GRC Viewpoint

What is Cyber Resilience and Why Your Business Needs It

Cyber resilience is a concept that describes the ability to continue business operations with little or no downtime—despite experiencing events that present challenges to your information technology, such as cyberattacks, natural disasters or even economic downturns. The National Institute for Standards and Technology (NIST) defines cyber resiliency as: “The ability to anticipate, withstand, recover from and adapt to adverse conditions, stresses, attacks or compromises on systems that use or are enabled by cyber resources.”

Cyber resiliency is a state that comes from having four key components in place. These interdependent components cover the entire lifecycle of capabilities required to plan, detect, respond, recover and improve after a disruption related to a computer failure or attack. They include:

  • Cybersecurity
  • Risk management
  • Business continuity
  • Disaster recovery

Why Cyber Resilience is so Important?

Traditional security measures are not enough. That is why the concept of cyber resilience has emerged in recent years. It is now reasonable to assume that attackers will eventually gain access to different IT systems. This reality requires organizations to develop strategies to resist cybercrimes such as ransomware, hacking and cyber espionage.

Cyber resilience is essential because it delivers numerous benefits to an organization before, during and after a cyberattack. These benefits include:

Improved system security—Cyber resilience doesn’t just help in responding to an attack and bouncing back. A cyber resiliency program promotes the ongoing design and development of strategies that can be applied around existing IT infrastructure, helping to increase systemwide security and decrease the likelihood of cyberattacks.

Reduced financial losses—Regardless of how good an organization’s IT security is, no entity is immune to cyberattacks. For small- and medium-sized businesses, financial damages from data breaches can be significant. Analysts estimate each record stolen in a data breach can cost an affected business $146 per record on average, amounting to millions of dollars in lost information. And it’s not just large, well-known companies who will be targeted. About half of all cyberattacks target small to midsize businesses, who are less likely to have the processes and resources in place to bounce back.

Compliance with regulatory and legal requirements—Cyber-resilient organizations also tend to be highly compliant with legal requirements and industry guidelines, such as those from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), which requires organizations to “take appropriate security measures and report serious incidents to the relevant national authority.” 

Improve work culture and internal processes—More than 90% of cyberattacks are made possible, to a greater or lesser extent, by human erroraccording to IBM data. In light of this reality, employees should be expected to take IT security seriously by protecting confidential information and physical assets. Cyber-resilient organizations reinforce the right security behavior across their operations to reduce human error that exposes sensitive data.

Protect reputation—The damage caused by cyber criminals is difficult to control. But being cyber resilient can help to spare an organization from public scrutiny, regulatory fines and an abrupt reduction in sales, or worse, loss of business. A recent survey by Radware revealed that 43% of companies polled said they had experienced negative customer experiences and reputational loss as a result of a successful cyberattack.

Cyber resilience is also essential to maintaining trust with suppliers and customers, which takes many years to build and an instant to damage. Restitution to suppliers and customers whose confidentiality has been breached may be required in the event of a cyberattack.

Improve the IT team—Having cyber-resilient policies and practices in place improves IT department operations on a day-to-day basis. A cyber-resilient organization develops a hands-on IT team that is visible in the work environment and continually hones its security practices as cybercriminals evolve.

Cyber Resilience is Key to Survival

Becoming cyber resilient is simply good business—helping to provide a competitive advantage, better risk management and reduced likelihood of business interruption. In fact, organizations that don’t have cyber-resilient practices in place are unlikely to survive for long in today’s volatile threat environment. 

With so much to gain from becoming cyber resilient—and so much to lose—all organizations will want to make it a priority to review their IT infrastructure and security practices and at least implement basic protections. In many cases, however, more advanced protection measures may be necessary to keep pace with ever-evolving cyberthreats. Whatever measures your organization implements, be sure to continually practice, review and refine them as yet another hedge against cybercrime.

By Federico Hansen, Owner at Team Logic IT

Federico Hansen is the owner of TeamLogic IT, a national provider of technology services and solutions for businesses of all kinds, in Palm Beach, Florida. He can be reached at

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