The 4 stages of cyber resilience

The cyber threat landscape has evolved rapidly in the past few years. Organisations are increasingly reliant on technology and more eager than ever to collect personal data, but without the resources to protect their systems, cyber crime has flourished.

We’ve reached a point where there are so many crooks and potential vulnerabilities that it’s foolish to suggest that you can prevent breaches entirely. Instead, you must accept that there will be times when your defences aren’t sufficient, and put in place measures for data breach response.

This approach, known as cyber resilience, is quickly becoming one of the most popular methods of cyber security.


How does cyber resilience work?

Cyber resilience combines elements of cyber security, business continuity management and organisational resilience, enabling organisations to continue operating in the event of adverse cyber events.

Why is this so important? A security incident or disruption can lead to a loss of productivity, regulatory fines and reputational damage. The longer it takes to get up and running again, the greater the effects will be.

However, being able to prevent data breaches and respond quickly to incidents that can’t be stopped can ensure minimal financial and reputational losses.

The GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and NIS Directive (Directive on security of network and information systems) both acknowledge the importance of cyber resilience, with the framework playing a key role in both.


How you can become cyber resilient

Organisations that want to achieve cyber resilience should follow our four-step guide:

1. Manage and protect

The first phase of a cyber resilience programme involves identifying, assessing and managing risks associated with your network and information systems.

As part of this, you’ll need to adopt a set of processes to protect your organisation from cyber attacks, system failures and unauthorised access. This will require a broad range of defences addressing people, processes and technology. Staff awareness training will play a vital role, but it should be complemented with information security policies and technological defences, such as anti-malware software and data encryption.

2. Identify and detect

The second stage encompasses the actions you take to identify vulnerabilities across your networks and information systems. This should consist of both automated security tests, such as vulnerability scans, and active detection.

3. Respond and recover

The third stage focuses on your business continuity measures and incident response management programme. This is crucial for ensuring that your operations continue in the event of a cyber attack or other disruption, and that you can get back to normal as quickly as possible.

4. Govern and assure

The final stage is to ensure that the measures you’ve implemented are in line with your legal and regulatory requirements, including the GDPR, NIS Regulations and PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

To complete this stage, you should implement a comprehensive risk management programme and a continual improvement process. You should seek board-level commitment to maintain these, and undertake an internal audit to determine whether they are sufficient.

Want to learn more?

Download Cyber Resilience: Cyber Security and Business Resilience for more information about preparing your organisation for modern cyber threats. This free guide explains:

  • Why cyber security alone isn’t enough to keep your organisation secure;
  • How cyber resilience can help your organisation counter the risks it faces; and
  • How to align security with business objectives.

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