Becoming more cyber resilient

Issue 4 2022 Infrastructure

Cybersecurity is a constantly evolving field, with new technologies opening new avenues for cyberattacks. Furthermore, while significant security breaches are frequently publicised, organisations need to learn how to improve their security posture and become more cyber resilient.

Hayden Sadler.

This rapid development and adoption of new technologies makes it difficult for organisations to stay on top of and keep their cybersecurity programmes agile enough to react. This is due to known skills shortages that are difficult to quantify, specifically in the cybersecurity space. This makes it difficult for organisations to find the right person, or even a comprehensive cybersecurity task team, to address a business-specific cybersecurity strategy in need of implementation.

However, what is important is that businesses must invest in world-class security development and training for employees tasked with overseeing security implementations. Dedicated budgets will aid in skills development on an ongoing basis. Although a versatile Head of Skills is a great resource, it is difficult for such an individual to provide attention to key areas or become a dedicated expert in a required skill.

Organisations need to implement a comprehensive cyber resilience solution with novel capabilities and better performance for modern data protection, backup, disaster recovery and business continuity, to protect against ever-more complex and rising cyberthreats.

There is also the option of outsourcing; many third-party vendors and services companies can provide a much more focused and skilled approach to a business need, especially for implementing, maintaining and incident response pertaining to cyber resilience. Cloud vulnerabilities are also a significant threat, yet they can be addressed by following best practices during implementation, alongside an understanding of whether the service provider or end-user business is responsible for mitigating them. Denial of Service (DOS) attacks designed to halt a business in their tracks are common, especially in politically motivated and grudge-driven attacks.

Cyber resilience must be a high priority

Outdated approaches such as basic search and monitoring are no longer sufficient, and rolling out standard anti-malware solutions is a common pitfall. The actual implementation of a security strategy needs to be followed up by a rigorous investigation and analysis of what was implemented. Locking down the expansion of these components will give organisations a sturdy grip on what has been rolled out in the infrastructure, thus mitigating unknown vulnerabilities.

Another pitfall is the assumption that a backup is a panacea to a cyberattack. However, the focus should be on how quickly the data can be safely restored. Large-scale recovery can be a lengthy process and thus have a negative impact on business. What can make a significant difference is having a consolidated backup with immutable snapshots, meaning the backup cannot be altered or deleted. Furthermore, recovery to the previous points-in-time can assist greatly, whereby the latest or best version of the backup can be recovered quickly with minimal downtime.

Organisations need to consider the need for a highly secure and effective authorisation and authentication process to safeguard external access. They also need to determine what is acceptable use for business-supplied devices, and lock those devices down appropriately. A resilient data protection strategy will need to be adopted too. This involves the backing up of data, implementing encryption and regulating device use.

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