Businesses need to have plans in place to strengthen their cyber resilience and maintain operations in the event of an attack.
The thieves send emails purporting to be Fotoprix, a photography company, to prospective victims. They request bids from the businesses in these emails for the renovation of a property. The offenders send a file supposedly containing the renovation specs to the companies so they may generate the estimates. Nevertheless, the ransomware is installed and the sensitive data on the company computer is encrypted when it is downloaded and run.
This lawsuit adds to the never-ending litany of assaults, irrespective of size or turnover, against businesses across all economic sectors. It emphasizes once more how important it is for companies to give special consideration to a notion that is growing more and more important: cyber resilience.
For businesses to recognize and respond to hostile acts, maintain business continuity, return to normalcy, protect their assets, and integrate business goals with cybersecurity requirements and needs, it is critical to optimize cyber resilience against attacks.
This essay aims to analyze the notion of cyber resilience, introduce the upcoming European cyber resilience regulation, and emphasize the significance of using all-encompassing cybersecurity services to safeguard a firm in the long run.
what is cyber resilience?
The Spanish Dictionary considers two definitions for the term resilience, which help us establish the framework for understanding the meaning of cyber resilience and its contemporary relevance:
a living thing’s ability to adapt to an unfavorable environment or unsettling agent.
The ability of a substance, apparatus, or system to return to its original state following the cessation of the external disturbance.
Assume we apply this idea to the cybersecurity domain. Under such circumstances, it is evident that cyber resilience pertains, firstly, to an organization’s capacity to modify its security tactics in response to the ever-evolving threat landscape, hence optimizing its methods and policies for detection, containment, and response to cyberattacks. Alternatively, the capacity to guarantee company continuity and return things to normal in the event of a security issue.
Cyber resilience is the process by which an organization protects its information and systems while preserving its commercial interests by combining its defensive capabilities and security policies. in order to prevent paralysis and the ensuing damage to the company’s reputation and finances in the case of a security incident and to enable the business to carry on with its operations as usual. Or, at the very least, it can quickly get back to conducting business.
Companies require a cyber resilience strategy to manage the risks and hazards they face in the present environment, when new vulnerabilities impacting digital assets are discovered every day and cyber-attacks are growing more frequent, sophisticated, and potentially harmful.
Cyber resilient systems’ goals and characteristics
What objectives are to be pursued by a cyber resiliency strategy? A manual has been developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the United States to assist businesses and cybersecurity experts in creating cyber resilient systems.
NIST highlights in this handbook that any strategy for cyber resilience ought to:
To maintain business continuity in the event of a security incident, concentrate on safeguarding the components and systems that support vital company missions and functions, even at the expense of non-essential aspects.
The landscape of threats is dynamic. Technology is changing quickly, and bad actors are always coming up with new tricks, strategies, and processes. As such, businesses’ security plans need to be flexible enough to adjust to evolving operational and technological landscapes.
Pay attention to how advanced persistent threats are affecting things. Cyber resilience strategies should take into account all threats, but they should prioritize addressing advanced persistent threats (APTs). These are the most complex and sophisticated threats, and they can have a significant impact on a company’s operations that can be difficult to mitigate and even seriously disrupt business continuity.
It is reasonable to assume that hostile actors have the ability to infiltrate a company’s IT infrastructure, breach its systems covertly, and endure a considerable amount of time. In order to create a comprehensive cyber resilience strategy with defensive capabilities tuned to handle even the most sophisticated and dangerous systems, it is imperative to take this hypothetical scenario into account.
2.1. A cyber resilience strategy’s goals
NIST outlines and organizes the primary goals that should be pursued when enhancing an organization’s cyber resilience based on four crucial traits of a cyber resilient system:
- Prevent an attack from being carried out successfully.
- Anticipate aggressive behaviors and be ready for them.
- keeping the business’s core operations running smoothly in the event of a security breach.
- Minimize the harm that a security event causes.
- Following an event, return the company’s operations and procedures to normal.
- Recognize the resources’ condition and dependencies in a possibly unfavorable scenario.
- To counter threats, adjust incident response and recovery strategies for key assets as well as workflows associated with critical functions.
- To improve their protection, make modifications to the infrastructure architectures and crucial systems that support essential functions.
- Businesses face enormous challenges as a result of advanced persistent attacks.
Using cyber resilience to protect against APTs and common risks
Some of the most prevalent trends in the current cyberattack environment are highlighted by the cyberattack that was mentioned at the beginning of this article: phishing tactics, the spread of ransomware as a service, and big-scale attacks that target SMEs and large enterprises.
With the help of this example, we can emphasize how crucial it is for all businesses to develop and put into action a plan to increase their cyber resilience against the most frequent assaults.
But as NIST notes, concentrating on advanced persistent threats makes the idea of cyber resilience more pertinent (APTs). That is, dangers that exhibit the following characteristics:
- The attackers’ great resources, motivation, and level of experience.
- employing several attack routes.
- Malicious goals include gaining access to private information, stealing intellectual property, causing harm to business systems, putting people’s health in jeopardy, and destroying the company’s reputation and ability to operate.
- length and development of the assaults.
Companies must have a thorough and sophisticated security plan in place to maximize their detection, response, containment, and recovery capabilities due to the ever-evolving sophistication and persistence of these threats.
The tactics, techniques, and procedures of APT groups must be continuously and proactively monitored in order to identify them. Proactively developing defensive capabilities, for instance through Red Team services that carry out APT compromise exercises, is another important component of this strategy.
Cyber resilience in the European legal framework: moving from DORA to CRA
The European Union has made enhancing cyber resilience of European businesses a top priority, as evidenced by the development of a more stringent regulatory environment. The DORA rule, which attempts to guarantee the digital resilience of financial institutions in the European Union, was finally approved last year.
To do this, the rule focuses on IT risk management and highly skilled cybersecurity specialists assessing digital operational resilience. It should be mentioned that DORA penalizes members of the company’s management body who do not fulfill their commitments by imposing administrative sanctions and corrective measures.
Additionally, the European Commission released its proposal for a cyber resilience law in 2022. This law is commonly referred to as the Cyber Resilience Act (CRA).
The purpose of this law, which is still pending negotiation between the Parliament and the Council, is to better prepare organizations’ digital assets against cyberattacks by safeguarding consumers and businesses against digital products that lack sufficient security measures.
Four particular goals are outlined in the present draft of the regulation, which is expected to be enacted in the upcoming months:
Make sure the makers of software and hardware improve product security from the beginning of development all the way through to completion.
Establish a logical cybersecurity framework that manufacturers of hardware and software must adhere to.
Increase the security feature transparency of digital items.
Make sure consumers and businesses utilize digital items safely.
4.1. CRA: Violations of the basic standards may result in penalties of up to 15 million euros.
In order to achieve this, manufacturers are obligated to fulfill a number of duties, such as conducting a cybersecurity risk assessment prior to releasing a product onto the general market and adhering to a number of fundamental cybersecurity standards that can be divided into two main categories:
specifications pertaining to the characteristics of goods that have digital components. For instance, products need to be securely developed and manufactured, delivered with a secure configuration, and equipped with controls to prevent unwanted access, safeguard data confidentiality and integrity, and maintain the availability of vital features, such as resilience against denial-of-service attacks.
requirements for vulnerability management. For instance, determining and recording a product’s weaknesses and its constituent parts, developing security upgrades to quickly fix flaws, or routinely testing products for vulnerabilities.
The proposal from the European Commission, which is still pending revision and negotiation by the Parliament and Council, stipulates that corporations that breach critical cybersecurity regulations may face fines of up to €15 million or 2.5% of their global revenue.
Soon, the EU will enact a cyber-resilience regulation.
All-inclusive cybersecurity services to guarantee uninterrupted business operations
As this article has made clear, the main goals of strategies to increase cyber resilience in the face of attacks are to ensure business continuity, bolster the organization’s defensive capabilities, and make it easier for things to return to normal following a security incident.
Relying on cutting-edge cybersecurity services is crucial to completing these tasks since they assist businesses in managing IT infrastructure vulnerabilities, detecting and thwarting threats, and improving security protocols.
Even in the face of advanced persistent attacks, ManageX Security provides businesses with a comprehensive solution to boost cyber resilience, fortify the security of their assets, and preserve business continuity.
5.1.Training, compromise assessment, vulnerability management, and security testing
All necessary tasks to implement an efficient and flexible cyber resilience plan are included in ManageX’s range of cybersecurity and cyber intelligence services:
To identify vulnerabilities impacting company assets and be able to mitigate them before they are effectively exploited, continuous security audits (DAST, SAST, SCA, and SCS) are conducted.
To identify issues, give priority to mitigating them, and stop assaults that endanger business continuity, IT vulnerability management, denial of service (DoS) testing, and dynamic cybersecurity risk and threat prioritization are utilized.
Provide compromise assessment services in order to identify and evaluate malicious activity, isolate systems that have been infiltrated, and effectively remove adversaries.
Professionals within a firm can benefit from the following training and awareness-raising initiatives: sophisticated social engineering campaigns, secure programming, assistance and education for upper management, response and mitigation teams trained in new criminal techniques, etc.
5.2. Strengthening cyber defenses against APTs
Apart from its vast expertise in creating and implementing cybersecurity solutions as mentioned earlier, ManageX has also devised a plan to enhance an organization’s online defense against sophisticated persistent threats. This program mixes defensive security services like Threat Hunting with offensive security services like Red Team exercises:
APT deployment and successful corporate system infection, control over compromised machines, and execution of all impact actions previously agreed upon with the company to assess the efficacy of its security policies and procedures and enhance cyber resilience constitute a targeted attack against the corporation.
Opportunities for improving APT cyber resilience are identified. In order to better understand their TTPs and develop improvements for threat detection, APT response, security team training (Blue Tea, Threat Hunting, SOC), and defensive capability maturity, VaporVM’s Threat Hunting professionals continuously monitor the primary APT groups.
In summary, increasing cyberattacks result in significant financial losses for businesses worldwide each year, particularly when it comes to security events that compromise business continuity.
Companies need to put plans in place to strengthen their cyber resilience against common assaults and, most importantly, against advanced persistent threats if they want to buck this trend. Business and security must coexist, and management of the organization must prioritize this duo above all others. To safeguard their business models, they must hire cutting-edge cybersecurity services, adhere to legal requirements, and strengthen their security posture.