Cyber Resilience | June 15, 2023
By Keith Bromley : Sr. Manager, Product Marketing
As the world becomes increasingly digitized, the importance of cybersecurity cannot be overstated, especially if you operate in the public sector.
Cyber threats are a constant danger, especially for government contractors, who are entrusted with sensitive information.
In today’s world, it is no longer enough to protect against cyber threats simply; organizations must also develop a cyber resilience plan that outlines a comprehensive response to cyberattacks.
In this ultimate guide, we will explore the key steps in developing a cyber resilience plan for government contractors.
Understanding Cyber Resilience
In recent years, NIST and other prominent organizations have spearheaded significant shifts in network security. Two of the most noteworthy of these shifts are the emergence of the Zero Trust model and the concept of cyber resilience. The latter involves recognizing the reality that it is often impossible to prevent every single security attack. Consequently, it is imperative to adopt an architecture that is as resilient as possible in order to minimize potential downtime, costs, and losses of both Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and corporate intellectual property (IP).
Therefore, it is important to recognize that the ability to recover and resume operations after an attack is just as critical as attempting to prevent one in the first place. The extent and duration of a security breach are ultimately in your hands. Therefore, it is imperative to leverage the resources available on this page, which provide a plethora of valuable ideas and strategies for creating a truly resilient network.
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Conducting a Risk Assessment
The first step in developing a cyber resilience plan is to conduct a risk assessment to determine where your organization may have network vulnerabilities. When working with a government agency, a risk assessment is generally a requirement to secure your contract, since the data you will be handling is extremely sensitive and protected by various legal frameworks, depending on your organization’s operational vertical.
The General Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for making sure contractors remain compliant with the government’s cybersecurity policies, which help to ensure the resilience of government systems and networks. To do business with the government, it’s important to understand current Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR) and other government regulations, which defend against compromising sensitive government information.
Developing Incident Response Procedures
You’ll want to ensure you have an incident response plan in place. An incident response plan is a critical component of a cyber resilience plan. It outlines the procedures that should be followed in the event of a cyberattack, including who should be notified, what actions should be taken, and how to communicate with stakeholders. Incident response procedures should be regularly reviewed and updated.
An effective plan should also include detailed procedures for assessing the scope of an incident, isolating affected systems, containing the attack, and implementing measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. Regular testing and drills of the plan to ensure that it remains relevant and effective in the face of evolving threats is also critical. Overall, a well-crafted incident response plan is a key component of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that can help minimize the damage caused by a breach and facilitate a swift and effective response to mitigate the impact on your organization.
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Ensuring Business Continuity
In continuation, ensure your team has a business continuity plan. Nothing is worse than suffering a cyber attack and having to halt business operations. The plan should outline who will be responsible for what and when in the case of an attack. This may include backup and recovery procedures, alternative communication channels, and contingency plans for critical business functions. Business continuity planning is essential to minimize the impact of a cyberattack on the organization’s operations and reputation.
Cybersecurity incidents and the associated risks are constantly evolving, so it is essential to keep the plan up-to-date and relevant. It is also important to communicate the plan to all relevant stakeholders, including employees, customers, and partners, to ensure that everyone is aware of their roles and responsibilities in the event of an incident. By incorporating a business continuity plan into your cybersecurity strategy, you can reduce the potential impact of a cyberattack on your organization’s operations and reputation, and help ensure that your business can continue to operate in the face of any challenges.
Investing in Cybersecurity
Finally, developing a cyber resilience plan requires investment in cybersecurity technology, tools, and training. Government contractors should regularly evaluate their cybersecurity posture and invest in the latest technologies and best practices to ensure they are protected against the latest threats. Training employees on cybersecurity best practices is also critical to developing a culture of cybersecurity awareness and resilience.
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So how does a packet broker fit into the equation? Packet visibility, or the ability to monitor and analyze network traffic at the packet level, is a critical component of cyber security resilience. This is because cyber attacks often involve the transmission of malicious packets across a network, and being able to detect and analyze these packets is essential for identifying and mitigating attacks. Packet visibility enables security teams to detect suspicious network activity in real-time, allowing them to respond quickly and effectively to potential threats.
Additionally, packet-level analysis can provide valuable insights into attackers’ behavior, allowing organizations to understand their tactics better and improve their defenses. Without packet visibility, organizations may not even be aware that a cyber attack is occurring, leaving them vulnerable to data breaches, network outages, and other serious consequences. Therefore, investing in packet visibility tools and solutions is crucial in building cyber security resilience.