by the CIO, the Director of Information Security, or the equivalent officer(s).

All breaches of information security, actual or suspected, must be reported to, and investigated by the CIO and the Director of Information Security. 

Those who violate security policies, standards, or security procedures are subject to disciplinary action up to and including loss of computer access and appropriate disciplinary actions as determined by St. John’s.

Related Policies, Standards or Regulations

  • 919 - Information Security Incident Response Standard