Cyber Resilience is the ability of an organization to respond to and recover from cyber threats. A cyber-resilient organization can easily adapt to known and unknown threats, crises, adversities, and challenges.
If the past two years have taught us anything, it is that a business must adapt to its environment and return to business-as-usual quickly. The recent pandemic caused businesses to react and change in several ways overnight. The crisis impacted enterprise workforces, disrupted supply chains, and squeezed liquidity. But it also offered many opportunities for businesses to look at their infrastructure through a microscope and pivot to adapt better and respond to risks. Areas to consider when evaluating resiliency include:
- Strategic: Strategic risks can affect the sustainability of an organization. These include geo-political, business continuity, reputation, trust, competition, regulatory, Insurance, and legal risks.
- Financial: Financial risks can undermine the liquidity and capital, cash flow, volatility, solvency, and have implications for regulators, tax complexities, and employee outsourcing.
- Operational: Operational risks can affect the way organizations operate – their processes and people. They include employee well-being and safety, dissolution of physical controls, supply chains, third parties, business process outsourcing, automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics.
- Information and cyber: These are the most critical to cyber resiliency, and include the explosion of digital, exponential use of new technologies, remote workforce, SDN attack surface, insider threats, dynamic end-point risk, and zero-trust attack surface.
How Does Cyber Resiliency Boost Enterprise Resiliency?
Business continuity enables an organization to continue its core business functions in the face of disaster, attack, or other uncontrollable forces. Often, businesses have disaster recovery plans that revolve around natural disasters. A good disaster recovery plan will include a strategy to remain cyber resilient during these events and any other occurrence that puts critical systems at risk.
The key to driving enterprise resiliency is to build “shock-absorbers” that allow businesses to cruise through a crisis and sustain business operations, customer outreach, and continue to transform. Digital transformation is a good strategy for building enterprise resilience. For instance, a digital-enabled enterprise can “quickly pivot” during a crisis like COVID-19, address supply chain issues and customer disruptions, and bring innovative products and services to customers, turning the crisis into an opportunity.
Some businesses have thrived in the pandemic – museums that offer virtual exhibitions, restaurants that provide online cooking lessons and alcohol companies manufacturing hand sanitizer. When a crisis strikes, if a business is too busy reeling from the disruption, it will not see the opportunity that comes with the crisis. Enterprise resiliency allows businesses to adapt better and pivot their offering when the need arises.
How Does Cyber Resiliency Support Digital Transformation?
Cyber resiliency plays a vital role in driving digital transformation, supporting enterprise resiliency and business continuity. For example, organizations that embed cybersecurity at inception are better able to drive high-velocity (Agile) development, robust, and resilient platforms.
What are the Components of Cyber Resiliency?
A comprehensive digital transformation that addresses cyber resiliency requires integrating cybersecurity throughout the enterprise lifecycle – to protect the business, detect for changing risk environments, and evolve the capability to address changing threats.
A good cyber resiliency strategy protects your systems, your applications, and your data. You need to ensure that only authorized users can access your systems and that you can track them wherever they go once they are in through strong identity access management. It would be best also to detect vulnerabilities in your applications – finding any weaknesses that might be exploited. Finally, the privacy of your data – information about your customers, your employees, and your organization’s intellectual property – must be guarded with the highest levels of security.
The second part of a good cyber resiliency strategy is to strengthen the ability to detect when someone is trying to act maliciously against you. This can be challenging as bad actors become more sophisticated and work in more covert ways to breach your environment. Plus, these advanced threats aren’t limited to the outside. Some breaches begin inside an organization. The average delay in breach detection and containment is 280 days. During this time, the bad actors can be stealing or destroying data and even damaging the systems themselves without anyone knowing.
To adequately detect security risks, companies must understand what data they hold and where it resides. Mapping your data enables you to understand its importance, govern it according to applicable regulatory demands, and minimize the risk of non-compliance, theft, and more.
It’s also helpful for security teams to understand individual user behavior. When you understand what someone’s “normal” actions are on the system, it’s easier to identify behaviors that don’t meet the patterns and might be putting the company at risk.
One reason why security teams struggle with detection is that many solutions generate so much data that they create “false positives.” In fact, so much data is generated that it’s often hard to determine an actual threat. Businesses don’t have the time to look at each alert individually and evaluate the risk. That’s why any good solution will have the ability to evaluate and automate responses and then elevate higher-risk alerts to the security team for action.
A major component of cyber resilience is the ability to adapt and evolve your security posture to stay ahead of threats. Hackers are constantly finding new ways to exploit vulnerabilities. They know that there will eventually be a fix for what worked yesterday, so they’re constantly figuring out what will work tomorrow. A cyber resilient organization will anticipate the new attack vectors through threat modeling and work to defend them even before they become vulnerable.
To evolve requires the ability to quickly deploy and integrate existing and new services, both on-premises and in the cloud. It also requires access to industry intellectual property and best practices – ideally built into the products and tools being used for security. And, it involves being able to rapidly correlate data using mathematical models and machine learning so you can make data-driven decisions.
Seven Stages of an Integrated Lifecycle that Accelerates Cyber Resilience
- Stage 1 – Strategize: Cyber governance, structure, and sensing capability to anticipate and address adverse business or cyber events.
- Stage 2 – Withstand: Adaptive, mission-preserving cyber defense framework that can withstand threats to the business.
- Stage 3 – Defend: Defend against disruptive cyber events based on a robust, self-healing digital immunity, and active cyber defense.
- Stage 4 – Inspect: Real-time cyber visibility on real-time threats, through machine-added detection, automated hunting, and advanced situational awareness.
- Stage 5 – Observe: Reliance on automation, machine learning, and adaptive cyber-threat detection to address future threats to the business.
- Stage 6 – Recover: Ability to rapidly restore digital platforms, adapt, and recover mission-critical systems to avoid business interruption.
- Stage 7 – Adapt: Continuously self-assess and measure the state of cyber performance and continuous improvement to support the business.
Why Care About Cyber Resilience?
The security landscape is constantly changing. From hackers to disasters to changing business models and more, an approach to cybersecurity that is flexible, adaptable, and resilient is the best path to business continuity. A cyber resilient organization can realize many benefits:
Fewer incidents: Cyber resiliency increases an organization’s cybersecurity posture and its ability to prioritize and respond to risk. When security operations centers (SOCs) can easily filter out false positives, they can focus their attention on true threats and reduce the number of security incidents that take place.
Fewer fines and penalties: When an organization is cyber resilient, it can more easily identify and protect the data it collects and comply with regulatory and governmental oversight. This means fewer fines and penalties and reduces the risk of lawsuits.
Less risk of a breach: Robust cyber resiliency can help reduce the risk of a CSO’s (chief security officer) worst nightmare – a security breach. Breaches can affect you not only from a technology standpoint but can also stop vital business processes and cause a public relations nightmare that damages your reputation.
Enhanced reputation: In today’s climate, customers are wary about trusting organizations with their data. Seeing a brand name associated with a breach can deteriorate that trust, but brands who work diligently to protect customer data can develop a loyal following that eventually translates into an enhanced bottom line.
How Does CSG Technologies Help with Cyber Resilience?
We understand your persistent challenges with evolving market demands; changing security landscapes; hybrid IT environments with new and existing device variations; and limited personnel, talent, and resources. Our solutions enable Information Security teams to identify, trace, and learn from threats through behavior and pattern. We empower you by deploying expert insight as a guiding principle to structure a resilient culture and to adapt to the needs of your enterprise as it grows, expands, and evolves.
What else do I need to know about cyber resilience?
The United States has both federal and state laws to ensure the protection of data and critical infrastructure. An example of federal cybersecurity laws that protect privacy include the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) passed in 1996. The Federal Government is currently debating whether to provide grants to states to help enhance their cyber resiliency.
Here is an interesting site about the status of cybersecurity legislation across the United States.