Build Cyber Resilience Strategies for your Organization
In today’s highly interconnected world, organizations are constantly facing cyber threats.
Statistics from Marsh show that globally, 75% of businesses have experienced a cyber attack at one time or another. In quarter 3 of 2022, the rate of cyber-attacks grew by 28 percent– a strong pointer to the growing threat.
Cyber threats compromise organizational data, disrupt operations, and undermine the trust their clients have in the business. To mitigate these challenges, businesses must build a cyber resilience strategy. This means taking a more strategic approach in the way they navigate the dynamic threat landscape so they can recover from cyber-attacks quickly, if or when they occur.
In this article, we explore the concept and cyber resilience strategy your organization can adopt to strengthen its response to and recovery from cyber attacks.
But First, Let’s Define Cyber Resilience
Cyber resilience refers to the ability of an organization to foresee, respond, withstand, and recover from cyber threats while ensuring the integrity, confidentiality, and availability of its most vital information assets. It underscores the ability of a business to recover, adapt, and continue running in the event of cyber-attacks or incidents. With about 16,000 cyber-attacks (Source: Statista) being detected across the world between 2021 and 2022, having a solid strategy will help your organization recover quickly from a cyber attack and avert irreparable damages. The concept of cyber resilience transcends the conventional cybersecurity measures that focus primarily on cyber attack defense and prevention.
What’s a Cyber Resilience Plan?
A cyber resilience plan refers to a detailed strategy that highlights the critical measures your organization takes to identify, respond, and recover from cyber-attacks or threats. A cyber resilience strategy evaluates the cybersecurity context and aligns your business objectives, tolerance, risks, and regulatory requirements.
Compared to a resilience framework, a cyber resilience plan has a wider scope. It takes a strategic approach to building organizational resilience against cyber threats. By having a resilience strategy, your organization will be better prepared to deal proactively with cyber threats. This enables it to mitigate potential damage and ensure uninterrupted business operations.
10 Cyber Resilience Strategies for Your Organizations
The plans that organizations develop should highlight the various strategies they will implement to address the cyber threats. These cyber resilience strategy allow businesses to create the multiple layers of defense systems they need to detect and respond to cyber threats, address vulnerabilities, and recover swiftly from attacks. Below are 10 important strategies to help you build resilience in your business:
1. Craft a Cyber Resilience Framework
The first cyber resilience strategy on an organizational level is developing a solid cybersecurity framework. A framework identifies specific processes and actions an organization takes to maintain resilience. A good framework should indicate preventive measures, cyber threat detection capabilities, and the response protocols to be followed in the event of a threat.
It addresses a wide range of issues including business risk assessments, continuity plans, incident response plans, as well as continuous monitoring and evaluation of cyber threats. Some of the specific measures businesses include in their frameworks include antivirus, firewalls, and systems for detecting intrusion. Others are penetration tests and vulnerability assessments to identify and fix system weaknesses.
2. Implement Controls in Data Access and Management
When it comes to preventing unauthorized access to organizational data, establishing and implementing strict controls is critical. Limit access privileges and give access only to staff who are authorized to handle specific data. User permissions should be reviewed and updated regularly to ensure that access rights are based on individual responsibilities and roles. You should also implement strong password policies across the organization and use multi-factor authentication to improve data security.
3. Prioritize Cybersecurity Education/Training
Another cyber resilience strategy for an organization is educating employees. When it comes to cybersecurity, the actions that people take pose the highest cybersecurity threat. Educating your staff about the best data protection practices like identification of phishing attempts, use of strong passwords, and safe browsing is vital to curbing cyber threats. Schedule training sessions regularly to keep your employees updated on emerging cyber threats and equip them with the skills they need to strengthen resilience in your organization.
4. Execute Patch Management Procedures
Cybercriminals can use security loopholes in outdated software to gain unauthorized access to your systems. To prevent this, ensure the applications, software, and operating systems in your organization are updated with the latest security updates and patches. Reduce system vulnerabilities by implementing a patch management process to run timely updates across your organization’s IT infrastructure.
5. Gather Cyber Threat Intelligence
Another cyber resilience strategy building in your business is to keep abreast of emerging threats by gathering information and intelligence on cybersecurity. An excellent way to gather these insights and intelligence is to collaborate with government departments, industry peers, and cybersecurity communities. The collective knowledge shared in these interactions can help you improve your organization’s cyber resilience plan and framework.
6. Use Secure Backup Solutions
Regular backup of essential systems and data in cloud platforms or offsite locations is another strategy for building organizational resilience to cyber-attacks. Opt for secure backup solutions and test them periodically. The backups should also be reliable to minimize downtimes. Consider accessibility as well. Your backup solution should be easy to access to allow for quick data recovery and business continuity following a cyber incident.
7. Run Cyber Attack Simulations
Another way to build organizational cyber resilience to cyber-attacks is to simulate cyber-attack incidents. This involves taking employees through the different steps they need to take in the event of a cyber attack. Simulations should cover the entire response process, including identifying threats, investigating their cause, and reducing their impact on the business.
8. Monitor Cyber Threats Regularly
Regular monitoring of cyber threats helps in early detection and proactive response to thwart attack attempts. You can identify potential threats by deploying advanced threat monitoring detection tools. Identify anomalies or suspicious behavior in your system by keeping tabs on your network’s traffic, user activities, and systems logs regularly. Consider investing in a security information and event management system (SIEM) for your organization. A SIEM system gives you a comprehensive view of your network so you can detect and respond to cyber incidents promptly.
9. Have an Incident Response Plan
Cyber resilience recognizes the reality of cyber threats and ensures that organizations are prepared to respond in the event attacks occur. An important aspect of this preparation is the development of incident response plans that clearly show steps that should be taken when a threat materializes.
Set up a team to respond to incidents and assign each member specific roles and responsibilities. Establish clear communication channels for the response team for easy coordination. Your incident response plan should be tested and updated frequently to ensure that it remains effective and well-aligned to the evolving nature of cyber threats.
10. Assess Systems for Vulnerabilities
Cybercriminals exploit system vulnerabilities to launch attacks. An important part of strengthening your organization’s resilience is understanding the weaknesses in your systems and addressing them early. Assessing your system regularly is the best way to identify and fix system vulnerabilities. To do this, hire a cybersecurity professional to inspect your system and provide a comprehensive report. Alternatively, invest in vulnerability scanning tools to help with the assessment.
In today’s digital environment, cyber resilience strategy cannot be overlooked. With cyber-attacks becoming more prevalent and sophisticated, organizations must adopt a more strategic approach to avoid disruptions, data breaches, and revenue losses. Building threat resilience can reduce the impact of cyber-attacks on your business significantly. Implement the 10 strategies discussed above to safeguard your organization’s competitive advantage and ensure operations continue smoothly in case an attack occurs.