Guide: Building a Cyber Resilience Strategy

By Kasey Hewitt

Posted on May 27, 2020

The ancient Greek philosopher, Socrates, once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.” The same adage can be applied to your organization. An unexamined business cyber resilience strategy is not worth implementing. But without a plan, a company will not be able to facilitate and maintain confidentiality, integrity and to continuously deliver the intended outcome, despite adverse cyber attacks.

So, how can you create a cyber resilience strategy and stay one step ahead of cyber attacks? Here are some key steps to building a robust cyber resilience strategy.

What is cyber resilience?

In simple terms, cyber resilience is the ability of an organization to manage a cyber threat or data breach while continuing to operate efficiently. Can your business’s day-to-day processes, including accounting, order fulfillment, and customer service, be carried out during a security breach?

This is why having a cyber resilience strategy in place is such a big deal.

Obtain a clear view across your whole environment

Businesses cannot protect what they can’t see. The first step to building an effective cyber resilience strategy is to glean a big picture view of your enterprise in terms of all of its assets, including applications, devices, and users, that are connected into your environment. Additionally, you should know their breach risk.

The IT assets that aren’t visible to you pose the biggest threat. And just seeing them is simply not enough. You have to know exactly how many devices, including BYO, internet of things (IoT), managed, unmanaged, etc., are plugged into your firm’s environment at all times, thoroughly understanding which assets are crucial and which ones are less important, the likeliness of your assets being compromised, and how attacks may generate from risky systems to the most critical assets.

Center your cyber resilience strategy around high-value assets

Your enterprise should steer clear of one-size-fits-all strategies and prioritize protecting your crown jewels – your most crucial information assets. These are the assets that, if compromised, could severely impact your organization’s bottom line, reputation, or even threaten its survival entirely. These digital assets should be at the heart of your cyber resilience strategy.

Additionally, you should also place your clients at the center of everything you do. By creating a client-centric cyber resilience plan, it greatly buttresses their trust and boosts your business’s growth.

Make it a Board-level problem

Once you have a clear visibility of your enterprise’s environment and identified key assets, you need to thoroughly educate your Board of Directors about these data breach risks and your cyber resilience plan. While doing this, avoid discussing security KPIs and instead, focus on the metrics that surround risk and resilience, including cost-of-failure and recovery time.

Include cybersecurity in new programs

Enterprises with a hardy cyber resilience strategy understand that, if properly overseen, innovative technologies, including IoT, artificial intelligence (AI), big data, and cloud, can re-energize user experience and increase the company’s competitive edge. It’s important to be vigilantly diligent and thoughtful about your organization’s security decisions while embracing new technologies.

Administer a risk-based assurance program over suppliers

In today’s ever-evolving digital landscape, organizations must partner with external suppliers to gain access to lower costs and innovative solutions. But never enter into these alliances blindly. Many cyber threats have come from poorly secured third-party environments. It’s imperative to carry out risk-based cyber assurance protocols over suppliers, enabling your business to adjust swiftly to changing industry opportunities, cultivate innovation, and gain access to one-of-a-kind capabilities, all while minimizing threats to data breaches and cyber crimes.

Obtain and retain top-tier talent

Overcoming problems such as a shortage of top security talent to support technical and operational initiatives is challenging for CISOs. Try leveraging existing talent by creating a desired security skills set, which provides your employees with the right tools to keep your company safe. Concentrate on those that utilize machine learning and automation.

Hone in on security fundamentals

Enterprises cannot protect themselves 24/7/365 from the plethora of potential attacks via multiple channels. Putting structures, processes, and technologies in place to build a cyber resilience plan is imperative to operating in today’s hyper-connected landscape.

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