Cyber resiliency is an organization’s ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from, and adapt to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks, or compromises on cybersecurity resources. This standard definition of cyber resilience was created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology and we believe it is spot-on.
Cyber resiliency is also business resiliency. A business that is cyber resilient can defend itself against cyber-attacks, limit the negative impact a security incident can have, and ensure business continuity and uninterrupted operation during and after the attack. Being cyber resilient also helps organizations withstand and recover from other business interruptions, such as natural disasters, hardware failures, data loss, and power outages.
There is a distinct difference between cybersecurity and cyber resiliency. Cybersecurity is preventing a cyber-attack using tools such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), firewalls, malware detection software, and improving security behaviors with employee anti-phishing email training and timely security patch updates.
Being cyber resilient is letting go of the belief that an organization can create an impenetrable barrier between it and cyber criminals. Instead, cyber resiliency assumes that attacks will happen, and operations will be disrupted so safety precautions must be implemented to respond to, and recover from, cyber-attacks.
A cyber and business resiliency mindset seeks to identify the parts of a business that can be disrupted, and once identified, is focused on limiting the impact of a disruption. As an example, if a power outage occurs, are there data backups in place for critical and non-critical business systems? How soon can systems be restored? Are there multiple backups in different locations in the event of a natural disaster?
Not until measures are put in place to minimize the impact of disruptions can a business consider itself resilient.
There are three main elements of cyber resiliency: Cybersecurity Protection, Continuation of Normal Business, and Adaptability.
- Cybersecurity Protection is putting security measures and tools in place to prevent unauthorized access to your systems and network. It includes using EDR, firewalls, VPNs, and staff training to defend against cyber-attacks.
- Continuation of Normal Business is the point at which an organization is operating normally after a security incident or can continue operating during an incident. This includes the time it takes to restore all systems from backups.
- Adaptability refers to how easily the organization can defend against ever evolving and changing cyber-attacks. The more adaptable an organization is, the more cyber resilient it is.
Achieving cyber resiliency is like seeing a city on a map – you know where it is, but the important question is, how do you get there?
We hope these 6 Steps to Cyber Resiliency can help your organization become more business resilient:
Create an incident response team and response plan, test your security, and practice, practice, practice what to do in the event of a security incident.
Put cybersecurity tools in place, such as EDR, SIEM, and firewalls to create a defense system that can withstand most cyber threats your organization may face.
With an active cybersecurity framework established, your security tools can defend your business against most security threats and disruptive events and allow you to keep operating during an incident.
Have a plan and safety measures in place to restore your critical and non-critical business systems from on-site, offsite, or cloud-based data backups.
- Observe & Analyze
Implement software tools that report, log, and repel cyber treats in real-time. These tools rely on machine learning, artificial intelligence, and automated threat hunting and can learn and adapt to prevent future cyber threats.
Always assess your threat-readiness and cybersecurity protection to maintain normal operations now, and in the future.
Cyber resiliency takes work but is essential for business survival in the information age. It’s also important to know that it’s OK to ask for help!
Fortress Security Risk Management is a global data protection company that helps organizations dramatically minimize their risk of disruption from unforeseen events like cyber-attacks and data breaches by providing industry-best cybersecurity services to prepare your organization to be cyber resilient. Our goal is to help every client secure their future with the highest degree of security and the least amount of risk.