A company's resilience to cyber attacks is vital to its survival in the future. Here's a guide to cyber resilience and why you need it.
There was a time that all you needed to keep a network secure was anti-virus software and a firewall. However, as technologies become more sophisticated, the need for cyber resilience has grown in direct correlation with these new technologies
No longer just a matter of ensuring a secure network, resilient management solutions take a holistic view of the entire data network, incorporating network security, business continuity and data recovery into a comprehensive strategy that ensures that uninterrupted operations of the business.
How well a business develops and implements these strategies will go a long way to ensuring the long-term success where the need to protect data while providing consistent service is paramount.
Let's take a look.
What is Cyber Resilience?
As outlined above, cyber resilience is the overall strategy implemented to both protect and offer quick responses and recovery to data threats. As a business' value become more and more dependent on the data it collects and stores, the need to protect that data grows as well.
Resiliency extends further: it's not just about protecting the data, but also responding to threats, and if need be, recover lost or compromised data to ensure that business can be carried on without interruption.
The Threat of Data Breaches
The reason that data breaches can be so damaging is multifold. To start with, there's the initial interruption to normal business operations. As soon as a breach has been found, it's important that the attack is addressed to help ensure that no further data will be compromised.
These interruptions can have massive implications for businesses. Think of any company having to cease operations for any amount of time to address an attack: any moment operations are running without being able to provide their services they are spending without earning.
As well, such exposure can create strong, negative impressions in the eye of the public. Think of the disastrous cost of the Yahoo password hacks, or the Home Depot and Target credit card fraud. As soon as these stories hit the news, confidence in the companies' ability to keep data secure is immediately called into question, and for good reason.
A 2018 study by the Ponemon Institute puts the average cost of a data breach at $3.86 million, a considerable amount for any sized company, and completely ruinous for many.
Proper Steps for Resiliency
Assessment of Threats
Any good strategy is dependent on good information. In order to draft a resiliency plan, an assessment needs to be made examining the potential for threats and attacks. Knowing what is vulnerable and what is a target helps to recognize what can become a potential liability.
This combines understanding the value of the data to be protected, as well as regard for the infrastructure in place to protect said data. Constant monitoring is a must, as it provides information on areas that may be probed for weakness.
Security: Protection, Detection, and Response
The next step is to have network infrastructure robust enough to protect against these identified threats. This includes high-level encryption, professional firewalls, and necessary software, as well as a team that properly implements, monitors and responds to any and all incursions.
It's not enough to put in place safeguards. Detection is just as essential to ensure that threats are recognized and addressed. Regardless of the sophistication of the security measures, if hackers can continually pry away without disturbance, they may eventually find a vulnerability to exploit. By monitoring these attempts, the security team can monitor their resources for any potential exposure.
The ability to quickly respond is essential. Neutralizing a threat saves all the grief that comes with a leak, and helps protect that integrity of the overall network. Even if there is an exploit, if caught quick enough, the exposure can be limited, contained, and resolved without affecting the overall performance of the business.
No connected network can be said to be 100% secure. Despite what steps are taken, what measures implemented, a resourceful enough threat may find an exploit regardless. A comprehensive security strategy can help minimize this threat, but it needs to be acknowledged that, whether the fault of program or personnel, breaches may occur.
Therein lies the importance of both a business continuity plan and a disaster recovery plan. Should things go wrong, it's essential that a company, to remain successful, be able to resume regular operations with minimal upset.
Data needs to be regularly backed-up and stored in multiple, off-site locations. Redundancies can seem like an unnecessary expense but relying on one back-up can be even more expensive should it also be compromised.
That's why cloud storage continues to become so popular: should your backup servers be onsite when an incident occurs, there's potential that they become no longer viable. Knowing that your information is available regardless of geography helps to guarantee that business can resume normally with the most up-to-date data available.
Our world becomes more and more connected every day. It's near-impossible for a business to survive without a strong, digital presence. Data continues to prove it's value, and customers are growing more and more accustomed to sharing highly personal information online, trusting in its security.
This helps grow a strong market for unauthorized agents and hackers to continually probe networks for weaknesses. Obtained illegally or not, data still has value to any number of buyers worldwide, whether it's to commit financial fraud or influence elections.
That's why cyber resiliency will only become more essential. It's not just the practice of creating and maintaining a secure network. it's also the ability to react to changing threats and to recognize that as technologies change, so does security.
It's also the ability to bounce back from a setback, no matter the size. Prepare for the best and expect the worst. Build and maintain the most secure network feasible, but also have a recovery plan in place to react and respond to any potential breach that may occur, regardless.
For more information on cybersecurity, including tips on how to further protect your data, check out our blog.
It's full of useful and relevant information on keeping your business running safely, securely and without interruption.