Cyber Projects are only as good as the day they are deployed
There is no arguing that the phrase cybersecurity has become commonplace in our personal and professional lives. However, I’m willing to bet not many of us have a deep understanding of where cybersecurity ends, and best practices like cyber resiliency take over. These two important strategies are often confused with each other and while they have some similarities, they are distinct concepts with different goals and approaches.
The key differences between Cybersecurity and Cyber Resiliency
Cybersecurity refers to the measures taken to protect digital systems and networks from unauthorized access, theft, or damage. This includes implementing firewalls, encryption, and other security measures to prevent cyberattacks and data breaches. The focus of cybersecurity is on preventing or mitigating potential security incidents.
Cyber resiliency, on the other hand, is the ability of a system or organization to withstand and recover from a cyberattack. This means that even if a cyberattack occurs, the impact is minimized, and the system or organization is able to quickly return to normal operations. Cyber resiliency takes a holistic approach, considering not only the technical aspects of security but also the role that employees and business processes play that are involved in responding to a cyberattack.
Another key difference between cybersecurity and cyber resiliency is the focus of their objectives. Cybersecurity is focused on preventing cyberattacks, while cyber resiliency is focused on ensuring that an organization can continue to operate even if an attack occurs – meaning it restricts the blast zone. This means that cyber resiliency takes a more proactive approach, considering potential security incidents and developing contingency plans to minimize their impact.
The last important distinction between cybersecurity and cyber resiliency is their scope. Cybersecurity is typically focused on the technical side of security, such as implementing hardware, software, and other defense-in-depth solutions. Cyber resiliency, however, takes a broader approach, considering the people and processes involved in responding to a cyberattack. This includes developing incident response plans, providing training and awareness programs, and ensuring that key personnel are familiar with their roles and responsibilities in the event of a breach.
Here are some examples of cyber resiliency best practices:
- Incident response plan outlines the steps to be taken in the event of a cyberattack and includes personnel response to the attack, communication channels, and provides guidance on how to handle the situation.
- Disaster recovery and business continuity plans outline the steps that need to be taken to minimize the impact of a security incident and ensure that critical operations can continue. This includes having backup systems in place, regular testing, and ensuring that key personnel is trained on how to use them.
- Regular security training and awareness programs will provide employees with education and resources on how to identify and respond to potential security events.
To draw a parallel example of cyber resiliency within your ICS network look no further than micro-segmentation. You may recall from a recent blog post that micro-segmentation helps isolate an attack if one occurs. You reduce your attack surface and can continue to operate your plant network securely until the incident is cleared. With the Veracity OT Network Controller, rules are set up to limit the amount of damage a cyber attack can do and give network administrators clear visibility as to which systems will need remediation efforts, and greatly speed up the recovery time from an incident.
While cybersecurity and cyber resiliency both play important roles in protecting digital systems and networks, they are distinct concepts with different goals and approaches. By understanding the differences, organizations can develop a comprehensive approach to protecting their critical assets, and ensure that they are well-prepared for potential incidents.