Topics in this article

Multicloud as a Service

Business resilience defines an organization’s ability to go beyond just business continuity, enabling them to build foundations that are agile, flexible and adaptable, and to create systems and processes that allow for resilience in decision-making and improvements in business capabilities during times of turbulence.

It’s the seatbelt that keeps the C-suite in place as the organization navigates uncertainties and complexities in mercurial markets and complicated times. Properly managed and approached, resilience can deliver benefits that include stakeholder confidence, enhanced digital transformation and capabilities, and the measurable achievement of strategic business objectives.

Taking the organization down the business-resilience road requires an intelligent approach that recognizes the value of technology, stakeholder buy-in, C-suite engagement and digital transformation.

True organizational resilience ensures organizations are well equipped to navigate the problems and uncertainties that define modern business. Here are five secrets to achieving resilience today:

1. Differentiate between resilience and continuity

Business continuity refers to the policies, processes and planning that enable the organization to regain the acceptable delivery of its products and services in the event of an unplanned event such as a security breach, a physical event or a sudden market risk.

Business resilience encompasses business continuity but expands beyond, providing several proactive benefits to the organization. It’s defined by the BS 65000 standard as the organization’s ability to “anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper”.

Successful business resilience lies in rethinking ways of working, and in building new pathways to engagement with partners, customers, employees and supply chains. It must be driven from the board level, owned by executive management and recognized as an essential strategy, not an optional extra.

2. Embrace a flexible working environment

Organisations with multicloud environments achieve significant and measurable business benefits from agility, efficiency and scalability, and the recent trend is an accelerated cloud / digital transformation strategy.

These environments must be secure, with data privacy and protection woven into the very fabric of the organization. This is particularly relevant today as data privacy and protection are mandated by legislation across more than 80% of the world, and data is one of the most critical assets of an organization.

By completely rethinking your IT security to accommodate new ways of working today and in the future, your organization can adapt to the continued impact of the pandemic and have the flexibility required to manage security, data, systems and compliance intelligently.

3. Underpin resilience with security

Many organizations lack visibility of their cloud applications and systems, which leaves them vulnerable to attack and at risk of non-compliance. Resilience involves comprehensively analyzing the threat landscape and the organization's position to measure risks and vulnerabilities accurately.

Then, this information is used to inform security practices and ensure that a flexible working environment remains an asset, not a liability, and that the organization can fully realize its cloud investment. This is an iterative process, as the threat landscape is constantly evolving.

According to the NTT 2021 Global Threat Intelligence Report, the organization has to stay ahead to achieve resilience in both the cyber- and business realms. Privacy and protection are increasingly essential, and remote work attracts more web attacks (32%) and application attacks (35%).

This puts the organization under immense pressure to refine and redefine its security posture so it has the right tools and systems in place to remain resilient in any circumstances.

4. Secure by design

Security is more than a system, a set of controls, a toolkit and training. It is a living process and state that evolves alongside the organization, constantly moving through the chain of assessment, prioritization, adaptation and implementation.

The concept of “secure by design” allows for security to be effectively integrated into the organization. It prioritizes people and process while allowing the organization to consistently adopt and manage best-practice cybersecurity frameworks and standards so it remains a key strategic component of the business.

This approach moves security away from the must-do, must-comply, must-remain-compliant mandate and closer to security as a business benefit and an essential pillar in defining business resilience. It secures all parts of an organization’s infrastructure, applications, interfaces and processes to drive value and transformation.

5. Don’t eat the whole elephant

Resilience encompasses every part of the organization. In an IT context, it extends from flexible working enablement to cloud investment, secure by design, and recovery – even to the effective use of data to inform business decisions and processes.

It can be overwhelming for the organization to leap into resilience as an all-or-nothing approach – and unnecessary too. Resilience doesn’t need to include every corner and crevice of the organization; it just needs to be clearly defined by objectives that ensure a structured approach that meets business needs. These objectives need to be as resilient as the process itself, adapting to changes in the organization’s micro and macro environments, its risk appetite and more.

A business-resilience process that recognizes the impact of the pandemic, the need for flexible working, the rise in cybercrime threat actors and vectors, and the new normal of privacy and protection can adapt to both the challenges that lie ahead and those that are here, right now.

Padma Naidoo is Senior Security Consulting Manager at Dimension Data

Connect with us