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What is cyber resilience and how do you build it?

Cyber attacks such as denial of service and malware are becoming more common. Cyber resilience is the ability of a business to deal with and recover from the impact of cyber threats. A cyber resilient strategy protects against cyberattacks and ensures continued operation in the face of cyber threats while keeping service disruption to a minimum and reducing risk.

Let’s now find out what cyber resilience is and the things you need to keep in mind when it comes to building a strong cyber resilience strategy for your company.

What is cyber resilience?

Cyber resilience is the ability of an organization to prepare for, deal with, and recover from data breaches and cyber threats without affecting day-to-day operations. 

A business is cyber resilient when it can strengthen its overall cyber defenses, guarantee continued operation during and after cyberattacks, and limit the impact of cyber threats by deploying and optimizing the right security processes and tools. 

Cyber resilience is a new security paradigm that has recently emerged because traditional security controls like security questionnaires and penetration testing are no longer effective to reduce cyber risk.

This resilience empowers a company’s cyber response personnel with the ability to handle and recover from breaches quickly while ensuring business continuity as it promotes a proactive approach to security. 

The objective of cyber resilience is to ensure businesses are able to deliver services and goods at all times. This may include the ability to continuously modify or change mechanisms even after regular mechanisms have failed like during or after a crisis, as well as the ability to restore regular mechanisms.

Attributes of cyber resilience include:

  • Protecting an organization against threats that can negatively affect the privacy, integrity, and availability of networked IT systems and the related services and data.
  • Preparing for, responding to, and recovering from security breaches quickly without disrupting operations.
  • Developing and enabling security personnel that is capable, vigilant, and aware of keeping your company safe.
  • Ability to adapt to unknown and known cyber threats.
  • Aligning organizational adaptability, business continuity, and data security.

Why is cyber resilience important?

Cyber resilience is essential because traditional security measures no longer ensure adequate network and data security. In fact, many IT and CISOs teams now assume that criminals will at some point gain unauthorized access to their companies.

Adverse cyber threats negatively affect the availability, integrity, and privacy of businesses every day. These threats may be unintentional for example, failed software updates, or intentional and caused by nature, people, or a combination of both.

That’s why it is important to prevent security breaches, respond to and recover from them nowadays.

What are the four elements of an effective cyber resilience approach?

The four elements of a good cyber resilience strategy include:

  • Manage and protect – This involves putting in place the ability to identify, evaluate and manage cyber threats related to data and network systems, as well as those across your third-party vendors.
  • Identify and detect – This element depends on data systems and continuous security monitoring to detect potential cyberattacks and other anomalies before they can cause adverse damage.
  • Respond and recover – This involves implementing appropriate incident response management measures to ensure business continuity even if you’ve been affected by a cyberattack.
  • Govern and assure – This last element ensures that your cyber resilient strategy is governed from the top of your company and is integrated into your business.  

How to build cyber resilience

To achieve and build a strong cyber-resilience strategy, companies should:

Get input and identify important operational activities

Ask senior leaders in your company to define cyber resilience. Using the information gathered, identify essential business activities necessary for developing your services or products.

Next, conduct a business impact analysis (BIA) to identify crucial business processes plus the technologies required to enable those processes, as well as the impact on your business if a crisis interrupts those processes.

If you’ve a current BIA report, use previous results from that report to determine how a cyber threat may or may not interfere with business processes outlined in the BIA.

Also, use the BIA research to identify important components that should be returned to normal operation immediately after a crisis to ensure your company bounces back from a security breach as soon as possible.

Prevent cyber threats

Based on the above activities, determine strategies to reduce the chances of threats occurring. Such activities can include putting in place an intrusion prevention system, updating firewall rules, and deploying advanced anti-malware software.

It’s also crucial to analyze additional strategies like educating the IT team about effective ways to respond to cyberattacks and training your workforce about the effects of attacks. In addition, ensure backup copies of all important assets are available.

Conduct a risk analysis

Performing a risk analysis that is based on a BIA is essential as it can help you identify external and internal security breaches that can impact your company’s ability to do business. 

To identify insecure network perimeter weaknesses that can increase the risk of attacks, use vulnerability and threat analyses. Also, perform penetration tests to discover potential cyber vulnerabilities.

Document procedures and ensure availability

Be sure to document and store procedures for recovering operational components in secure locations. Also, ensure the procedures are available electronically to speed up access.

In case primary operators aren’t available, make sure general operational procedures for important systems are available and that other staff members can operate the systems.

Test and update

Cyber resilience procedures governing crucial business operations and assets should be tested and updated regularly. Remember to update plans and procedures based on changes in company operations and the outcome. 

Additionally, patch systems and applications whenever new patches or updates are available and brief senior management regularly on the state of your company’s cyber resilience. 

Conclusion

Achieving a successful cyber resilience strategy depends on maintaining regularly exercised, up-to-date documented cyber resilience plans. Cisco Meraki Cloud Managed Firewalls can monitor your business for several security controls while detecting data exposures and leaked credentials automatically. 

Maclean Odiesa
Maclean Odiesa
Maclean is a tech freelance writer with 7+ years in content strategy and development. She is also a pillar pages specialist and SEO expert.

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What is cyber resilience and how do you build it?