An overview of the differences between cybersecurity and cyber resilience, and a look at why the latter is of key importance to companies.
In the past five years, the concept of cyber resilience has risen to prominence among security experts and business leaders. More comprehensive than cybersecurity, which still remains an integral part of the bigger picture, cyber resilience represents a way for companies to fully tackle security concerns.
Here, we cover the key differences between cybersecurity and cyber resilience, why the latter is of critical importance, and ways for businesses to build a robust resilience strategy.
The difference between cyber resilience and cybersecurity
Cybersecurity refers to measures taken by an organization or an individual to protect their data, devices, and/or systems from all kinds of cyber-attacks and potential threats.
Cyber resilience, on the other hand, encompasses a full suite of cybersecurity measures alongside other important strategies such as cyber-attack management plans and roadmaps for regaining client trust, to name just a few.
In line with this, most people broadly define cyber resilience as an organization’s ability to cope with a cyberattack, including that organization’s overall preparedness, response, and recovery.
As a concept, cyber resilience differs from cybersecurity measures as the latter is more centered on proactively preventing attacks in the first place. This is certainly not a bad thing, but alone, cybersecurity cannot help organizations deal with the fallout after an attack.
Why cyber resilience is important
A solid cyber resilience strategy mitigates the often devastating effects of a successful cyber attack. Leaked data or compromised systems, for example, can lead to regulatory fines, a loss of clientele, and damage to a business’ reputation.
Financial losses after a cyber attack may be enough to put a small to medium-sized company out of action for good. According to CNBC, reporting on a Hiscox report, the average cost of a cyber attack is US$200,000, a heavy financial burden that most smaller companies cannot carry without folding.
Cyber resilience strategies mean companies have a robust plan for handling the immediate aftermath of the attack and getting back on track sooner.
Cyber attacks companies face
Enterprises may be hit by any number of cyber-attack types, but some types are more prevalent than others. Here are three of the most pressing concerns:
- Malware — One of the biggest threats to small and medium-sized companies, malware is malicious software and it’s expressly designed to inflict damage on systems and networks or to gain access to a company’s network and the devices it’s linked to. Malware breaches most commonly occur due to human error, for example, by clicking on a nefarious link in an email.
- Phishing — A form of social engineering attack, phishing is a common way cybercriminals trick someone into clicking a link or opening a fraudulent website. Successful phishing attacks can allow threat actors access to private data, passwords, and financial records.
- Distributed denial of service attacks (DDoS) — These attacks can crash websites and even entire networks through the use of vast webs of infected devices.
Cybersecurity tools and strategies
To help prevent these types of attacks, cybersecurity measures are key. Companies should adopt the following measures as part of their broader cyber resilience strategy:
- Encryption — Client and company data that are stored on hard drives should be encrypted. In addition to this, a VPN app should be used to encrypt data transmissions and hide a company’s internet activity from any would-be attackers.
- Use security software — Companies need a full suite of high-quality security software. In addition to VPNs, antimalware, antivirus, firewall, and email scanning programs should be in use.
- Training programs — Any enterprise with a solid cybersecurity policy in place values the importance of staff training. Humans remain a weak link in cybersecurity so taking steps to inform and educate employees regularly is of critical importance.
How to build a solid cyber resilience strategy
- Invest in cybersecurity — cybersecurity is a key part of a company’s overall resilience plan. Ensure basic security measures are adopted and adhered to.
- Plan for the worst — have an idea of how to immediately mitigate an attack if it occurs.
- Understand local breach reporting regulations — find out which organizations need to be informed and the expected timeframes.
- Keep an eye on the basics — things such as a solid password policy and keeping software up to date can have a huge effect on a company’s vulnerability level.
- Have roadmaps in place — put together a solid plan that details how the company will overcome the financial impact of an attack and regain client trust.
Matthew Stern is a technology content strategist at TechFools, a tech blog aiming to inform readers about the potential dangers of technology and introduce them to the best ways to protect themselves online. As a tech enthusiast and an advocate for digital freedom, Matthew is dedicated to introducing his readers at Assignyourwriter UK to the latest technology trends and teaching them how to gain control over their digital lives.