Cyber Resilience: What’s in the way?

Cybersecurity / Cyber Advisory

A single cyber incident may cause unrecoverable impact to an organisation’s reputation and financial performance. High performing companies take the initiative to develop and nurture defensive partnerships and capabilities. This piece discusses the importance of cyber resilience and the common hurdles that hold people back on their cyber resilient journey.

Cyber Resilience is Beyond Information Security.

The idea of cyber resilience stems from how well an organisation withstand cyber events. The more cyber-resilient an organisation is, the stronger its digitally networked systems. The stronger the systems, the better the organisation can react before, during and after a cyber incident.
 
Cyber resilience is how effective an organisation tackles threats and vulnerabilities. Cyber resilience is how the defences developed and the resources mobilised can mitigate a security failure. Regardless of sectors and industries, business leaders should prioritise cyber resilience. It is key to avoiding the catastrophic failure threatened by creative and aggressive cybercriminals. Why? Because cyber resilience is vital to our economic and societal resilience.
 
Giants around the world have fell victim to cyberattacks. Hospitals such as the Waikato DHB, broadcast stations like Channel 9 and critical infrastructures like the Colonial Pipelines. These organisations were brought to complete operational halts due to cyber breaches. Cyber attacks are capable to impact everyone’s livelihoods and access to basic commodities.
 
So, what is in the way of an organisation’s pursuit of cyber resilience?

Not Thinking Ahead.

“It is no longer an issue of if, but when.”
 
When it comes to cybersecurity, a lot of organisations tend to be reactive and only act after the fact. But by the time any action is taken, it is often too late where the damage is already done. Building cyber resilience requires plenty of planning and thinking ahead of time. The only way to reduce damages from cyber incidents is to remain proactive. Proactivity is central to handling vulnerabilities and curbing risk exposures.

“It is an IT problem.”

Undeniably, cyber threats are threats to the IT system. The issues from outstanding cyber risks do not affect the technology department alone. Repercussions from a cybersecurity breach can cause detriments. Leaving victim organisations to face financial and reputation losses. Legislative obligations may also follow if proprietary or sensitive information is leaked.
Cybersecurity must be seen as a business issue and is accounted for in the wider business risk register.

“It’s not my responsibility.”

Despite the best efforts from organisations to improve security posture, issues are likely to persist.
 
Particularly, undisciplined employees will likely yield attackers an entry point into an organisation. For instance, clicking links from a malicious email, transferring funds to an unverified account, or accessing sensitive work documents on personal devices.
 
Alarmingly, research suggests that 90% of the data breaches in 2019 were caused by human error. It only goes to show how people are often shadowed by their naivety. In fact, maintaining good cyber hygiene should remain the first priority of all time. Employees uphold the first and last line of defence for any organisation.
 
Alike a jigsaw puzzle, cybersecurity is an organisational-wide effort. Everyone plays an interconnected role, responsible for the entirety of the organisation.

“Incident Response Plan, what’s that?”

An incident response plan is self-explanatory. It is a plan that outlines what to do in the event of a cyber incident. It is to outline who to contact, who to fire-fight with, and what information should be shared with the public. Nonetheless, simply having a cyber incident response does not equate to cyber resilience.
 
A designated lead must be made responsible for the plan, just as you would for any other business area. Regular meetings must be hosted to thoroughly test the incident response plans. These practice runs help ensure that the planned responses remain time-relevant. And most importantly, effective against the latest techniques deployed by cybercriminals.

Incorporating Cyber Resilience into Business Strategy is Imperative.

Misconceptions of cyber resilience may be trivial. But they may stop promotions and implementations of an organisational-wide cyber resilience strategy.
 
Building cyber resilience requires everyone’s effort. Organisations, governments, and institutions must recognise the importance of avoiding and mitigating risks.
 
CTRL are entrusted by many organisations as a companion on their cybersecurity journeys. Talk to our consultants today to see how we can help your organisation in the pursuit of cyber resilience.

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