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What is Cyber Resilience?

by Juliana De Groot on Monday February 4, 2019

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Learn how cyber resilience can help you protect your sensitive data in this week's Data Protection 101.

In the current digital age, the security of data, applications, and processes is of utmost importance. Cyber resilience is a concept that is rapidly gaining recognition. It is a wide umbrella that encompasses information security, IT infrastructure, business processes, and organizational continuity.

Definition of Cyber Resilience

In simple terms, cyber resilience is a measure of how well an enterprise can manage a cyberattack or data breach while continuing to operate its business effectively.

IT security infrastructures likely use policy-based security to defend against attacks or to raise a flag when a threat is detected. However, can critical business processes such as accounting, customer service, and order fulfillment be carried out during a security breach?

This is where cyber resilience can help. The aim of cyber resilience is to ensure that business operations are safeguarded, and a threat or breach does not demobilize the entire business. Threats may either be intentional (malicious hacker) or unintentional (failed software upload).

How Cyber Resilience Works

Cyber resilience, when put into practice, needs to be considered a preventive measure to counteract human error and insecure software (and hardware). Therefore, the objective of cyber resilience is to actively protect the entire enterprise, taking into consideration all the insecure components in the infrastructure.

Cyber resilience has evolved to include four main components: Threat Protection, Recoverability, Adaptability, and Durability.

Threat Protection

As technology evolves, so do the quantity and vigor of cyberattacks. Hence, basic security will not help to protect the enterprise. What are the steps an organization should take to protect itself in the event of a threat?

Firstly, the company needs to be secure against targeted email attacks. It is important to go beyond simple anti-spam and anti-virus software and incorporate DNS Authentication mechanisms in the environment. Do not allow a gap in email security under the assumption that the IT team has different third-party vendor products for security. Invest in a single solution that can adapt in the world of evolving cyberattacks.

An endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution may be the best option for your organization. EDR tools work by monitoring endpoint and network events and recording the information in a central database where further analysis, detection, investigation, reporting, and alerting take place. Detection is facilitated through the use of analytics tools, which identify tasks that can improve the overall state of security by deflecting common attacks and facilitating early identification of ongoing attacks.

Recoverability

Recoverability is a company’s ability to return to normal business functions in the aftermath of an attack. A well-designed ransomware attack can encrypt all your data, forcing you to either pay a ransom to the attackers or lose the data. Always have regular and thorough backups of your data on a separate network which can be used to restore any wiped data.

Similar to a fire drill, running a simulation of a data breach scenario will help strengthen your cyber resilience. Walk through all the steps that your organization will take in the event of a breach, i.e. how the IT team will escalate a potential security breach, communicate with customers, inform stakeholders, and inform law enforcement agencies.

Adaptability

Because attackers are constantly developing new ways to evade detection and creating new attack plans, it is important that the enterprise-wide infrastructure can adapt and evolve to defend against future threats.

The security team must be able to identify a security breach and quickly respond to it in order to prevent attacks. Additionally, there needs to be built-in administrator tracking in order to identify infected or at-risk users.

Adaptability is a key component of cyber resilience. If the security team has user awareness education, can recognize threats in real, and incorporates automation to remove such threats, the organization will be a step closer to a more cyber resilient system.

Durability

The durability of your enterprise-wide cyber resilience is dictated not just by your IT environment but by the business’s ability to function successfully after a cyberattack. The durability component of cyber resilience will improve with the regular updates and system enhancements made by the IT team.

The primary objective of cyber resilience is to protect the entire business. Since the consequences of a data breach can be technical, social, and financial, it is imperative for every business to prioritize cyber resilience by integrating business operations with IT.

Tags: Data Protection 101, Cyber Resilience, Cybersecurity

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Juliana de Groot

Juliana is a Marketing Operations Specialist at Digital Guardian. Prior to joining DG, she worked at Dell and CarGurus. She graduated Bentley University with a Bachelor of Science in Marketing with a minor in psychology.