5 steps to integrating business continuity and cyber resilience

August 2018 Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management

Business’s increasing dependence on digital platforms and data has generated significant efficiencies – but has also spawned a well-resourced cybercrime industry. It is thus imperative that cyber resilience is integrated into organisations’ business continuity management plans, says Michael Davies, CEO of ContinuitySA.

Michael Davies.
Michael Davies.

“Cyber breaches are headline news, and their consequences – financial, reputational and personal – are huge. No wonder then that cyberattacks (and their non-disclosure) are rated the No. 1 industry risk as regards impact in the Institute of Risk Management South Africa’s Risk Report 2018,” says Davies. “The ability to protect one’s IT systems and recover from any breach, which we call cyber resilience, is thus critical.

“Cyber resilience is not just about technology, it must also cover the company’s people and processes. Cyber resilience thus cannot exist in isolation, and must be integrated into a broader business continuity plan.”

Davies adds that cyber breaches are increasing in frequency and severity, prompting many industry commentators to argue that companies should assume they will be breached at some point. There were 1293 recorded data breaches in 2017, with many going unreported, which was up by 21 percent from 2016.[1] The global costs of cybercrime will reach $6 trillion a year by 2021, double the $3 trillion they cost in 2016.[2] Significantly, the average cost of a data breach is $3.62 million, up by 17 percent since 2013.[3]

In parallel with the growing risk posed by business’s reliance on digital platforms and the data they hold, system downtime and/ or data loss are becoming less and less acceptable. Consumers, business partners and regulators are all increasingly intolerant of business interruption. Reputational damage and lost sales are only half of the problem; a growing number of regulations (for example, the Protection of Personal Information Act in South Africa and the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation) impose penalties for data breaches.

However, while cybersecurity has become top-of-mind for CIOs, confidence levels are low. Research by the New York Stock Exchange shows that only 4 percent of directors were very confident that their companies were secured against cyberattack, whereas 66 percent were less than confident.[4] Nonetheless, governance codes like King IV and, increasingly, legislation, are putting the responsibility for data and IT governance squarely on the shoulders of the board.

“Integrating cyber resilience into the broader business continuity strategy and plan will maximise the company’s ability not only to protect against a data breach, but to detect when one has occurred and recover from it,” says Davies. “Follow five critical steps to achieve this integration.”

1. Align IT and business to a cyber-resilience strategy. A critical element will be to use a common language to enable this alignment. Neither party will be effective working solo.

2. Get top management buy-in. As with most business initiatives, having executive sponsorship is critical to gain traction – and receive budget. Given the importance of business continuity as a whole, and cyber resilience, this sponsorship should be at board level.

3. Get the balance between risk appetite and resilience right. There is no one-size-fits-all approach. Companies must take the time to understand their particular threat landscape, and their risk appetite. Mitigating risk costs money.

4. Develop a comprehensive cyber strategy incorporating people, processes and technology. As with business continuity, a multi-pronged approach is required. Everybody in the company, and every process, uses technology, so all must be involved.

5. Create a holistic resilience culture of protect, detect, respond and recover. Protection is vital but, as noted above, is unlikely to be fool proof, so the ability to detect that a breach has even occurred is vital in order to trigger a suitable response.

“Recovering from a successful cyberattack is never going to be a purely technological issue – the people and process angles have to be there, not to forget the key role of crisis communication with stakeholders, employees and the public where appropriate,” Davies concludes. “That’s why cyber resilience must form part of business continuity management: everything has to work together.”

[1] Identity Theft Resource Centre, 2017 Data Breach Report.

[2] IDG, Cybersecurity Business Report, 2016.

[3] Ponemon, 2017.Cost of data breach study, available at https://www-01.ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?htmlfid=sel0313owwen

[4] NYSE Governance Series. Cybersecurity in the boardroom (2015), available at https://www.nyse.com/publicdocs/veracode_survey_report.pdf. https://www.irmsa.org.za/page/2018_risk_report

For more information contact ContinuitySA, +27 11 554 8050, cindy.bodenstein@continuitysa.co.za, www.continuitysa.co.za.



Credit(s)




Share this article:
Share via emailShare via LinkedInPrint this page



Further reading:

Stolen credentials on the Dark Web
October 2019 , Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management
Over 21 million credentials belonging to Fortune 500 companies, 16 million of which were compromised during the last 12 months, are up for sale.

Read more...
Stolen credentials on the Dark Web
October 2019 , Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management
Over 21 million credentials belonging to Fortune 500 companies, 16 million of which were compromised during the last 12 months, are up for sale.

Read more...
The importance of XDR for cyber protection
October 2019 , Cyber Security, Products
35% of South African organisations are expecting an imminent cyberattack and a further 31% are bracing for it to happen within a year, according to local research conducted by Trend Micro.

Read more...
Enterprise security must change
October 2019 , Cyber Security, Security Services & Risk Management
The recent wave of cyberattacks against local banks has highlighted the importance of protecting data against malicious users.

Read more...
Kaspersky uncovers zero-day in Chrome
October 2019, Kaspersky Lab , News, Cyber Security
Kaspersky’s automated technologies have detected a new exploited vulnerability in the Google Chrome web browser.

Read more...
Body-worn cameras transforming security
October 2019 , CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Security Services & Risk Management
Police Service Northern Ireland now has over 7 000 officers using 2 500 cameras covering approximately 173 000 incidents each year.

Read more...
Protecting your customers’ data
October 2019 , Training & Education, Security Services & Risk Management
Simon Murrell, head of development and executive director at BrandQuantum says companies need to protect their customers from identity theft and data breaches.

Read more...
Cybersecurity for video surveillance systems
September 2019 , Cyber Security, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
Video surveillance systems are increasingly accessible over any IP network, which has led to the rise of potential cyberattack.

Read more...
Cyber-securing your surveillance infrastructure
CCTV Handbook 2019, Genetec, Hikvision South Africa , Editor's Choice, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring, Cyber Security
When it comes to cybersecurity, understanding the risks and the solutions as well as engaging in open communication helps everyone.

Read more...
Cybersecure surveillance partnership
CCTV Handbook 2019, Bosch Building Technologies, Genetec , Cyber Security, CCTV, Surveillance & Remote Monitoring
With Bosch and Genetec, you can feel confident that your data is protected by one of the world?s best security solutions, end to end, day after day.

Read more...