Make Your Organization Cyber Resilient in Five Simple Steps

This blog is a guest blog from Matthew Stern of TechFools.  It is a companion to the interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled A Dozen Lessons Learned Running Dunkin’ Donuts that aired on Tuesday, March 16th, 2021

 

Cybersecurity refers to a series of measures put in place to prevent threat actors from penetrating IT infrastructure. But implementing such measures merely reduces the risk of a major attack. Today, organizations have to use a wide range of IT equipment, the internet, and mobile devices to conduct business. The ever-expanding attack surfaces make 100% prevention impossible, and that’s where cyber resilience comes in.

Cyber resilience refers to the measure of how well an organization can continue operating regardless of technical failures, downtime, and other disruptions that could stem from a successful cyberattack. Cyber resilience takes a holistic approach to cybersecurity. Having a cyber resilience strategy will help you manage risks and protect your business.

Different Cyber Risks Faced by Companies

Every day, businesses fend off thousands of attacks targeted at their IT infrastructure. Attackers can launch attacks using a wide variety of techniques and technologies with minimal effort and expenditures. Eventually, one of these attempts will end up in a successful breach. It’s a question of ‘when’ not ‘if,’ and your business needs to be ready. This section looks at some of the most common types of cyber risks faced by organizations.

Ransomware

One of the most common attacks targeting businesses, ransomware is a form of malware that blocks the victim from accessing their systems. The cybercriminal demands a ransom to restore access, and if you don’t pay, you risk losing your system files permanently.

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

Attackers will initiate a DDoS attack to overwhelm your network with a high volume of unwanted traffic. The goal is to exhaust bandwidth and render the victim unable to respond to legitimate queries. If you get overwhelming traffic on your website, your organization may be facing a DDoS attack.

Phishing 

Cybercriminals will use all kinds of clever tricks to steal sensitive information from individuals and organizations. Phishing is one of them. It’s one of the most common types of attacks amply conducted by cybercriminals. Fraudulent emails aimed at tricking recipients into divulging sensitive data such as passwords, banking credentials, credit card numbers, etc., are common. Make sure members of your organization know how to detect potential phishing scams.

 

5 Ways to Create a Strong Cyber Resilience Program

Cybersecurity is primarily about protecting your organization against a wide range of cyber threats. But as stated earlier in the article, 100% prevention is not possible.

Therefore, apart from having security tools like antivirus software to detect and remove malware, firewalls to keep external threats at bay, and encryption tools such as a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to protect your data online, you also need to make sure that your business survives and thrives even when that protection fails.

You can do that by building a robust cyber resilience strategy. Here are five ways to build a strong cyber resilience program for your business.

Formulate a Plan

To be cyber resilient, you need to have an adequate business continuity plan. Create a formal plan to deal with successful cyberattacks and other threats while maintaining key business operations. What critical resources do you have and what would be the business impact if they were to malfunction in the aftermath of the attack?

Get Insurance Cover

Financial loss is part and parcel of the aftermath of a cyberattack. Also, a successful data breach will almost always end up in a lawsuit. Organizations must protect themselves from financial loss resulting from a cyberattack by getting insurance cover. This type of coverage will typically include liability cover.

Create a Risk and Incident Management Plan

In case of an attack, having a proper risk and incident management strategy will help your organization react swiftly to neutralize the threat and restore operations. Establish an incident response and disaster recovery plan and work on improving it through regular testing.

Maintain a Proper Backup

Backups help organizations retain and retrieve critical information in the event of a cyberattack or data breach. Creating a backup for all the important company files, data, and bandwidth capabilities is one of the most successful ways to bounce back from a cyberattack and ensure cyber resilience.

Get Leadership Buy-In

For your cyber resilience strategy implementation to be effective, you need your leaders on board. You can achieve this through executive and board engagement. This level of involvement in your cyber resilience program delivers a strong message to your employees, partners, vendors, etc., about the company’s commitment to the fight against cybercrime.

Cybersecurity tools can’t fend off all cyberattacks. Even if your defenses prevent 99% of attacks, you still need to deal with the 1% that get through. Cyber resilience principles are centered around reacting to successful attacks, implementing secure redundancy for critical business processes, and business continuity planning.

 

To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.

Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible,  iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.  Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.

 

About the Author

Matthew Stern is a technology content strategist at TechFools, a tech blog aiming at informing readers about the potential dangers of technology and introducing them to the best ways to protect themselves online.

As a tech enthusiast and an advocate for digital freedom, Matthew is dedicated to introducing his readers to the latest technology trends and teaching them how to gain control over their digital lives.

 

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