Resilience – the key to survival in the digital world

Cyber criminals, hacktivists, hackers… Whatever name you may have for them, they are always out there devising new ways of gaining unauthorised access to as many systems as possible. Moreover, there is no fail-safe way of avoiding these attacks.

Or, to put it more bluntly – the advantage lies with the attackers. They are innovative and it’s impossible to second-guess them. Moreover, it’s up to them when they attack and which systems they target. To cap it all, hackers are very active: according to a White House audit, cyber-attacks on US government agencies rose by 10% in 2015.

The experts agree that any company with a Web presence should assume it will fall victim to a cyber-attack at some stage. In that event, the key to survival will be how you respond to the incident. For example, would you be able to avoid business interruption? How long would it take to detect and nullify the attack?

You can answer these questions by drawing up a cyber resilience programme (CRP). This would involve identifying your key risks, allocating more resources to securing those risks and formulating a crisis response plan (communication with the media, impact minimisation etc.).

Once you have a detailed CRP, you can change your approach from a security-based to a resilience-based concept. So when an incident does occur, instead of being caught unawares and then trying to catch up, you already know your “crown jewels” are well protected and you can follow a set process that has been tested before.

Cyber resilience is the best way to remove some of the attacker’s advantages and avoid business interruption when they do strike. That makes it too valuable to ignore. Don’t just wait for the hacks, prepare for them.

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