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The Certainty of Uncertainty…Why Cyber Security Resiliency Matters

Today’s hyper-crisis world demands a better way to ensure security success. Any size organization needs to be an adaptive security enterprise. They must sense and rapidly respond to critical incidents, threats, and opportunities well before they happen.

So, in the face of such unpredictability, how does an organization successfully navigate the rising white-caps on the sea of cyber turbulence? To thrive, the answer lies within Cyber Resilience. A highly resilient organization is one that not only survives but prospers in the face of peril.

There are forces around us that are dictating the need to become resilient. Once, the world’s economy was based on wealth creation derived from physical, scarce, and highly controlled resources (raw material transformed to products, for instance). Now, wealth and power come from things that are intangible; like information (data) and knowledge (the application of data).

Today, wealth comes from an enterprise’s ability to codify knowledge, transform it, protect it, and successfully apply it for economic, social, and communal gain. And do it at speeds that shatter our ideas about time and space.

As a whole, nothing represents this more than software. Software is not simply the accumulation of lines of code. It is the ability to capture and manipulate intellectual value, and do it faster than anything we’ve ever seen or imagined. The value of ones and zeros adds up exponentially fast.


Cyber Resiliency Wins

According to the Oxford Dictionary, to be resilient means: 1) The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. 2) The ability of a substance or object to spring back into shape; elasticity.

Strategically, though, to be cyber resilient means the enterprise not only survives, but thrives. By virtue of its ability to rapidly detect, respond, contain, and adapt, the potential exists to come back even stronger. It also means the enterprise can sense and respond to change as it is happening, not after its happened. This is particularly important when it comes to cyber security. As organizations experience good and bad change, they know the unpredictable will happen. Being able to proactively look at both external and internal signs of change (threats that pop-up without warning) help you build in the capabilities to withstand these threats. They are contextually aware of the world around them and highly focused on being flexible, agile, and responsive to threats and the impact on their business.

The Cyber Resilient Enterprise

Here is a quick exercise in determining your enterprise’s inclination toward cyber resiliency.

  1. Do you identify and understand current and future risks, and have the capacity to address them quickly?
  2. What is your threat intelligence position? Do you know about threats that most impact you?
  3. Does leadership understand what cyber resilience means to your organization’s mission, values, and your value chain?
  4. Do you know how cyber resiliency is communicated throughout your organization?
  5. Is cyber resiliency on the minds of your Board of Directors and/or the C-Suite?
  6. Does each worker know their role in creating cyber resiliency and the inter-dependencies between one another based on departments and roles?

If you answered no to any three of these, well, good luck. But it takes much more than luck. It takes technical and human intervention to sense, respond, contain, and eliminate threats. It takes a “high-tech/high-touch” approach that categorically wins, time and time again. Resilience is about understanding your threats and vulnerabilities, and to work toward minimizing or completely mitigating them, and, in the process, improving your competitive position, cyber security posture, and overall market reputation. Do you think Equifax thought this through?

So, in a world of certain uncertainty, sensing, responding, and adapting faster than the bad guys, is good business, not just IT Security.