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Why Your Company Needs to Embrace Digital Operational Resilience

Pages have been devoted to the cyber threat – to the point it might seem overblown. But then another major breach happens, dominating the headlines and setting the victims back by years, if not closing them down altogether.

What can companies do to mitigate the risk? For starters, it's time to get serious about digital operational resilience.

Defining digital operational resilience

So, what is digital operational resilience, anyway? A facet of operational resilience, digital operational resilience refers to the ability of a business to build, assure, and review its operational integrity and reliability.

How will a business know if they’ve achieved digital operational resilience?

Well, businesses can consider themselves as having digital operational resilience should they boast the full range of information-communication-technology (ICT) related capabilities needed to address the security of the network and information systems which the business uses, and which support the continued provision of its services and their quality, including throughout disruptions.

This is highly site-specific.

The benefits of digital operational resilience

Of course, some companies might ask why digital operational resilience matters at all.

The short answer is businesses today face any number of reasonably identifiable circumstances (or threats) which, should they materialize, would seriously compromise the security of the network and information systems, of any technology dependent tool or process, of operations and processes, and/or of the provision of services by producing adverse effects in the digital or physical environment.

Taken from this vantage, the pursuit of digital operational resilience will help those organizations prevent these threats from happening. And if they do occur, the digital operational resilience capability will prevent the ICT-related incident from becoming a major event.

But beyond mitigating ICT risk, what are the other benefits of digital operational resilience?

Here are the key benefits of digital operational resilience you should know:

Develop threat intelligence

A major part of being operationally resilient is having threat intelligence, otherwise known as information that’s been aggregated, transformed, analyzed, interpreted, and/or enriched. The purpose of threat intelligence is to provide the necessary context for decision-making and to enable relevant and sufficient understanding to mitigate the impact of an ICT-related incident or of a cyber threat.

Lead to proactive decision making

Threat intelligence then serves the purpose of making relevant information available to decision makers in a timely manner. High-quality information made available in real time helps to facilitate proactive decision making, which comes in handy during an ICT-related incident.

Mitigate risk from service-delivery dependencies

Much ICT risk comes from critical third parties or service-delivery dependencies. By providing visibility into these dependencies, as digital operational resilience exercises seek to do, that key risk vector is mitigated.

Ensure compliance

Individual companies aren’t the only actors with an interest in ensuring digital operational resilience. So, too, do their regulators. Major regulators, from the Bank of England to the U.S. Federal Reserve, have already issued policies addressing digital operational resilience. The EU’s Digital Operational Resilience Act (DORA) is the latest example.

Another important point to share: establishing digital operational resilience as a business priority will have its own positive effect.

For instance, a digital operational resilience testing program, inclusive of the resilience management software needed to execute it, will help businesses better assess preparedness for handling ICT-related incidents. That includes identifying weaknesses, deficiencies, and gaps before attackers do, and promptly implementing corrective measures.

What other steps are needed to maintain digital operational resilience while getting into compliance with regulations like DORA (The Digital Operational Resilience Act)? Download our Guide to Understanding DORA to find out.

Guide to DORA: the Digital Operational Resilience Act