The push for digital transformation has added to the complexities in enterprise IT security. With the growing reliance on IT systems and applications, the cyber threat landscape has evolved significantly, and cyber attacks have increased dramatically. At the same time, business agility has become decisive and can’t be compromised.
What organizations need today is a strategy to maintain business operations, even in the face of a disaster. Cyber resiliency, an organization’s ability to stand up on its feet in the face of an unexpected event, is therefore, the key to business success.
One of the first steps to building resilience is understanding the business impact of cyber attacks. Ransomware attacks are the most common form of cyber threats, leaving IT security teams with sleepless nights. These attacks have increased multifold in the last five years, resulting in huge financial losses to organizations of all sizes. The impact of cyber attacks also translates to deeper business concerns such as employee layoffs, C-level resignations and temporary suspension of business operations.
According to the report, Ransomware: The True cost to Business Study 2022, based on the responses of more than 1400 global cybersecurity professionals, 73% of organizations suffered at least one ransomware attack in 2022, compared with just 55% in 2021. Here are a few other key findings from the report to put things in perspective:
37% of organizations reported that they were forced to lay off employees 35% of organizations reported C-level resignations following a ransomware attack 33% of organizations reported temporary suspension of businesses
Embracing a cyber resiliency framework can help you to reduce the impact of cyber threats and maintain agility in your business.
Understanding Cyber Resiliency
Cyber resiliency is not just a set of measures but a state of preparedness. It requires organizations to accept that attacks can’t be fully eliminated or controlled. This is where understanding the difference between cyber security and cyber resiliency becomes paramount. While cyber security involves different tools and processes to protect your organization from a cyber-attack, cyber resiliency looks beyond that. It requires you to foresee that things can go wrong even if you put all the security measures in place.
Becoming cyber resilient involves not only protecting critical data and assets, but having the right framework to detect, respond and recover from cyber incidents. The focus here is on minimizing the impact of such incidents.
Let’s look at some of the key steps in building a robust cyber resiliency framework.
- Identifying Critical Data and Business Applications
Assess and identify business-critical data and its location as data sprawl increases the attack surface, making an organization more vulnerable to attacks. This is essential so that business can continue to operate in the face of an adverse incident.
- Mapping Dependencies
The next step is to identify the key elements, including people, processes and technology, that are crucial to enabling those services and the overall business impact if those services are interrupted. The business applications and services in scope must have a well identified recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO).
- Designing A Protection Architecture and Recovery Solution
Based on your initial assessments, it’s now time to work towards creating the solution design. There are two approaches to this: either leverage your existing technology environment to the extent possible or completely transform your existing environment.
This decision can be made basis the current state of cyber readiness and budgets.
The focus should be on building intelligence to detect anomalies and to keep your data isolated (physically or logically) from the production environment to avoid unwanted access. The solution also needs to incorporate an incident recovery plan that outlines step-by-step instructions to follow in case of an attack.
- Testing and Simulations
After your solution design is in place, initiate a stress test for all the plausible scenarios. This will help you gauge its effectiveness against different threats and the response capabilities of concerned teams and processes.
Achieving a state of cyber resiliency may not be a cakewalk, as it requires giving up old notions, change of mindsets and assigning responsibilities to all the levels of your organization. Becoming cyber resilient calls for strategic and often tough discussions on security, adoption of best practices that are closely aligned with your business goals, and embedding security into all the aspects of your organization.
As distributed workforces and remote working becomes commonplace, ensuring security policies demands even greater attention. This is where partnering with a service provider with the right experience and resources can give you a head start in your journey towards building cyber resiliency.
At HCLTech, we’ve helped enterprises develop customized cyber resilient architectures that aligned to their unique needs. Our offerings around cyber resilience have helped these enterprises to strengthen their security posture, build end-to-end ransomware protection capabilities and well-defined incident response strategies. By implementing these solutions, organizations are now better prepared to deal with cyber attacks in the future.
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