Robust and resilient: Five keys to creating a cyber resilient organisation

In 2022, cyber-security is everyone’s business and enterprises that are serious about minimising and mitigating risks need to adopt a holistic, enterprise-wide approach.

It is important to understand how well your organisation is positioned to cope with the real and rising cyber threats because for most risk officers cyber threats are the top concerns in a corporate set-up.

Most business leaders are already aware that the remote working phenomenon has turned their tightly guarded ICT fortresses into sprawling attack surfaces that are difficult to police. Others worry that the increase in digital transformative initiatives across all business units have made organisations vulnerable to all kinds of cyber-attack. At MetricStream, we’ve spent more than two decades helping organisations of all stripes and sizes understand and wrangle risk, in all its myriad forms. Here are five keys to boost cyber resilience in your organisation.

Take a proactive approach

Prevention is better than cure, as the old saying has it. When it comes to cyber-security, there was never a truer word spoken. That’s why proactive management of your risk is the first step towards creating a cyber resilient organisation. In our book, that means developing a comprehensive inventory of your mission critical processes and assets, including the devices and employees associated with them, and then identifying the vulnerabilities and threats they face.

Quantify your risk

Historically cyber-risk was largely discussed in qualitative terms. As a consequence, we saw two things: organisations failing to develop informed risk positions and organisations making sub-optimal investments in their cyber programs, processes and insurance.

Taking a quantitative approach or, in other words, expressing cyber-risk in monetary terms, addresses both these issues, by translating uncertainty about threats, vulnerabilities and cyber-controls into monetary terms that stakeholders understand. Quantifying risks in monetary terms enables organisations to determine, for example, whether they can mitigate risks by investing in cyber insurance or save the funds and put it to better use.

You can also expect to see improved resource allocation, the prioritisation of key security projects and simplified budget approval when you start boiling cyber down to the essential dollars and cents.

Harmonise your control framework

In today’s times, data usage is governed by an array of legislation and standards such as the ACSC Essential Eight.  In addition, the Notifiable Data Breaches scheme in Part IIIC of the Privacy Act requires entities to notify individuals and the Commissioner about ‘eligible data breaches.  Indeed, there are stiff penalties for organisations which fail to comply. Harmonising your control frameworks, by consolidating compliance and control data in a central repository, will reduce your risk of a data breach and, with it will minimise your chances of ending up on the wrong side of the regulator.

Adopt continuous monitoring

Once you’ve done so, using continuous control monitoring is the key to ensuring risks are identified as they emerge. Getting ahead of the curve in this way allows you to strengthen your compliance posture by investing proactively in tools, technologies, and processes to mitigate risks, all the way down to the device level.

Connect and collaborate

A stronger cyber-security posture doesn’t occur in isolation. Rather, it is a consequence of an eco-system of stakeholders, including third party partners and suppliers. Mapping your company’s risk across this eco-system, and assessing the individual vendors that comprise it, will help you develop robust enterprise-wide defences that don’t allow hackers and cyber-criminals to utilise third parties for an easy ‘in’.

Tools to make the task easy

 Having access to the right tools makes the complex business of measuring, monitoring and mitigating cyber risk an easier proposition.

A digital cyber-risk quantification platform can enable you to conduct in-depth analysis on which data-driven decisions can be made. Sophisticated modelling tools can be used to simulate a range of scenarios and generate insights to inform your cyber priorities and investments.

It is important to keep in mind that only technology can help ensure your cyber-security budget is well optimised, making your organisation.

 Investing in a safer future

In 2022, a robust cyber-security posture is no longer sufficient. Your organisation’s capacity to withstand incursions and recover from a serious incident, should the worst occur, can make or break you. Against that backdrop, investing in programs and processes to strengthen your defences is likely to prove a smart move towards a resilient future.

Michel Feijen
Michel Feijen is Managing Director at MetricStream. MetricStream is the global SaaS leader of Integrated Risk Management (IRM) and Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) solutions that empower organizations to thrive on risk by accelerating growth through risk-aware decisions.