The chips won’t always fall in your organization’s favor. IT security is a precarious landscape, and although robust security protocols and preventative measures make a major difference, data breaches are almost inevitable in an increasingly digital world.
So the question is this: When cybercriminals knock you down, how will you get back up again? The effects of a cyberattack can be long-term and devastating, and not every company has the in-house resources and damage control of major corporations. It’s crucial not only to maintain best IT security practices as your first line of defense, but also to make sure you approach those practices with cyber resilience—your company’s ability to mitigate damage across the board and move forward in the wake of a cyberattack.
As a principle, cyber resilience can cover everything from ransomware attacks to an employee forgetting to change their password. To be cyber resilient, you need to acknowledge that attacks are inevitable. If the first step to IT security is preventing the attacks that are preventable, then the second is preparing for the ones that aren’t. Regardless of the resources available to your organization, cyber resilience demonstrates that playing it smart will always help you play it safer.
As we wrap up October and National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, this week is all about minimizing the impact of cyberattacks with strategy and responsible spending in equal measure. Let’s dive into the benefits of being cyber resilient.
Cyber resilient organizations should have a good idea of the basic tenets of IT security; namely, keeping all company devices up to date and patched, making use of encryption and VPNs to secure sensitive data offsite, and educating employees of all levels on best IT security practices.
Preparing to bounce back from a cyberattack, on the other hand, requires a look into the cybercriminal’s playbook. Your organization will need to identify how much of your operations rely on technology and which assets are most sensitive to breach or ransomware. The answer will certainly be more than you expect—everything from your phone to your workplace printer can be linked in the IoT.
Also know where your sensitive data is stored and how it’s transferred. As we discussed last week, encryption is an increasingly popular and affordable solution for data in transit, and sending secure messages is an important consideration particularly in the midst of a cyberattack. With all that knowledge in mind, it will be easier to develop emergency processes in the event of a breach or service disruption.
Your organization should additionally have a defined and coordinated incident response plan, covering the who, what, when, and how of its execution. Though developed on paper, the success of incident response relies on routine practice by personnel across the organization to keep the process fresh and expeditious in the event of a real incident.
The response plan should address: the chain of command and communication, so all personnel and any external consultants work in quick sync to mitigate the situation together; how to minimize disruption and get back to normal functioning as quickly as possible; how to reduce and manage negative impact (think data privacy, proprietary information, organizational reputation, press, financial implications, etc.); how to report the incident to relevant stakeholders and different types of audiences, and; how to debrief afterwards to assess the success of the response, plan for remediation steps, and learn from the experience.
Cyber resilience doesn’t need to be a costly endeavor. It does require an investment of time and strategy, but your organization will save thousands of dollars as a result, salvage potential damage to your reputation, and lead by example as others incorporate cyber resilience into their attitudes.
Choices That Lend To Resilience
A cyber resilient organization knows their stuff, whether it’s how to face the aftermath of a cyberattack or how to choose the ideal IT security assessment partner. You’re looking for a provider with laser focus, best-of-breed tools, and innovative, adaptable methods that evolve to undermine the encroaching cybercriminal threat.
You’re also looking for a provider that can deliver on the results that matter. We think you’ll find these numbers helpful.
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