Cyber Resilience sits alongside Cyber Security; Cyber Security protects, Cyber Resilience kicks in if an attack occurs.
It’s now widely accepted among the Cyber Security community that cyberattacks WILL occur even WITH Cyber Security measures in place.
Why bother with Cyber Security?
Just because everyone is susceptible to a cyberattack doesn’t mean that we should just roll over and give up on Cyber Security. We recently compared Cyber Security with fire prevention measures. All the measures in the world won’t necessarily prevent a fire from happening, but they will make it far less likely, and minimise the impact should a fire occur.
Firstly, get all your Cyber Security ducks in a row (or several layers)
Good Cyber Security isn’t just one simple layer of security – it is several, making it as hard as possible for hackers to ‘get in’ – you are making your security more robust.
Secondly, plan for Cyber Resilience
The UK Government describes Cyber Resilience as ‘the ability for organisations to prepare for, respond to and recover from cyberattacks and security breaches.’
If we’re thinking fire prevention, Cyber Resilience is the bit that kicks in once the fire is in progress; it entails minimising damage, keeping everyone and everything as safe as possible and ensuring that essential tasks within the organisation can be carried out elsewhere.
Cyber Resilience stops an organisation falling to its knees if a cyberattack is in progress. Yes, there is an acceptance that things will not be ‘normal’; there will be an impact on the business. But the degree of Cyber Resilience will determine how debilitating the cyberattack is on the business.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) details four characteristics that make up a resilient system:
Identify the key parts of your organisation that need to remain functional in an emergency situation. Prepare an ‘incident response plan’ so that these elements are as protected as possible during an attack. Consult your staff in the preparation of the plan; they have ‘on the ground’ experience and will be best placed to advise on how their systems work in practice.
Make sure staff are trained in what to do if they become aware of an attack – the earlier you can start dealing with it, the easier it is to absorb. ‘Depth and diversity’ of technology, and ‘Segregating your system’ are also tips given by the NCSC – if you’re not sure how to prepare your systems ask Net Primates for advise.
Facing the incident head on is vital – hiding from it will not make it go away. Communicate with everyone who needs to know including your staff, your customers and stakeholders. Good decisions can only be made if there is open and honest discussion.
Adapt systems as the attack occurs. Resilience means being able to be flexible as a situation evolves. If a fire was blocking your way to a fire exit you would find another way out, and if the fire extinguisher wasn’t sufficient, you’d get a hose. We appreciate that IT does not appear as straightforward as a fire and that’s why we’re here – in the face of adversity you may need specialists on hand to help (you wouldn’t fight a fire without the fire service).
Please do ask us. As with everything IT-based, we firmly believe that being proactive is the best way, even when events are unpredictable. Having a Cyber Resilience Plan in place will ensure that you’ll be far better placed to deal with a cyberattack should it occur, minimising the risk to your business.