Cyber Resilience 101: Build the foundations first

April 20, 2023

Cyber resilience is all about taking a proactive approach to security. In the event of a cyber attack or data breach, your organisation will be in the best position possible to respond, recover, and prevent any future attacks.

By starting with the basics, you’re well on your way to strengthening your foundations and building cyber resilience for the long term.

Establish a risk and governance group

The first step of cyber resilience is to gather your team and establish a risk and governance group.

What exactly is a risk and governance group? Well, it's actually quite simple: it's really just a cross-functional team of people that meet regularly to identify and address risks in the business, including security. Sounds like a very stuffy term, but it’s a critical human structure that helps deliver change and progress.

As Laura Bell of SafeStack mentioned in an episode of Upwards, “Security exists because of people, so it makes sense to solve security challenges with people at the centre.”

The risk and governance group should ideally have people from different departments and levels, however consistency is the most important aspect here. We’ve found that our most successful Onwardly customers are those that meet regularly to talk about their security and privacy operations. The ideal number of participants is 3-4 people, however you can get started with as little as two, so that you can maintain consistency and stay accountable.

Run a comprehensive assessment

Task someone from your risk and governance group to go through the security and privacy assessments, or do it together as a team.

As you scale, so will your security risks. The assessment should be conducted regularly to ensure your organisation’s cybersecurity posture remains strong. This will change if your tech environment or business operations do, including bringing on new team members, procuring new software or signing enterprise customers.

An effective risk assessment identifies all the assets that are critical to your business operations, including hardware, software, data, and people, along with exploring potential threats and vulnerabilities.

Review your next steps and plan the work

Once you have completed your assessments, it’s time for your risk and governance group to review the findings and identify next steps. This may include implementing new security measures, updating policies and procedures, or conducting additional training for employees.

It’s important that you (and the group) are prioritising next steps based on the level of risk and your organisation’s resources. The risk and governance group should develop a plan of action that outlines the tasks that need to be completed, when they should be completed by, and who will be responsible for completing the task.

Implement a proactive approach to cybersecurity

Remember: the best way to secure your business is to ensure you’ve got the basics down. To prevent attacks from happening in the first place, put into place these foundational security measures:

Create a culture of security

Cyber resilience is not just the responsibility of the IT or engineering team. It’s the responsibility of everyone in the organisation.

This is a core foundation of a business that is cyber resilient, and it starts with the risk and governance group you initially formed, is present within your board, and is upheld by all of your employees.

Continuously review and move forward

Security, and cyber resilient business, is not a one-time task. It requires continuous attention and review.

In addition to implementing a risk and governance group, develop a process for how you will continuously implement your security roadmap. We suggest that you set aside at least 30 minutes every week to work on your tasks.

By following these foundational steps and dedicating time each week to strengthen your cyber resilience, you can protect your business and prevent cyber attacks from causing any serious damage. Stay vigilant and keep building those foundations up!

Unbeatable cyber resilience 🦹

Winner of 2021 iSANZ Best Startup

"We wanted a solution that was fit for purpose, reflecting our age and stage, while delivering the outcomes we wanted for our customers and people. After looking at what was available, Onwardly stood out as serving this purpose perfectly."

Kendall Flutey

Founder & CEO