How to Build a Cyber Resilient Framework

Cyber attacks aren’t just on the rise; they are skyrocketing. Incidents of ransomware alone nearly doubled last year. A new study by CrowdStrike finds that ransomware-related data leaks increased by 82% in 2021. Furthermore, ransom demands now average $6.1 million per incident, a 36% increase from 2020.

Clearly, reacting to and remediating security threats when they arise is not going to cut it anymore. To keep your organization secure and on par with your competitors, you must shift your security and risk strategy towards a proactive, end-to-end cyber resilience framework. 

Cyber resilience is about reducing risk in your network, while ensuring that your organization can recover from threats – without a negative impact on the business.

Let’s look at the three key components of a cyber resilience framework.

1. Preparing for an attack

To prepare for an attack, and hopefully prevent one, you must first understand where risk lies hidden in your expanding digital ecosystem – on-premises, in the cloud, and across business units, geographies, and shadow IT

With BitSight Attack Surface Analytics and our suite of Security Performance Management tools, you can continuously monitor, measure, and communicate the efficacy of the cybersecurity controls you currently have in place, and gain insight into the inherent risk across your infrastructure such as gaps in security controls and vulnerabilities. With this insight, you can prioritize areas of concentrated risk and allocate resources for rapid remediation.
BitSight can also help you understand the risk posture of your third parties. Vendors and third-party partners help your business grow and stay competitive. But they also expose your organization to cyber risk and are a popular attack avenue of choice for threat actors. 

However, if you’re dealing with hundreds, if not thousands, of vendors – some who handle sensitive data – third-party risk management can be overwhelming. 

BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management addresses this challenge by providing continuous and near real-time visibility into cyber risks within a vendor’s ecosystem. BitSight also gives you the tools to prioritize your most critical vendors – such as a payroll or cloud services providers – and establish risk thresholds for each. If there is even the smallest change in their security posture, you’ll receive an automated alert for rapid intervention.  

2. Responding to an attack

Incident response teams are a critical part of any cyber resilience framework. They enable you to mitigate the impact of cyber attacks, quickly restore services, and prevent further damage.    

But you must also extend your response efforts to your vendors and partners. When a breach occurs, hackers will often move laterally across the interconnected supply chain looking for sensitive data, seeding malware, and encrypting systems.
 

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BitSight addresses this risk in a unique way. Using our Enable Vendor Access (EVA) feature, you can arm your business partners with the data and capabilities they need to quickly remediate security issues. This capability is particularly valuable in the case of large-scale cyber attacks. Instead of reaching out one-by-one to all your vendors, with access to the EVA tool they can proactively assess their ecosystem for cyber risks, such as exposure to ransomware, and take appropriate action.

3. Recovering from an attack

A cyber resilience framework can also help you recover from a cyber attack and ensure business continuity is restored. This involves significant pre-planning, including understanding system dependencies, ensuring your most critical data is protected and easily restorable, conducting attack simulations and testing recovery plans.

But recovery is also about ensuring that a similar incident doesn’t happen again. To do this you must determine the root cause of a breach and remediate the issue. Many organizations handle cyber risk mitigation by scanning for vulnerabilities, patching, and moving on to the next fire. But this approach won’t identify the underlying cause of an attack or where continued risk exists. 

But using actionable data from the BitSight platform, your organization can get to the root of a vulnerability – such as outdated software or risk in your supply chain – and implement a mitigation strategy. You can also use BitSight to measure improvement in your security program over time and show executives and other stakeholders how cyber resilient the organization is. 

Learn more about cyber resilience

Read more about cyber resilience, how it differs from cybersecurity, and how to develop a plan for both.

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