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What is a CritSit?

CritSit stands for “Critical Situation”. A critsit is a major, urgent situation that requires immediate attention and resolution to prevent dire consequences. The term is commonly used in IT—Information Technology—but it’s also used in a broader sense in other industries like telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, and healthcare.

Examples of a CritSit in IT

Example:  Your Linux server has crashed. It's off the network and in “single-user mode.” You can now only log in manually with the “root” account ID and password, so you need to checkout the vaulted “root” password to log in. Once the system is fixed, the vault can rotate the password to make it secure again.

In an IT context, a critical situation might include any one of the following:

  • A cyber intrusion
  • Data loss, accidental data exposure, or data theft for malicious purposes
  • A serious system outage
  • A ransomware incident
  • A natural disaster that affects business operations

What is at risk in an IT CritSit?

Information technology, a critical situation event has the potential to cause significant financial losses, disrupt—or even shut down—business operations, compromise an organization’s security posture, and result in the unintentional violation of the industry’s compliance requirements.

Responding to a CritSit

In a critical situation the organization will want to return to normal business operations as fast as possible.

For the IT department, this means diagnosing the issue, implementing fixes promptly, and logging the incident for future response or prevention measures. This sometimes requires round-the-clock work for the IT team.

The processes IT security may call upon include emergency measures like break-glass / break-fix, implementing the organization’s emergency procedure, or deploying a full-scale cybersecurity incident response plan.

Privileged Account Incident Response Template

Cybersecurity Incident Response Template

The faster you respond to a cyber incident, the less damage it will cause.