To help reduce the impact and maintain the organization well-positioned to fulfill the demands of the market and its customer base, an effective response capability should employ solid business continuity capabilities.
With the realization that a successful cyber-attack is inevitable, business leaders are looking for two things: The first is clarity on what steps the company should take now to prepare for a future cyber crisis; the second is confidence in the company’s capacity to respond to and recover from a cyber-incident with little damage on the market, customers, employees, and other stakeholders.
When it comes to building an effective cyber response capacity that businesses and their key stakeholders can rely on, here are the fundamental areas that organizations should be focusing on:
Establish a required level of capability
Everyone is vulnerable to a cyber-attack but some are more vulnerable than others. Furthermore, as compared to other organizations, the impact of a cyber-attack on one can have a greater impact on customers or the general public. Few organizations will tolerate anything less than “excellent” when it comes to a successful cyber-attack.
Focus on what needs to be protected
Not everything a company creates and delivers is equally important or time-sensitive; some goods, services, and supporting business processes are more critical than others. CIOs must engage leadership in a scoping and prioritizing conversation, employ voice-of-the-customer strategies, and, if necessary, speak with regulators about the impact and expectations. They must also assess whether the loss of these critical products, services, and processes has disastrous effects on the company, its market, and its customers. Set a tolerance for downtime based on this information. This assessment will have an impact on investments in both prevention and cyber-response capabilities.
Develop leadership and technical response strategy
A cyber-attack is a business issue, not just an IT one. To deal with a successful cyber-attack, businesses should invest in leadership and technical response methods, including training employees and designing plans. Definite roles and responsibilities with qualified, competent people (both leadership and technical), selected authority to act, internal and external notification approaches and skills, third-party engagement strategies, processes to catch and preserve evidence, and the capability to recover end-user devices are just a few of the essential components.
Also Read: Insider Threats: How CISOs Can Prevent Them
Educate, experiment, repeat
Role-specific and team training programs, as well as exercises that attempt to closely simulate an actual response, are vital. Putting leadership and technical teams through realistic scenarios is the most effective approach to develop key capabilities and reinforce critical actions through trial and error in a safe setting, while also identifying vulnerabilities and areas for growth. Technical assessments that focus on effectively recovering applications and data are also necessary, in addition to exercises that focus on developing skills and experiences. Training, testing, and iteration work together to develop not only competencies and capabilities but also confidence.
According to a 2021 study by Statista, “Annual number of data breaches and exposed records in the United States from 2005 to 2020”, there were more than 1,000 documented cyber breaches in 2020, affecting about 156 million people. No industry or individual is immune. It only takes one employee to open one email to launch a cyber-attack that puts an entire company down. The basic factors listed above can act as roadmaps for staying one step ahead of the game when it comes to limiting the impact of a successful attack.
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