Bridging the gaps in cybersecurity with cyber resilience
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Insights: Bridging the gaps in cybersecurity with cyber resilience

Insights: Bridging the gaps in cybersecurity with cyber resilience

Organisations must internally promote cyber resilience, a crucial component of cybersecurity today


The Middle East and Africa saw sharp increases in ransomware and server access attacks in 2021 amidst the global uptick in cyberattacks. The majority of targets – 48 per cent of all attacks were financial and insurance institutions. Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that close to $1.75tn will be spent globally by 2025 on cybersecurity products and services to combat cybercrime. However, no business has the capacity to address every cyber problem, and not every problem is equally significant.

This raises concerns about whether cybersecurity products alone are sufficient to deter bad actors and help set businesses back on the path to recovery after an attack.

Organisations must internally promote cyber resilience, a crucial component of cybersecurity today. The term cyber resilience may sound unfamiliar and ambiguous, but it is simply about how people react in the aftermath of an attack.

Culture takes precedence over strategy
Organisations must acknowledge that there is always a chance their network security could be compromised. Although there are numerous frameworks and best practice manuals to give cybersecurity leaders the technical knowledge required to manage cyber risks, business leaders, particularly those in small and medium-sized enterprises and growing industries, sometimes fail to comprehend cybersecurity.

Perhaps unsurprisingly then, some businesses continue to be the targets of cyberattacks despite putting in place all the necessary security precautions. The tools and frameworks are there to help protect their systems, but the lack of awareness and understanding amongst their employees is a risk factor that cannot be ignored.

Employees play a key role in enabling a security-first culture, because they are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. Increasing company-wide awareness of cyber risks will encourage employees to exercise safer practices online and play their part in protecting the company’s assets.

According to the Cyber Resilient Organization Study 2021, 69 per cent of organisations reported the inability to improve cyber resiliency because of silo or turf issues, meaning a reluctance to share information with employees from different divisions within the organisation.

Organisations need to create workplaces where everyone is aware of cyber risks and their individual responsibility for safeguarding the company. A culture like this will fortify current security measures, foster better teamwork, and reduce the amount of money and resources needed for attack recovery.

Fostering cyber resilience within the organisation
Organisations are undoubtedly at a greater risk of experiencing cyberattacks than ever before; the question is no longer if an attack will happen, but rather when. Organisations that are resilient and perform effectively in a crisis take precautions to avoid being overburdened and to sustain high performance even in the face of an incident.

An effective cyber resilience strategy should concentrate on the five key steps listed below to lessen the effects of an attack.

1. Assess employees’ cybersecurity knowledge: Employees should be educated about cybersecurity and shown how a few small behavioural adjustments can keep the entire team secure.
2. Set clear, definite goals: The strategy should define what cybersecurity entails, why employees need to play an active role in it, and how changes in their behaviour may impact the organisation’s security.
3. Adopt a top-down approach: Starting with C-suite leaders, adopting cyber resilience involves more of a mindset shift than a backup plan. Leaders should set the tone for employees on cybersecurity hygiene and create a culture where everyone feels accountable. To develop appropriate rules for employees, leaders should be aware of the potential risks unique to their firm and industry.
4. Identify, protect, detect, respond, and recover: When strategising cyber resilience, it is important to consider critical resources, make sure there is a thorough incident response plan, constantly keep an eye out for suspicious activity, and decide what to do first in the event of an attack. Making sure impacted resources are restored and business operations resume is crucial for recovery.
5. Nurture your relationships: Collaborate with colleagues, competitors, and government organisations while keeping an eye on how your team hires and trains.

Be cyber resilient to be more cybersecure
The goal of cyber resilience is obvious: to guarantee operational and business continuity with the least amount of disruption. Such a cyber resilience strategy has to be regularly revisited to remain strong and effective. It is an approach that should scale to fit the industry and focus on the people, processes, and technology needed to ensure that the entire value chain is secure and robust.

In the ever-changing security landscape, if companies want to stay one step ahead of cybercriminals and recover faster from damaging attacks, they need to integrate cyber resilience into their business models and promote it amongst employees.

Naveena Srinivas is the enterprise analyst at ManageEngine

Read: Why diversity is vital for a strong cybersecurity team

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