What is Cyber Resilience and Why Your Business Needs It

Cyberattacks wreaking havoc have become common headlines in the recent past. If you are running an organization, data breaches may seem like inevitable as they are frequently reported from across the world. Cybercriminals are becoming smarter and more sophisticated by adopting advanced means to conduct attacks. Phishing, ransomware, stealing of private and confidential data and infiltrating business infrastructure continue to remain big challenges for security experts. One such attack can lead to devastating consequences in the form of financial loss, brand reputation taking a hit and loss of business.      

All these factors make it essential for businesses to adopt cybersecurity as well as cyber resiliency measures. 

Do Organizations Need Both Cybersecurity & Cyber Resiliency?

First, it is essential to know how cybersecurity and cyber resiliency differ from one another. 

  • Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity is perhaps the most popular term in the industry and thus entails different meanings for many people. But in reality, cybersecurity is nothing but strategies intended for the protection of hardware, software and systems connected to the internet. In other words, individuals and businesses utilize various tools, technology and processes to protect data and systems, prevent disruptions and deny modifications from cyber criminals or people who are unauthorized to access them. In addition, it is all about reacting to cyberattacks.

  • Cyber Resiliency 

Cyber resiliency, on the other hand, is a recent cybersecurity discipline. It focuses more on how an organization can bounce back as quickly as possible from a cyber attack and resume its operations effectively and return to normalcy. This means it is about always anticipating potential cyberattacks anytime.  

Now organizations do need effective cybersecurity measures as a foundation to successfully become cyber resilient. It includes employee training, awareness and education, software for threat analysis, malware detection, policies, procedures and documentation, support from leadership and much more.To be precise, cybersecurity measures make an entity well-prepared for cyberattacks. But in case of events where business operations are disrupted, disaster recovery and business continuity measures are required to take effect immediately, which are considered as a part of cyber resiliency.Thus, as you can see, combining cybersecurity and cyber resiliency is the most effective way to protect the organization and at the same time increase productivity. 

Why Cyber Resiliency is Important?

Experts define cyber resiliency as an organization’s ability to continue operations effectively and deliver the outcome despite facing cyber-attacks. Being cyber resilient means your business entity is prepared to protect it from, detect, respond to and recover from any sort of cyber attack. In addition, it also minimizes the impact of the cyber attack.

One of the major factors that have given rise to the need for cyber resiliency is that security teams now work on the assumption that data breaches will occur eventually in one way or another. Moreover, traditional methodologies no more work effectively to enable the security of data, information and network.

Therefore, response and recovery need to be the top priorities, and they should be given equal focus as to the prevention aspect of cyber security. 

Key Components of Cyber Resiliency 

As discussed, there are four key components of Cyber Resiliency namely; Security, Detection, Response and Recovery. Find more about them below.

  • Security – Business organizations, in order to boost cyber resiliency, should focus on strengthening the security of the operating systems, web browsers, applications and other online programs. This will make it difficult for cyber criminals to gain access and control. Good password management practices, two-factor authentication, and updating software are a few ways to boost security. 
  • Detection – Detection is an integral part of cyber resiliency. Therefore, special attention must be paid to having systems in place to detect cyber threats and potential cyberattacks. This can help in responding to cyberattacks carried out and minimize the damage caused. You can achieve this objective by continuously monitoring suspicious activity and training team members to detect any signs of cyber attack.
  • Response  – If and when you detect a cyber attack, there needs to be a proper plan to give a strong response to such attacks. Being proactive is necessary for quick response, which can prevent your organization from excess damage. This can include the appointment of an individual who is responsible, prepared and can handle such situations. Additionally, clear steps have to be laid down for response so that everyone included can follow them. 
  • Recovery – Recovery of data and systems is an important part of every cyber resiliency programme. Once you handle the attack successfully, you will need to pave the way for the organization to operate without any hiccups. Thus, data backup and processes to restore systems must be planned. 
  • Governance – It is important that your organizational leadership gives equal importance to cyber resiliency as to any other aspect of the business. A team of highly qualified and experienced members should take responsibility for cyber resiliency functions and integrate them into the business. 

Benefits of Cyber Resiliency

When organizations become cyber resilient, it provides various benefits.

  • Threats – Cyber resiliency will help you to overcome common threats such as cyber crimes conducted via phishing, malware, social engineering, whaling attacks etc. DDoS attacks, as a form of activism from hackers against political players, can be negated. Cyber espionage where information is stolen without the explicit permission of the user can be prevented too. 
  • Better Security – Cyber resiliency helps your organization to learn response, recovery and survival capabilities. Additionally, the implementation of such an initiative significantly improves the overall security strategy around critical business assets and boosts safety. Plus, the security team has the opportunity to make IT governance, and data protection processes better. It can reduce human errors and the impact of natural disasters like Covid-19.
  • Minimum Financial Loss – Irrespective of your cybersecurity capabilities, everyone today is at risk of facing cyberattacks. Businesses of all sizes worldwide are losing billions of dollars of money every year due to cyberattacks. Furthermore, data breaches impact brand reputation and customer trust. Cyber resilient organizations can minimize financial loss. 
  • Compliance – In many countries, legal and regulatory compliance is a must and therefore cyber resilience is a strict requirement for businesses. For instance, the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 is a federal law from the United States, which provides a framework for the protection of information, operations and assets from natural and manmade threats. 
  • Improved Security Culture – Cyber resilience can only be achieved when everyone involved knows their roles. This means every employee of the organization needs to be trained and educated in such a way that they own responsibility and take security measures seriously. This will pave the way for developing a security culture in the organization. 
  • Brand Reputation – Lack of cyber resiliency can damage brand reputation and lead to bad consequences like the loss of business and shut down. There are already data protection laws enacted by governments across the world. European Union’s GDPR, Brazil’s LGPD, and many states in the United States such as the CCPA of California, SHIELD Act of Ney York and the like are a few examples. 
  • Improved Trust­ – If your organization has a cyber resiliency program, you can continue to deliver the best results, thereby winning the trust of the vendors, customers and other business associates. Although much stress is today given to risk management, your entity should be the first one to adopt the right policies and programs to improve trust. 

How Can You Improve Cyber Resiliency?

If you already are a cyber resilient organization, here are a few techniques to make it better according to The National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Special Publication 800-160 Vol. 2: Adaptive Response, Analytic Monitoring, Coordinated protection, Deception Diversity, Dynamic positioning and representation, Non-persistence, Privilege Restriction Realignment, Redundancy, Segmentation, Substantiated Integrity, and Unpredictability. You can also plan to partner with professionals who are experienced and experts in developing and implementing cyber resiliency as well as cybersecurity measures for corporates.