How (and Why) to Improve Cyber Resilience
Who doesn’t love a resilient underdog? Stories of people overcoming the odds make us feel like we can do anything – like we can keep our families safe, win against proverbial big bad wolves, and innovate with limited resources.
Resilient people inspire us because they overcome challenges faster than the rest of us. Pressing onward and exhibiting strength seem second nature to them. But resilient folks also often thrive in the face of adversity. So, what is it that separates the most resilient people from the pack?
The answer is simple: Resilient people both foresee and avoid pitfalls. Further, they develop a backup plan for when challenges arise and persist.
Resilient organizations follow a similar path, especially when addressing cybersecurity.
Cyber threats are a constant for your organization, from zero-day vulnerabilities to malicious insiders. How you predict, avoid, and respond to these threats can dictate your organization’s degree of cyber resilience.
How Can Organizations Improve Cyber Resilience?
At Automox, we take cyber resilience incredibly seriously. Taking concepts and ideas from our own cyber resilience toolbox, we wanted to share the following five factors to consider along your organization’s own cyber resilience journey:
Identification and Remediation
So, let’s get started.
Top 5 Cyber Resilience Factors
1. The Initial Assessment
You may already be well into your organization’s cyber resilience path and planning. Still, it is never too late to conduct an assessment to level-set how robust your organization truly is and identify what’s needed to get you to the next level of cyber resilience.
A great place to start is the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency’s (CISA) Cyber Resilience Review (CRR). CISA leads the national effort for understanding, managing, and reducing risk. Their no-cost, voluntary, non-technical assessment measures your existing organizational resilience and includes a gap analysis for improvement based on their recognized best practices. Once you have a baseline of your organization’s cyber strength, you can confidently develop a go-forward strategy to execute and against which you’ll be able to track progress.
2. Comprehensive Visibility
As your organization embraces remote and distributed work, your infrastructure will undoubtedly expand and grow more complex. Unfortunately, with this increased complexity comes the risk of losing visibility into new attack vectors and vulnerabilities.
A comprehensive endpoint strategy that gives you the ability to explore and visualize your entire infrastructure is key to maintaining visibility across your infrastructure. A tool like Automox is helpful here because it’s a heterogeneous platform (Windows, macOS, and Linux) with third-party support that ensures all your endpoints are accounted for and detailed. It also gives you out-of-the-box reports and lets you tie device data to your other data sources, such as ServiceNow, Splunk, or Rapid7. The more visibility you have, the less guesswork you’ll end up doing about the state of your devices and their associated configurations, software, and security states.
3. Endpoint Protection
Albert Einstein penned the quote, “a clever person solves a problem; a wise person avoids it.” Your organization can avoid risk by protecting your endpoints through patch management. Patching a device is the most basic and impactful step you can take when defending against a cyberattack allowing you to avoid a threat altogether.
While patching is a fundamental step to cybersecurity, it can take a manual toll on your IT and security teams, who are likely already stretched thin. If you’re not doing so already, it’s time to take advantage of the speed that comes with automation. By automating the patching across all of your endpoints, you can easily scale the protection of your devices and avoid incoming threats.
4. Risk Identification and Remediation
Maintaining an optimal security posture requires rapid response and remediation to known vulnerabilities. With critical vulnerabilities only taking days to weaponize, organizations must act fast to minimize their potential exposure.
Unfortunately, manually detecting and remediating vulnerabilities can be a disjointed, slow process. While vulnerability detection solutions can effectively identify and report on any outstanding vulnerabilities, the ability to act on such information usually requires additional analysis, prioritization, and manual creation of remediation steps, increasing the mean-time-to-remediate.
At Automox, we set out to decrease the time it takes to bridge vulnerability detection and remediation to create a faster path to cyber resilience. Our Vulnerability Sync feature takes detection data from CrowdStrike, Rapid7, Tenable, and others to automate vulnerability remediation with one click. If you haven’t yet seen it in action, you can learn more here – it’s pretty cool!
5. Resilient Recovery
Even with the best-laid plans, your organization may still face a cyber attack. How can your resilience carry you through?
A Business Continuity Plan (BCP) ensures your organization can continue its business and IT operations during and after a significant disaster, such as a breach. By developing a detailed outline of the steps to take across your organization when a disaster occurs, you can slow or reduce its adverse effects and quickly return to business.
Don’t forget to include an Incident Response Plan (IRP) (also frequently called Frameworks or Playbooks) in your BCP, which provides more tactical steps for your IT teams to recover. CISA offers useful information regarding IRPs – see page five in this CISA Vulnerability Response paper. With a plan for your organization to follow amid a cyberattack, including prescriptive steps for IT, you can quickly return to business.
To get started, you can check out Ready.gov’s BCP template.
Final Thoughts on Cyber Resilience
To avoid business interruption, fatal brand damage, and potential financial downfalls, cyber-resilient organizations are well-positioned to not only adapt but to continue to operate with minimal disruption – even during an emergency attack.
Achieving cyber resiliency requires long-term strategic planning and continued conversations between an organization's IT and strategic leaders. At Automox, we’re dedicated to helping organizations improve their cybersecurity confidence, now and for the long haul. Reach out to us today, and we’ll help make this the year you get super cyber resilient.
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