As cyber threats become increasingly complex, it is essential for businesses to make use of not just preventive but remedial measures for addressing such threats as well. One effective method of protecting core business processes is by becoming operationally resilient. The term operational resilience can be defined as a business’ ability to sustain and secure its critical processes, even after a disruption. It is the collective outcome of actions that are taken to mitigate risk to such critical processes by preventing and responding to such disruptions.
Operational resilience is not just about addressing operational risks that arise from a cyber threat, but it is also the ability of a company to withstand and guard business processes being put in disruptive operating environment as well as having risk mitigation action plan in place. In fact, Operational Resilience is an all-encompassing term that covers various disciplines including business continuity management, incident management, capacity and change management, and governance of cybersecurity.
The Importance of Operational Resilience has never been greater
The growing intensity of cybercrime has made operational resilience an emergent property of a businesses. Becoming resilient to cyber threats is now a hot topic across the globe in many industries, especially financial services industry which operating environment has significantly changed for the last few years. Cybercrime, IT outage, and ultimately reliance on third parties through outsourcing & offshoring engagements presenting meaningful risks as to companies, stakeholders and market stability.
In such turbulent period, organizations face a diverse range of difficulties when it comes to resilience. These difficulties can be triggered by both external attacks e.g. hacker breaching the system or internal attacks e.g. an employee having malicious intent sharing sensitive information with outsiders. The primary concern for most companies is that they still rely on their traditional and complex silo-structured IT infrastructure and procedures that are not flexible enough to achieve operational resilience.
To achieve operational resilience, it is important to move from such a rigid IT landscape and obsolete processes to flexible IT landscapes with interconnected processes. This has now become essential for businesses that are looking to survive this next crisis in cyber warfare. Today, operational resilience is not just a means of cyber resilience, but it is something that has a direct effect on the revenue and reputation of a company.
Cyber threats pose real threats to the regular operations and sensitive information of organizations and it became inevitable and it is no longer a matter of ‘if’ it is a matter of ‘when’. Businesses need to find a way to deal with such risks to maintain their reputation and protect their customers. How companies prevent, manage, and protect themselves against risks has a direct impact on their competitiveness, revenue, and sustainability. Achieving operational resilience has now become so vital for businesses as regulators require more than just a traditional cyber response plan, asking organizations to demonstrate that they are taking a more holistic approach to cyber security of critical business processes and systems.
When Should You Become Operationally Resilient?
When it comes to cybersecurity, being too late can be disastrous for your business. Regulators and standardization bodies now require businesses to take substantial steps towards resilience, but the key question is: should you act right now? The answer is yes. The earlier you secure yourself and become operationally resilient, the better it is for the growth and success of your company.
Here are the key reasons why you should become resilient as soon as possible:
- An increasing number of regulators, governing bodies, and standardization organizations are now paying attention to operational resilience and enforcing it through various regulations and standards.
- Without being resilient, it can be difficult to estimate the costs that are associated with cybersecurity and cyber risks since you are not aware of how much damage a potential cyber threat can cause unless you have damage control and business continuity measures in place.
- Cyber incidents can result in enormous reputational and financial losses that can be prevented by achieving operational resilience.
- Becoming operationally resilient helps in earning the trust of and increasing the comfort levels of stakeholders since it ensures that your business is seen as competitive, sustainable, and reliable.
Benefits of being Operationally Resilient:
Businesses can gain several benefits by moving towards achieving operational resilience, including:
- Regulatory compliance: It helps you become compliant with regulations and cyber laws by mitigating and minimizing risks and hence, protects your business from heavy fines and reputation losses.
- Alignment of business with IT: By becoming operationally resilient, you can bridge the gap that exists between business and IT since the process translates your business priorities (such as customer satisfaction) into IT processes and culture.
- Improved stakeholder and customer trust: By letting customers and stakeholders know that you follow industry best practices to protect their information and are resilient to cyber-attacks, you establish an improved relationship of trust and integrity with them.
- Increased agility and flexibility: Achieving operational resilience helps businesses become more flexible and develop a sustainable business environment that evolves as your IT processes evolve.
- Better culture for cybersecurity: Perhaps most importantly, operational resilience brings a strong culture for cybersecurity within your organization that sets the path towards sustainability and business continuity.
With the growing severity and complexity of cyber threats, it has become essential for every organization to establish effective operational resilience programs. It is now vital for senior management and board members to ensure that an organization’s resilience is on the right track to prevent violation of regulations and loss of customer trust and reputation.
How can Apvera help you?
We have a team of professional in Risk & Compliance Management with deep expertise in serving financial services industry across the globe, helping organizations to achieve strong Cyber Security posture and become Operationally Resilient. For more information please contact us.