Building Cyber Resiliency: Becoming a Cyber-Resilient Organization Part 1

Cyber resiliency is becoming a top priority for organizations as they take advantage of the latest digital technologies, broaden their global customer base, and mine the world’s newest natural resource: Data. 

Cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, blockchain, and even social media have taken human connection and data accessibility to a whole new level. Their power and influence on organization makes our efforts to protect them from harm that much more significant. So, how can organizations begin to establish and prioritize cyber resiliency, and ultimately use its core purpose to promote long-term organization growth? 

In an article for Harvard Organization Review, 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 forward to pursue its organization objectives can always be improved. 

Build a resilient organization 

Resilient organizations share three fundamental characteristics: 

  1. Facing down reality 
  2. The propensity to make meaning of terrible times 
  3. Ritualized ingenuity 

The first step to becoming a cyber resilient organization is accepting that cyber threats are real. It’s no longer a matter of if, but when they’ll strike, and many companies may already be compromised. This is especially important in an era where cybercriminals hide inside an organization’s IT environment over a long period of time and persistently strike to maximize the impact. 

Organizations must also equip themselves with the right tools, as well as experts, who can locate vulnerabilities and find solutions before a cyberattack or other IT failure occurs. Organization leadership needs to be committed to empowering employees by implementing long-term strategies that stop repeated incidents. Organizations should also make use of AI and cognitive technologies, as well as predictive analytics for pattern recognition, to detect and thwart potential threats. 

Finally, in the midst of these ever-evolving cyberattacks, the most successful cyber resilient organizations will outpace their competition by being inventive, original and aggressive. They won’t compromise security for growth; clients will feed off of that level of accountability. 

In my mind, cyber resilience should be viewed as the skill and the ability to foresee, analyze, defend, recover and learn to improvise from stressful conditions or events that impact critical, cyber-enabled resources. I’m confident that with the right set of values, committed leadership and a collective commitment to security, every organization is capable of becoming cyber resilient. 

By Kaustubh Vazalwar, Group Manager: Global Resiliency, IBM. This article was originally featured on IT Biz Advisor.

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