The four lenses of resilience and what they mean for security


We’ve been talking a lot about security resiliency lately, and for good reason. It’s clear that the only way businesses can function in today’s hybrid world is to take bold steps to increase visibility, awareness, and integration into their systems. While maintaining a single goal of becoming more resilient to evolving threats. But that doesn’t just mean extending the reach of your security stack. It also means looking at the resilience of other pillars of your business, such as operations, organizational structure, financial processes, and supply chain functions.

What is Financial Resilience?

If threats compromise your business, time is running out when it comes to detection, response and recovery. The longer an organization is unable to function normally, the more likely it is to suffer damaging financial losses. As Diana Kelley, CSO and CISO at Cybrize notes, “it’s not about giving up, it’s about being better prepared.” Financial resilience and security go hand in hand, you can’t have one without the other and both are extremely important for businesses of all sizes.

What is Operational Resilience?

While recovering from an attack is important to maintain resiliency, a key characteristic of strong operational resiliency is the ability of a business to operate through adverse conditions, not just recover well afterwards. Trina Ford, SVP and CISO at AEG, notes the importance of “preparing so your business can continue to thrive” while your security team deals with threats.

It also relies heavily on strong staffing models, as people are a critical part of the day-to-day operations of any business. What happens when someone is sick or does not have access to the tools needed to do their job? Operational resilience means having a plan in place to prepare for these situations.

In this video, CISOs and other security professionals explain what operational resiliency means to them and why it’s a necessary part of overall security resiliency:

What is Supply Chain Resilience?

If the past few years have taught us anything, it’s that supply chains are fragile. But there are ways to prepare for disruption, for example by minimizing negative effects such as production delays, infrastructure weaknesses and increasingly complex logistics. When it comes to security resiliency, supply chains are important because they extend the attack surface to any third party in your network. Often, this is where businesses have the lowest visibility, making it difficult to detect and respond to threats. Supply chain resilience means preparing for these challenges before they cause real damage and having contingency plans in place.

What is Organizational Resilience?

According to Helen Patton, CISO of SBG, “Security is a risky business”. We couldn’t agree more. In the context of organizational resilience, this means dedicating resources to the areas of the business that create the most value and protecting them to minimize the risk of damage from potential threats.

With hybrid working here to stay, the threat landscape is growing rapidly and security teams are constantly working to keep abreast of the latest attacks. But it is impossible to defend against everything all the time, so it is necessary to make informed decisions on how to allocate resources effectively. The goal is to maximize flexibility and agility to enable security teams to confidently act when, not if, a threat arises.

Avoiding cyberattacks 100% of the time is impossible, but by ensuring the integrity of every part of your business, you can face threats with confidence and emerge stronger. Investing in security resilience will strengthen your business in each of these areas and help you better prepare for the challenges ahead.


Written by Shailaja Shankar. Guest blog courtesy of Cisco Systems.

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