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Using Cyber Resilience to Combat Constantly Evolving Cyber Attacks

The digital fabric that weaves its way through the online economy is continuously evolving. Innovators release new solutions every day that disrupt traditional business models, increase productivity, or enhance efficiency. However, this constant innovation comes with increased risk and organizations must consider implementing a resilient cybersecurity strategy to mitigate it.

The Evolution of Technology Increases Cybersecurity Risks

The complexity involved in integrating and managing evolving technologies exposes organizations to new cybersecurity risks. Untested solutions and the sheer volume of integration between so many different applications creates undetected security issues. As hackers are always looking for new ways to compromise systems, exploiting these undiscovered vulnerabilities is a perfect way to bypass existing security solutions.  

Defending against these types of attacks requires organizations to implement an adaptive approach to cybersecurity. Having a strategy in place that only protects against known attacks is no longer feasible. It must also account for the potential of unknown attacks and implement measures to protect the business from them.

What is Cyber Resilience?

Cyber resilience is a relatively new term but identifies the need for an organization to have flexibility and adaptability built into its cybersecurity strategy. Taking a page out of the traditional IT risk management practices of disaster recovery and business continuity, cyber resilience is essentially the practice of building risk mitigation into your cybersecurity strategy.

With hackers leveraging evolving technologies to formulate new cyber attack techniques, this approach to cybersecurity can help organizations mitigate the risk of unknown attacks. By implementing a strategy that recognizes that cyber attacks are constantly evolving, cyber resilience is the best approach to protect organizations now and into the future.

Implementing Cyber Resilience

Organizations implementing cyber resilience must take a risk management approach. Typically this consists of a multi-step process involving the deployment of cybersecurity processes and technologies. However, it is essential for a cyber resilience strategy to protect the organization against both known and unknown threats.

Formulating the Strategy

As risk management is a fundamental element, the process starts by gathering a full inventory of the systems and services that operate within an environment. The organization should then leverage this inventory to identify critical systems and map out its risk profile. Based on this profile the organization can then assess and measure its cybersecurity posture by initiating a security risk assessment. As cyber resilience needs to factor in unknown threats, they should conduct this assessment and measure their risk using a variety of possible threat scenarios.  For example, when assessing their data risk, they should consider possible cybersecurity incidents that may infect, corrupt, or destroy their data such as a ransomware attack. They could also study the possible effects a data breach would have on their systems and ultimately their reputation.Taking all these possible threat scenarios into account, they can then formulate potential mitigation strategies and identify the solutions they need to deploy to implement cyber resilience effectively.

Incident Response and Post-Incident Recovery

An effective cyber resilience strategy must take a holistic approach and assume that a cyber attack will compromise the organization. Although risk mitigation is a fundamental element, cyber resilience must also include preparation for incident response and post-incident recovery.

During the incident response phase, a cyber-resilient organization must have the relevant processes in place to rapidly react to a sudden threat. These processes should include the appropriate actions needed to detect, contain, and respond to an incident.

The post-incident phase would then cover the necessary procedures the organization would action following the response. The formation of an incident investigation team skilled in cyber forensics would be an essential part of this phase. This team would identify the root cause of the incident which the organization can then leverage to increase their cyber resilience even further.

Cyber Resilience Can Help Combat Evolving Cyber Threats

As technology evolves, it increases in complexity exposing organizations to cybersecurity risks. Mitigating these threats requires organizations to adopt a strategy of cyber resilience. Enterprises taking this approach can minimize the risk of unknown vulnerabilities that traditional reactive cybersecurity solutions fail to identify. Implementing cyber resilience is a multi-step process that involves risk management processes. These include gathering an inventory, identifying critical services, assessing risk, and deploying the appropriate solutions. As cyber resilience must also assume that a cyber attack will compromise the organization, it should also include incident and post-incident plans and procedures.

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Rema Deo
Rema Deo

As CEO and Managing Director of 24By7Security, Inc., Rema is a highly experienced and credentialed information security professional. Among her certifications are PCI Qualified Security Assessor (QSA) from PCI SSC, Health Care Information Security & Privacy Practitioner (HCISPP) from (ISC)2, Certified Information Security Manager (CISM), and Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA) from ISACA. She also holds a certificate in Cybersecurity: Technology, Application, and Policy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Certified Data Privacy Practitioner (CDPP) from Network Intelligence. She earned her MBA from Symbiosis Institute of Business Management in Pune, India, and her Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Bombay. Be sure to follow the 24By7Security Blog for valuable insights from Rema and her colleagues.

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