Until recently, organisations often spent almost all of their information security budget on prevention, effectively taking an all-or-nothing approach to the threat of data breaches. They either repelled the attack or faced the consequences head-on.
However, with data breaches becoming more common and varied, organisations have realised that it’s impossible to eradicate every risk. Some security incidents are simply inevitable.
As a result, they have adopted a cyber resilience approach.
What is cyber resilience?
Cyber resilience combines elements of cyber security and business continuity management, enabling organisations to protect against security incidents and respond quickly when they are breached.
Why is this so important? A security incident can have devastating effects, resulting in lost revenue, regulatory fines and reputational damage. The longer it takes to respond, the greater the damage will be. However, being able to defend against breaches and react quickly to incidents that can’t be stopped can ensure minimal financial and reputational losses.
The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and NIS (Network and Information Systems) Regulations both acknowledge the importance of cyber resilience, with the framework playing a key role in both regulations.
How to become cyber resilient
Organisations looking to achieve cyber resilience should follow our four-step guide:
- Manage and protect
The first phase of a cyber resilience programme involves identifying, assessing and managing risks associated with your network and information systems.
As part of this, you’ll need to adopt a set of processes to protect your organisation from cyber attacks, system failures and unauthorised access. This will require a broad range of defences addressing people, processes and technology. Staff awareness training will play a vital role, but it should be complemented with information security policies and technological defences, such as anti-malware software and data encryption.
- Identify and detect
The second stage encompasses the actions you take to identify vulnerabilities across your networks and information systems. This should consist of both automated security tests, such as vulnerability scans, and active detection.
- Respond and recover
The third stage focuses on your business continuity measures and incident response management programme. This is crucial for ensuring that your operations continue in the event of a cyber attack or other disruption, and that you can get back to normal as quickly as possible.
- Govern and assure
The final stage is to ensure that the measures you’ve implemented are in line with your legal and regulatory requirements, including the GDPR, NIS Regulations and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).
To complete this stage, you should implement a comprehensive risk management programme and a continual improvement process. You should seek board-level commitment to maintain these, and undertake an internal audit to determine whether they are sufficient.
Want to learn more?
Download Cyber Resilience: Cyber Security and Business Resilience to learn more about preparing your organisation for modern cyber threats. This free guide explains:
- Why cyber security alone isn’t enough to keep your organisation secure;
- How cyber resilience can help your organisation counter the risks it faces; and
- How to align security with business objectives.