It’s hard to imagine life without information technology in this digital age. From business experiences such as selling and buying shares to personal encounters like posting details and photos on social media, information is disseminated incessantly around the cyberspace. It has given the society the chance to become more connected and economies more prosperous. However, just as every system comes with risks, the security of cyberspace information is crucial to every enterprise or organization.
Risks like cybersecurity breach or cyberattacks can cause companies severe damages. These attacks may attempt to destroy, expose, or obtain unauthorized access to computer networks, personal computer devices, infrastructures, or computer information systems.
According to a study conducted by the University of Portsmouth, 43% of businesses and 19% of charities represented in the study experienced cyberattacks in 2018. In the UK, more than 2 million businesses or local firms became victims of different forms of cybercrimes and caused damage to £29.1 billion.
This alarming rate of cyberattacks is the reason why companies should be equipped to manage such risks. Moreover, these attacks could have been dealt with if those businesses have better cyber resilience.
Cyber resilience is the ability of an organization to prepare, respond, and recover when cyberattacks happen. An organization has cyber resilience if it can defend itself against these attacks, limit the effects of a security incident, and guarantee the continuity of its operation during and after the attacks.
Organizations today are beginning to complement their cybersecurity strategies with cyber resilience. While cybersecurity’s main aim is to protect information technology and systems, cyber resilience focuses more on making sure the business is delivered. Its intended outcome is business delivery, keeping business goals intact rather than the IT systems.
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According to the Presidential Policy Directive 21 (PPD-210): Critical Infrastructure Protection and Resilience, a US directive signed by former President Barack Obama in 2013, the word resilience means “the ability to prepare for and adapt to changing conditions and withstand and recover rapidly from disruptions.”
The word ‘recovery’ is not synonymous with resilience because to recover is to return to a healthy state. Instead, resilience is limiting the severity of the security breach, keeping the operation continuous despite the threat, and continuously plan out strategies to protect the security system once cyber-criminals attack.
These are the common cyber resilience threats:
Cyber resilience aims to secure the whole organization dynamically. It should be a preventive measure to defend against all insecure parts in the infrastructure. Cyber resilience has four components. These components are as follows:
Traditional security measures are not enough; that’s why, over the past years, cyber resilience has developed. It is now reasonable to assume that attackers will eventually gain access to different computer systems and that organizations should begin preparing to work on strategies to withstand these cybercrimes.
Why is cyber resilience important? It is essential because it has numerous benefits to an organization before, during, and after cyberattacks. These benefits are as follows:
RELATED ARTICLE: Cyber Security Resilience Framework: How to Get Started
With the right balance of people, process, and technology, your organization achieves sufficient cyber resilience. Some mistakes make these complementary factors imbalance such as being over-reliant on technology and disregarding the critical contribution of well-informed people and well-designed processes.
Most threats will involve ill-informed people at some point, which can pose vulnerability and weaknesses through their actions. To reduce this incident, an organization can provide awareness and tailored training. Vigilance on people’s end should also be encouraged to deliver further cyber resilience. These should be a consideration for any individual involved in the organization. These people may be suppliers, employees, clients, or members of the public. The people who lead the organization should require some program for educating these people and raise awareness of things associated with cyber resilience.
The processes of an organization depend on the nature of the field or workplace. Organizational culture should be taken into account when designing and implementing processes to deliver cyber resilience. A well-designed process adjusts to the balance between reducing risks and reducing convenience.
Many organizations will think that the IT team is solely responsible for the technology strategies to achieve cyber resilience, but that is not the case. This extends to clients’ and suppliers’ equipment, employees’ and the general public’s own devices where they share data. The inclusion of technology in cyber resilience is rapidly widening because of the influx of consumer devices now connected to the internet.
Some organizations have already cyber resilience strategies in hand, but some are not as effective as those of others because this term is new to them and is frequently misunderstood. There are ways to improve an organization’s cyber resilience strategy or program.
One way is identifying the risks. An organization should conduct risk assessments to detect organizational threats and attacks. This covers everything with regard to cybersecurity. The best solution to do these assessments is to set up communication in the whole organization. All members in every department of an organization should have a comprehensive and shared understanding of the weaknesses and vulnerabilities of their workplace and its security system.
Another way is managing the risks. This step is about prioritizing threats. An organization should answer these questions to decide what scenario should be prioritized: What is the probability of each risk occurring? How much impact will it have? In this case, impact means the financial loss a data breach will cause.
Managing costs is another way to improve your organization’s cyber resilience. You can invest in staff awareness training because it decreases the probability of risks that occur. Alternatively, you may realize that it is cheaper to get a cyber resilience insurance policy. It’s a helpful strategy to deal with potential risks that would gain you access to emergency systems.
Why is cyber resilience important? It is essential because it is an organization-wide strategy that actively monitors and responds to risks, threats and vulnerabilities. It is a collaborative approach, including everyone in the organization and extending to customers, suppliers, and partners that have a clear understanding of the critical assets associated with information. To achieve a sufficient level of cyber resilience for an organization, the first and last step is to understand the information it holds and prioritize what needs to be protected.
Cyber risks and threats should be viewed as the same as any other setbacks in the organization. All these risks are inevitable and can come sooner or later. However, put in mind that they are preventable and manageable with the right cyber resilience strategy. Organizations encounter fire or natural disasters, and they have safety measures against these traditional threats. Because of the proliferation of cyber hazards, it is crucial for organizations to build a similar strategy to defend itself against cyber attackers. Contact RSI Security to get started.
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