The cyber resilient organization, part 1: building cyber resilience

Enterprises are adopting the latest digital technologies, broadening the global customer base and mining the world’s newest natural resource — data — at an accelerated rate. Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain and social media have taken human connection and data accessibility to unprecedented heights, and the impact they can have on business makes it that much more important to protect them. In the wake of this potentially disruptive change, cyber resilience must be treated as a top priority.

In an article for Harvard Business Review1, Diane Coutu defines resilience as “the skill and the capacity to be robust under conditions of enormous stress and change.” While stressful conditions are hard to avoid in any line of work, an organization’s capacity to withstand IT threats and move past them can always be improved.

So, how can your organization prioritize cyber resilience and use it to promote long-term business growth?

Build resilience into the organization

Cyber resilient organizations share three fundamental characteristics:

  • They face down reality.
  • They learn from mistakes.
  • Their ingenuity is ritualized.

The first step to becoming cyber resilient is accepting that cyber threats are real — they are no longer a matter of if, but rather when — and many companies may already be unknowingly compromised. This is especially important in the era of advanced, persistent threats, where cyber criminals hide inside an organization’s IT environment over a long period of time.

Organizations must be equipped with the right tools and experts to locate vulnerabilities and find solutions before a cyberattack or other IT failure occurs. AI and cognitive technologies, as well as predictive analytics for pattern recognition, can help detect and thwart potential threats. And it’s critical that leadership commit to empowering employees by implementing long-term strategies that stop repeated incidents.

Mitigate the impact of cyber disruption

Effective cyber resilience makes it possible for an organization to foresee, analyze, defend, recover and learn to improvise when stressful conditions or events impact critical, cyber-enabled resources. With the right set of values, committed leadership and a collective commitment to security, every organization is capable of becoming cyber resilient.

Continue reading Part 2 and Part 3 of The cyber resilient organization series.

Get the Ponemon Institute’s annual benchmark report to learn more about the impact business continuity management can have on mitigating the consequences of a data breach.

1Harvard Business Review