Cybersecurity and Cyber Resilience: What’s the Difference?
May 11, 2018 by Bill Rosenthal

Lock with circuit board background

After all of the devastating cyberattacks and data breaches of the past few years, it is fairly safe to say that organizations have cybersecurity systems and processes in place, but what about cyber resilience?

What exactly is cyber resilience? To put it simply, it is the measure of how well an organization can actually operate normal business during a cyberattack or data breach and how quickly it can recover from the issue. Going hand-in-hand with resiliency, though not interchangeable, cybersecurity refers to the methods and processes that are in place for the protection of data, including the implementation of the technology and practices that will protect it. While most companies have a cybersecurity plan in place to prevent a data breach from occurring, not everyone has a plan in place for what will happen while an attack is going on or what will happen afterwards.

Organizations must have plans in place that address both of these issues in their overall security framework. There are several key steps that should be taken in the process of creating and implementing these strategies:

  • Remember to back up your data regularly. – If your business were to suffer a malware attack and employees could not access their data due to ransomware or encryption, what exactly would happen? Could your business keep going or would everything come to a screeching halt? By keeping thorough and consisted backups of your data on a separate protected network, you can restore any data that has been erased or lost in the attack. From the perspective of data recovery, this means that your business will not have much downtime should an attack occur, thus improving your cyber resilience.
  • Explain just how important cyber resilience and cybersecurity are to executives and employees. – Everyone at your company should be aware of just how important these two things are when it comes to overall security practices. Being truly resilient means that those at the highest levels of a company must recognize the importance of mitigating risks. Although it is everyone’s responsibility, leaders must implement a plan to increase the company’s overall cyber resiliency.
  • Simulate a cyberattack to assess readiness. – Assume that a cyberattack will happen at some point and maintain a “not if, but when” mentality when it comes to cyberthreats. Take a practice run through the steps that would occur if a real data breach or attack were to happen. Include all of your employees as you test the entire process, from escalating a potential security breach to notifying law enforcement, customers, and investors. From there, you will know where your company is lacking in preparation, which processes need to be reevaluated, and many other insights into your overall cybersecurity and cyber resiliency. 

Cyberattacks will continue to happen, so it is important that your company does everything possible to guarantee that it is prepared. By ensuring that you are ready from cybersecurity and cyber resiliency perspectives, your organization will have its best chance of overcoming potentially devastating security events as unscathed as possible.