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CERTs vs CSIRTs: What’s the Difference?

For those of you in the information security world, you clearly know the difference between CERTs vs CSIRTs. What if you were not a part of this world? Could you tell the difference? Some people believe that they are interchangeable, that you can have one without the other. However, there is a distinct difference between the two.


Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) are found in the predominate computer security organizations and various global sectors of government, commerce, and academia. Software engineers drive CERTs with excessive work.

Computer Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRTs) are much more generic; many businesses often use these.

The more striking differences are in the scope of each other’s duties and responsibilities. CERTs are usually working with the internet community to facilitate its response to computer security events involving different hosts, to take proactive steps to bring community’s awareness of computer security issues and to evaluate the research that targets improving the security of existing systems. CERT products are usually 24-hour technical assistance to respond to computer security incidents and product vulnerabilities.

CSIRTs are usually services responsible for receiving, reviewing and responding to computer security incident reports and activities. Their services are usually performed for a defined constituent that could vary from a corporation to a paying client. CSIRT can be a formalized team or an ad hoc team, like CERT. A formalized team performs incident response work at its core function. On the other hand, an ad hoc team comes together during an ongoing computer security incident. They also can track down perpetrators of an incident so that the guilty parties can be shut down and effectively prosecuted.

When it comes to CERTs vs CSIRTs, they’re rather similar. Both can be formalized teams or put together on an ad hoc basis. In organizations, there may be one or both teams, depending on the company’s structure and priorities.

How CyberSponse can help

One way you can help both your information security teams is by using CyberSponse, the best in the Security Orchestration Automation Response (SOAR). CyberSponse Incorporated, a global leader in cyber security automation & orchestration, helps accelerate organizations’ processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and prepare playbooks for their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse allows organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit our homepage.

For more on Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: