Most businesses believe that their existing cybersecurity programs and compliances are enough to mitigate cyber threats. But increasing yearly losses due to direct cyber-attacks portray a different picture. Your confidence in cybersecurity products and programs isn’t as effective as you may think.
The first issue that occurs with cybersecurity is that the products chase the threat. Only after a vulnerability is exposed, do experts jump into patching it. The problem with chasing is that you don’t know which direction the threat is heading. In the case of identity theft, you don’t know if a DDoS is impending or ransomware.
Innovation and timing are on the attacker’s side. They can take their sweet time to develop effective programs that can exploit the vulnerabilities of your system and blow the horn at the least expected time. A surprise attack. If an unknown threat is to occur, your cybersecurity products do very little to prevent or mitigate it.
The attackers are also fixated on a target. They know where your information is and the vulnerabilities around it. Most successful cyber-attacks are built upon specialized tools that were developed for the purpose itself. Breaches and break-ins are ineluctable. Your cybersecurity products can’t do much to change it.
Cybersecurity products can and do prevent most known threats. But once a breach has been made, the products fail to eradicate them.
Welcome cyber resilience.
What is Cyber Resilience
Once you’ve accepted the inevitability of your servers being threatened and in turn, breached, your sustainability rests on cyber resilience. A cyber resilience program (CRP) focuses primarily on the idea of defense and prevention. However, it also accepts response and resilience as parts of cybersecurity.
Your ability to sustain profitability, growth, and digitization in the face of financial, technological, and operational breaches defines the extent of cyber resilience in your organization.
A modern SOC 2 audit ensures that an organization has effective CRP in addition to cybersecurity. SOC certificate builds trust among customers. Thus, in the event of a crisis, helps grow the trust back of customers and authorities.
As organizations pivoted toward remote work environments in the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the risks surrounding a lack of knowledge and ignorance have increased.
The employees have grown more susceptible to threats through physical device access and public Wi-Fi connections. In response to that, organizations are required to reconsider their position on risk and response. Which a cybersecurity product won’t resolve.
However, with careful planning and execution, cyber resilience can ensure that your solvency, trust, and reputation are kept intact.
How to Ensure a Robust CRP
Planning and executing a cyber resilience policy mends cybersecurity shortcomings in a way that is sustainable and effective. A robust resilience policy involves:
Defining the Assets and Risks
Compliance lists are there to keep customers safe from breaches. But you can’t keep your customers safe if you don’t know how to respond to certain threats. The priority and extent of your response would depend on the severity of the attack and the importance of the assets.
Internal assessment and audits are performed to determine the assets that may or may not be sacrificed during a successful breach. In many cases, if an attack occurs to the assets that are lower on priority lists but are interconnected with critical assets, the noncritical assets are isolated to contain the attack.
However, more often than not, attackers try to hide their presence until and unless they are required to do so (ransomware attacks). It may be challenging for your cybersecurity product to detect the ongoing breach if an unknown attack is executed on your system. In these scenarios, organizations fail to come up with appropriate policies that may reduce the damage.
A robust CRP, paired with strong cybersecurity products, can help businesses avoid most attacks. Even if an attack occurs, your employees can stay ahead of the attacker to minimize the offensive while the cybersecurity team patches their access.
Developing a Security Policy
After you’ve defined your most critical assets, you must ensure that they are secured. A two-way road leads to “risk”. One is the external threats that you want to mitigate through cybersecurity products, the other is the insider threats. Insiders who have authorized access can’t be prevented from making changes to your database with a cybersecurity product.
Insider threats originate from employees and can be intentional or unintentional. Irrespective of the intent, since insider threats cause most data breaches, being resilient requires you to enforce strict cybersecurity policies throughout the organization. A strict policy helps to prevent cyber attacks that may have occurred due to the negligence of insiders.
To develop a strong security policy, consider hiring staff for the purpose. Hire employees who are experienced in cybersecurity and management. Having technical managers around, you can wipe down the key factors that hinder the business and security operations. Enforce penalties on employees who fail to comply with the policies.
Update your security policies once your industry has faced new threats. Even if no significant threat has directly occurred to you, consider scrutinizing your IT policies every few months to add or modify the existing points. Keep complying with the legal requirements set by your local government.
Develop a Recovery Plan
Developing and enforcing security policies aren’t enough if you can’t take appropriate action in times of crisis. Once a threat occurs, your whole organization needs to act following the severity of the threats and enforced policies.
Your recovery plan must include the pathways that the staff need to act on once they are made aware of a breach. This includes prioritization, agility, and adaptability.
After the initial harm has been done, your priority should be business continuity. Especially in industries like healthcare and emergency services where you need to find a way to keep continuing your operations despite the hurdle.
Business continuity may also include the preservation of confidence among customers in the wake of a disaster.
Loss minimization and data protection should be your next priority. Minimizing legal ramifications, reputational losses, and financial losses are critical. Therefore, they must be included in your recovery plan.
Your recovery plan should include improvements. Reflect on what has happened, find the source, and get back on the board to prevent it from happening ever again. A breach may happen again, but that shouldn’t happen due to the same exposed vulnerability.
The Bottom Line
Cybersecurity products aren’t enough to keep your business and customer data safe. Whether you are attacked from inside or outside, cyber resilience is as critical as imposing the best cybersecurity practices. Define your assets and risks, develop a strong security policy, and start the recovery plan once you’ve suffered a breach.