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Predictions Series 2022: Building Cyber Resilience by Shifting Left

The workplace of today looks much different than it did a couple of years ago, and adversaries are hyperaware of this – especially when it comes to cybersecurity. Criminals are consistently evolving and changing their strategies, and with an ecosystem full of daily cybercrime, organizations need to be three, if not more, steps ahead to keep their data, systems, and clients safe; especially considering that the leading cause of cyberattacks on cloud systems come from within organizations in the form of misconfiguration. As cloud adoption grows, so will the need for additional security and organizations’ necessity to carry on in the face of adversity. Organizations need to shift security left to build it more deeply into the organization. This is where cyber resilience comes in.

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Cyber resilience refers to the ability to deliver, without fault, an intended outcome despite adverse cyber scenarios – such as a cyberattack – and be able to anticipate and recover from said scenarios or compromises on one’s systems. As traditional security methods are no longer enough to protect organizations, we must employ the following tactics to achieve true cyber resilience:

Build Security Controls into Architectures

While working on the preliminary structure of a system for an organization, build in security controls that will be able to be monitored continuously. This not only ensures compliance but also allows for proactive remediating when something falls out of compliance.

Build Security Guardrails

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Security guardrails keep cloud deployments safe without impeding any processes. As the pandemic forced a massive shift in the workplace over the last 18 months, organizations had to pivot to protect themselves from new vulnerabilities without slowing progress or hindering workflows. Automating security workflows removes manual tasks, reduces human error, and provides tools for DevOps to inspect and verify traffic flows.

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Security as Code

Having security as code, continuous automation, and immutable infrastructure are all methods of building cyber resilience. The most important part of any structure is the foundation, and when security is codified, it becomes inherent to the system, proactively built-in to ensure best practices, remove opportunities for human error and protect data.

IT professionals must continue to evolve to stay ahead of cybercriminals, which is made more difficult by the current IT talent shortage. Often, when teams are short-staffed there is no choice but to stall projects or delay updates, putting your organization at increased risk. So, in addition to the tactics above that maximize efficiency and streamline security best practices, leaders need to prioritize retaining their talent and growing skills from within. One proven method to do this is by building a center of excellence (CoE), to effectively teach new skills and best practices.

While the future brings many unknowns, one thing is for certain – cyberattacks will continue to become more complex and insidious, and to remain secure and competitive leaders must shift security left, building security protection into every part of their system.

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