What Is Cyber Resilience?

Cyber resilience is not just a buzzword; it’s extremely relevant to organizations facing today’s evolving threat landscape.

  • September 2, 2021 | Author: Khali Henderson
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You’ve likely heard a lot of chatter about cyber resilience lately. Or, if you haven’t, you will, and you’re sure to be asked about it by your clients. Cyber resilience is not just a buzzword; it’s extremely relevant to organizations facing today’s evolving threat landscape and, in turn, a growing revenue opportunity for your MSP business.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cyber resiliency as: “The ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from and adapt to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks or compromises on systems that use or are enabled by cyber resources.”
In other words, cyber resilience is the ability for a business to continue to deliver products, services or other outcomes even when systems are compromised or failing.
Why Do Businesses Need Cyber Resilience vs. Cybersecurity?
If you’re thinking that cyber resilience sounds a lot like cybersecurity, you’re right, but there’s a critical difference. While cybersecurity aims to protect infrastructure from attack or other compromise, cyber resilience assumes the incident will happen and focuses on how to mitigate the impact. Think of it as a marriage between business continuity and security.
There’s a list of good reasons for organizations of all sizes to adopt a cyber resilience approach:
  • Inevitable Breach: Cybersecurity experts agree that it’s not a matter of if, but when an organization will be compromised. 
  • Expanded Attack Surface: Post-pandemic work from home (WFH) and work from anywhere (WFA) operational models have expanded the corporate network—and cybercriminals’ attack service—and to more endpoints.
  • Human Error: Tech solutions, training and cyber hygiene processes and procedures help, but human error remains central to most breaches.
  • Rising Threats: Cybercrime is rampant and growing, with new incidents potentially occurring every 11 seconds by the end of this year, according to research from Cybersecurity Ventures.
  • System Failures: Not all cyber failures are deliberate—sometimes systems break. 
What are the Steps to Achieving Cyber Resilience?
Like cybersecurity, cyber resilience isn’t just one thing; it involves a layered approach to meeting the challenges of our networked world. Here are five steps to achieving cyber resilience:
1. Assess risks to systems, data, people, assets, processes, capabilities, etc.
2. Protect assets with procedures, policies, training and tools designed to stop threats.
3. Identify and evaluate suspicious incidents.
4. Respond to incidents with tools and strategies that minimize business interruption.
5. Restore damaged systems and data ASAP.
It’s also a good idea to take the lessons learned and apply them to improve protection going forward. 
What are the Solutions Needed for Cyber Resilience?
There’s a lot to unpack within each step toward cyber resilience. It can be overwhelming to business owners and managers—especially those working in small and medium businesses (SMBs) with limited IT resources. 
Here’s where you can help by delivering a  simple and affordable five-part solution for cyber resilience, including these components:
  • Backup data in an automated, always-on basis.
  • Train personnel to recognize threats and avoid phishing attacks.
  • Block visits to dangerous websites.
  • Protect against incoming threats.
  • Restore data quickly following an incident.
There’s plenty of opportunity for you to build a cyber resilience practice, but clients won’t wait around. The sooner you talk with your clients, the sooner you protect them from threats and your company from loss to a competitor that walks through the door with a resiliency solution. 

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