This October celebrates Cybersecurity Awareness Month and it seems like now is the best time to be talking about cybersecurity. Indeed, with the spread of the pandemic, organizations have never been more at risk from cyber threats. Not only can they suffer serious service disruption and reputational damage but also lose personal data that can result in important fines from regulators. All of this can be devastating for a company.
The risks of cyberattacks are not new, but they become more sophisticated and persistent. This is why organizations need both cybersecurity and cyber resilience.
What is Cyber resilience?
Cyber resilience is a company’s ability to mitigate damage and carry on once systems or data have been compromised. It covers both adversarial threats (hackers) and non-adversarial threats (human error). Cybersecurity, on the other hand, is a company’s ability to protect against and avoid cyberthreats. A cybersecurity strategy involves minimizing the risks of attacks while cyber resilience is designed to minimize the impact.
An efficient cyber resilience program included a programmatic approach to withstand disruptive cyber incidents. To ensure the model is effective, it should Predict, Prioritize, and Practice. The goal is to be able to anticipate a breach rather than react to it as there is a need to prioritize the threats. Not every vulnerability requires the same attention.
Moreover, a cyber resilience program should have a governance framework with policies, procedures, and accountability integrated into the business strategy. Hence, if it is kept up to date for relevance to new threats, the model should be more effective within an organization.
How does this work?
Cybersecurity in a business ensures that all the devices are running the most up-to-date firmware, the firewalls, VPNs, and antivirus/malware protection is running and working, that all software and tools are fixed, and that all employees are aware of the potential threats and how to deal with them.
Cyber resilience varies from company to company. A good way to start is to identify where cyber incidents could make the most damage to the business, so as to gain an understanding of how continuity of service could be affected.
A solid cyber resilient program makes sure of the continuity of the operation with minimum impact to business despite an incident. It is a process that provides the means of recovery from an attack. This is done, first, by measuring and knowing the assets and infrastructure well and, secondly, configuring the key security settings, managing access permission, and regularly updating software. Then, the organization needs to have systems and processes in place in order to find vulnerabilities before attackers and prioritize the most important threats.
Threat intelligence must be flexible and should enable the user to deep-dive inside the threats to better understand their origin, the distribution mechanism, the actors, the potential victims, the attack vectors, TTPs, and the data that is being accessed. A threat intelligence program should also ensure that stakeholders can enforce policies for better business integrity and continuity.
The concept of a ‘digital twin’ is an important one in cyber resilience. Having a digital, simulated model of the company or the process will help understand the impact on overall output and efficiency.
Knowing how everything could be affected helps to take appropriate measures to mitigate the damage as much as possible in case of an attack. Moreover, having a strong cyber incident response plan is vital as it will be put into action in the event of an incident and the response team can act quickly and accordingly.
Cybersecurity is a good way to start to protect a business, however, with the ever-evolving cyber threats, there is a need to be even more prepared. This is why Cyber resilience is now necessary.
Cybersecurity and cyber resilience work best together and require an important investment in time, resources, and education, but one that will be worth it.