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Preparing and responding to crises is one of the critical issues facing the modern enterprise. Global conflicts, the rapid rise of cybercrime and the COVID-19 pandemic were all indicative of an interconnected landscape, in which businesses needed to be able to rapidly respond to a range of threats and risks to their operations. Preparing for a crisis is no longer a nice to have, it is a business necessity. Fortunately, responsible leaders can take key principles from these recent crises to help them prepare for the unexpected.
The World Economic Forum identified five key principles for security leaders to help them prepare and survive a crisis during the Cyber pandemic:
- Fostering a culture of cyber resilience across the entire organisation through the implementation of strong cyber governance, resilience-by-design, moving beyond compliance-based security and improving employee cyber behaviour.
- Focusing on protecting critical capabilities and services, by having visibility on critical assets, monitoring abnormal behaviour, and prioritising investment in security automation.
- Balancing risk-informed decisions during the crisis, moving towards a Zero-Trust model, defining key metrics and focusing on critical business operations.
- Updating and practising response and continuity plans, making sure those plans are comprehensive, continually re-adjusted to new risks and are sustainable to the new post-pandemic normal.
- Strengthening ecosystem-wide collaboration that increases collective situational awareness, as well as help drive coordinated collective action that can help address risk at source.
Why does this matter for businesses?
Not preparing for a crisis can be a costly mistake, both financially and to a company's reputation. Conversely, preparing for one crisis might help build resilience to other kinds of crises.
Building strategic resilience in an organisation by regularly preparing and practising for a range of crises can be an opportunity for business leaders. Increasingly, this could potentially be a competitive advantage as those businesses who cannot navigate an increasingly complex and changing world will be left behind.