Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the adoption of technology and digitalisation was already ramping up. With the onset of the Industrial Revolution 4.0, companies and businesses had already realised the benefits of digitalisation and automation. However, a number of factors held back the digital progression of some companies.
These factors vary wildly. Some companies, such as SMEs did not have enough funding or financial support to begin the digital transformation process. Other companies were simply not ready to begin the transition away from their traditional methods of work. However, with the COVID-19 outbreak causing unimaginable damage to traditional supply lines and business overall, companies are being forced to adapt as fast as possible or risk being shut down by the economic crash.
With a large spike in digitalisation worldwide, we can expect to see the face of business change forever. Unfortunately, digitalisation is not without risks. Cyber security threats are very much real; and an unprepared business might bite off more than they can chew if they have not prepared any precautions before they begin their digital journey.
Cyber security breaches and cyber attacks can cause companies severe damages. These attacks may attempt to destroy, expose, or obtain unauthorised access to computer networks, personal computer devices, infrastructures, or computer information systems. The number and severity of these attacks have only grown over the years as the world becomes more digitalised. As such, companies need to seriously consider their cyber resilience.
Cyber resilience is the ability of an organisation to prepare, respond, and recover when cyber attacks happen. An organisation has cyber resilience if it can defend itself against these attacks, limit the effects of a security incident, and guarantee the continuity of its operation during and after the attacks.
Some might be confused about the terminology, as cyber resilience sounds similar to cyber security. However, there is a difference between the two. Cyber security’s main aim is to protect information technology and systems, while cyber resilience focuses more on making sure the business is delivered. Its intended outcome is business delivery, keeping business goals intact rather than the IT systems.
Cyber resilience aims to secure the whole organisation dynamically. As such, it should be a preventive measure to defend against all insecure parts in the infrastructure. Cyber resilience is composed of several components:
- Threat Protection – The more technology advances, the more evolved the cyber criminals become. Necessary security measures will not aid in protecting an organization. The organisation should plan out steps to defend itself against all sorts of threats.
- Recoverability – After an event involving a data breach, recoverability is when an organisation is back to regular operation. An organisation should have full data backups on a different network. This can be utilised after an incident when any or all data are wiped. It is also highly recommended to train staff and run step-by-step simulations with them to ensure a clear strategy if a data breach occurs.
- Adaptability – Organisations need to be able to evolve and adapt to new tactics of cybercriminals and attackers. They are ever-evolving, and adaptability will help an organisation in the event of a threat. Building a security team specifically to keep an eye out for cyber threats is highly recommended.
- Durability – An organisation’s durability will be measured by its capability to effectively operate regular and routine business again after a security breach. With system improvements, regular reports, and updates, the durability of an organisation’s cyber resilience will improve.
Just like any other crisis an organisation might face, cyber risks and threats are a matter of ‘when’, not ‘if’. Companies need to constantly be on their toes and have a carefully laid-out response plan at the ready to counteract any potential threat or backlash that might occur. Remember that these disasters are still preventable and manageable with the right amount of planning and precaution.