What does it take to go from Cybersecurity to Cyber Resilience?

As the threat landscape grows in complexity and moves at a far greater pace, companies are now coming to realize that having a complete cybersecurity is practically impossible. Cyberattacks are not a question of ‘if’ but ‘when’.

Many organizational infrastructures today are rapidly and intensely connected to the internet. Security managers are faced with more challenges on protecting data and applications against malicious attackers.

Making the shift to cyber resilience means businesses must think differently about how they build and implement their systems.

Being prepared for such attacks is what cyber resilience is all about. It consists of ensuring that business processes stay afloat and companies don’t lose money from being dysfunctional when a cyber incident happens.

For this, a number of measures need to be put in place that we will discuss with you later on. But first, it is necessary to understand the situation and, more specifically, the elements that differentiate cybersecurity from cyber resilience.

The difference between cybersecurity and cyber resilience

Businesses today must shift from a reactive approach to a proactive approach with cybersecurity. For that, we must place far more emphasis on making systems resilient, by being able to derive the necessary outcome out of all systems despite adverse cyber events. Preparing to face an adversary is at the very heart of cyber resilience.

For many years organizations have been focused on building layers of cybersecurity intended to detect threats and enable efficient responses. Although these systems are valuable, they reflect a dangerous approach: it’s the bad actors who set the pace of action. They are in power and the ball is always in their court.

Cyber resilience aims to change that. While it’s important to detect when a breach happens and mitigate its effects, it’s equally important to continually become harder to find, attack, and damage.

Cyber resilience is about designing systems so that even if cyberattacks occur, you can minimize their damage to your organization and ensure business continuity. In short, you move from waiting around for something to happen, to ensuring that when anything happens, it’s business as usual. This approach toward cybersecurity makes a lot of sense, especially today when the pandemic has us all working from home, with weakly secured networks and IT infrastructure we have less power over. A cyber resilient business would mean IT resilience.

Needless to say, there are a series of critical action steps businesses must take to march towards the path to cyber resilience.

Steps to becoming cyber resilient

Constructing a cyber resilient organization involves the following critical steps:

  • Take a holistic cybersecurity approach – Business decision makers must strive to educate themselves and their employees on cyber threats. You can no longer be sure that getting the right technology will do the trick. The rising complexity of cyberattacks and the viciousness of such threats requires you to take on a more holistic approach. That is, seeing every asset in your business as connected. Cyber resilience means focusing on the behavior of all internal stakeholders and not just the security teams. Governance, risk management, and compliance tools can offer insight into security vulnerabilities.
  • Maintain basic security hygiene – This part consists of the usual and the monotonous things such as requiring users and employees to set strong passwords and regularly update them. Basic security measures ensure that we don’t forget the rat in the room while being busy taking care of the elephant. They are necessary for maintaining systems and software through regular patches, updates, and access permissions.
  • Be ready for change – It’s important for you to be able to respond to emerging threats and cyberattacks with speed and agility. Here’s what this looks like: decentralized data protection, decentralized intrusion detection and response tools, device resilience through capabilities such as reverting back to a safe state when devices are targeted in an advanced attack, automating communication and the first line of response through artificial intelligence
  • Build resilient networks – By consolidating and analyzing data across all of your systems and networks, you can define basic user behavior. Integrate this information into intrusion detection software and you have highly advanced capabilities to identify abnormal and malicious activity. Leverage automation with AI and ML for real-time detection of attacks and build systems to respond effectively. Threat intelligence services can help you detect Advanced Persistent Threats, while onboarding trained personnel to act as sensors.
    • Implement data-driven cybersecurity – Data-driven cybersecurity overshadows cybersecurity-related approximations. It goes beyond traditional data security. With security techniques such as threat intelligence, segmentation and tokenization, access management and automated access decisions, data is not an afterthought but an integral part of the entire process. Embedding data in your cybersecurity posture as a way to safeguard assets can be the single most important decision to move you toward cyber resilience.
    • Implement security by design – Security is now a boardroom topic. As much as key stakeholders at an organization talk about the next subject for business, they should equally consider cybersecurity an important part of the agenda. This makes cybersecurity a critical part of business instead of just something extra that is nice to have. When security becomes a priority, it gets ingrained in your solutions and processes. Once this step is made, there is no looking back. Adopt DevSecOps practices to ensure security is embedded in your systems instead of duct-taping it on later.

    It is through a change of perspective on security that you will be able to move from cybersecurity to cyber resilience: no longer seen only as a set of preventive measures, it will also offer you powerful anticipatory capabilities. Engage in proactive defense to stay one step ahead of malicious actors in cyberspace.

    To prevent companies from being paralyzed because of a security incident, TEHTRIS provides them with effective technical means based on proactive cybersecurity. Learn more about us and our solutions here.