Which Factor Does Not Impact The Complexity Of An Incident?

Management BY Shahanawaz
Which Factor Does Not Impact The Complexity Of An Incident

Question: Which Factor Does Not Impact The Complexity Of An Incident?

  1. Cost considerations of responding agencies
  2. Potential hazardous materials
  3. Community and responder safety
  4. Political sensitivity, external influences, and media relations

Ans: Cost considerations of responding agencies

Complexity Of An Incident

Different factors are involved  in determining the complexity of an incident. The following factors are important among them.

  • The amount of data involved.
  • Number of systems involved.
  • The number of people involved.

The level of complexity is determined by the amount of people, data, systems are impacted. However, some things are also there and they do not impact the complexity of any incident. These factors include the data type that was breached and  the who was affected by the breach.


Involvement of sensitive or private data creates possibility of higher risk and harm to one’s reputation. who gets affected by an incident is not a pressings issue. However, if company secrets were to get leaked, a higher risk of potential damage an harm might be possible.

Things That Don’t Change The Complexity Of An Incident

It is essential to know the level of complexity of an incident and the factors that influence the complexity during the planning of the incident. The factors include the number of systems and amount of data involved in the incident. Most importantly, you should also know the factors that are not affecting or influencing the complexity of  the incident. It helps you focus  your efforts on those areas.


The complexity of the incident does not get affected by the type of data involved. It doesn’t affect how much complex an incident becomes. However, if sensitive data were to get compromised a higher risk of potential harm might be there.

However, it is also important to keep in mind whoever gets affected by the complexity of an incident does not make it even more complex. Especially the breach of company secrets might potentially put more at stake and cause reputational harm.

1. Scale & Size

While the sheer scale and size of an incident can significantly impact its complexity, incidents that are relatively small and contained may not face the same level of intricacy. Managing incidents with a limited geographic scope or a smaller number of affected people and assets tends to be less complex.

2. Type Of Incident

The complexity of incidents varies depending on their nature. For instance, incidents like minor road accidents with no significant impact on traffic flow may be less complex compared to incidents involving hazardous materials spills or large-scale evacuations.

3. Resource Availability

When resources are readily available and accessible, incident complexity may be lower. When responders have immediate access to ample personnel, equipment, and funding, the ability to address and manage the incident effectively is enhanced.

4. Time Sensitivity

Incidents that are not time-sensitive and allow for a more relaxed response timeframe may exhibit lower complexity. Unlike incidents requiring urgent, time-critical actions, incidents with more extended response windows may provide responders with additional decision-making flexibility.

5. Environmental Conditions

Incidents occurring in favorable environmental conditions, such as clear weather and easily navigable terrain, may experience lower complexity. Contrastingly, managing incidents in adverse conditions like extreme weather or challenging landscapes may introduce additional layers of difficulty.

6. Human Factors

Human factors can influence the complexity of incident management. Incidents with minimal panic, accurate information dissemination, and high compliance with directives may be less complex to handle than incidents marked by confusion, misinformation, or non-compliance.

7. Information And Communication

Effective communication and access to timely, accurate information are critical, but incidents with streamlined communication channels and minimal information gaps may experience lower complexity in managing the incident.

8. Interagency Cooperation

While many incidents require collaboration among multiple agencies, incidents where there is seamless interagency cooperation and coordination tend to be less complex. Challenges in collaboration can escalate the overall complexity of incident management.

Incidents in environments with clear, flexible legal and regulatory frameworks may experience lower complexity. Conversely, incidents in settings where legal and regulatory constraints are stringent or unclear may face increased complexity in decision-making and resource deployment.

10. Community Vulnerability

The vulnerability of the affected community or population can affect incident complexity. Incidents involving well-prepared, informed, and resilient communities may experience lower complexity, while those involving high-risk populations may introduce additional challenges in incident management.

The Entity Affected Does Not Affect The Complexity Of An Incident

As said before; the complexity of an incident does not get affected by the person or entity affected by a breach. It depends upon the number of data, system, and people involved in the breach of the system.

For example, it is a more pressing issue if the company’s confidential information were to get leaked to the competitor. However, getting your customer’s information exposed is not as much complex than the incident suggested before.

There is another important factor. The type of data that gets compromised does not also affect the complexity of an incident. If any confidential data gets compromised, it may put the company’s reputation at risk. Unless a breach includes leaking of any company secrets, the entity affected and the type of data compromised does not affect the complexity of the incident.

Incident Complexity Type

Here are the different types of complexities of incidents –

Complexity Of An Incident

Type 5

Resources: The type five of incident complexity includes  – a single and up to six personnels. The incident commander is the sole member of the activated Command and General stuff.

Time: Within a few hours of the arrival of the resources, the incident gets contained within the first operational period. There is no need to write the incident action plan.

Type 4

Resources: The general stuff and command stuff remain active as necessary. Several resources need to be made available to contain the incident.

Time: the time span is not longer than one day during the control phase. Incident action plan is not necessary during the non-HazMat incidents. Document operational briefings need to be conducted.

Type 3

  • Resources: appropriate ICS positions need to be added to match the complexity of the incident. Positions of Unit Leader, Group Supervisor, and Division need to be activated. The post of command and general stuff also needs to be activated.
  • Time: based on the length of the incident it might require multiple incident action plans.

Type 2

Regional and national resources might be necessary for the management of the operations safely. The positions of the general stuffs and command stuffs need to be filled to a large extent. Operation personnel per operation period need to be 200 on an average. The total is no more than 500.

Multiple operational periods are necessary for the incident. A written action plan might be necessary for each of the action plans.

Type 1

National resources are needed to conduct the operation safely and effectively. The establishment of branches is necessary with all the command and staff positions being activated.

The time expected for the incident is extensive. Each period of the operation requires incident action plans.

Factors That Help Identify The Complexity Of An Incident

The extent, complexity, and difficulty of an incident gets affected by a combination of different factors. Here are the factors –

  • Involved geographic area.
  • Political sensitivity.
  • Organizational Complexity.
  • Values at risk.
  • Weather.
  • Agency policy.
  • Jurisdictional boundaries and more.

Wrapping Up

The number of users and the type of data breached does not affect the complexity of an incident.

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Shahnawaz is a passionate and professional Content writer. He loves to read, write, draw and share his knowledge in different niches like Technology, Cryptocurrency, Travel,Social Media, Social Media Marketing, and Healthcare.

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