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Why cyber security is critical to business resiliency

  • Written By Jason Ward, Managing Director, Dell Technologies Ireland & Northern Ireland.

    As we move through this digital decade, businesses are coming to rely on technology in ways never thought possible just over two years ago.

    Today, as we navigate uncertain times and the shift to hybrid working, this reliance is more important than ever – enabling businesses to grow and thrive, connecting employees to their work and linking people to their families all over the globe.

    According to the Dell Technologies Cyber Resilience Survey 2022, seven-in-10 Irish companies have plans to accelerate their digital transformation, meaning that the role that technology plays across the business landscape in Northern Ireland will only continue to grow in the months ahead.

    Cyber resilience

    However, as the pace of digital transformation accelerates, so too is there a growing need for businesses to place cyber resilience at the heart of their digital transformation journey.

    Geopolitical factors, the shift to hybrid working, as well as the rise in the volume and value of data we all use, have made businesses of all sizes prime targets for cyber attackers in today’s environment. And with cyberattacks occurring globally every 11 seconds, it’s no longer a matter of “if” a business will encounter an attack, but “when”.

    As we mark Cyber Security Month this October, it’s vital to make cybersecurity a top business priority. With data and technology at the heart of every organisation, never has business resilience been so closely intertwined with cyber resilience.

    The good news is that, across Northern Ireland, many business leaders are taking note.

    According to Dell Technologies Cyber Resilience Survey 2022, 91% of organisations recognise the importance of cyber resilience at the senior leadership level. Moreover, amid the evolving world of work, the same number of businesses have taken steps to enhance data protection in the past 12 months. While these are positive first steps on the road to enhanced resilience, the results also show that several challenges remain.

    Cybersecurity barriers

    Over half of business leaders who responded to the survey stated that the ever-growing number of cyberattacks were themselves a barrier to strengthening cyber resilience, followed by outdated technology, insufficient in-house cyber skills and upfront investment.

    Moreover, only 28% say they have a well-defined incident response strategy in response to an attack, while less than a third have stated they would restore the data lost from a standard back-up solution.

    As the number of cyberattacks continue to rise, these findings point to a growing need for business leaders across Ireland to ensure that the importance assigned to cyber resilience within their organisations is reflected in the strategies, infrastructure and resources they have in place to withstand and recover from a cyberattack.

    Protecting your data

    As organisations across Northern Ireland increasingly look to protect their most critical data amidst evolving threats, it’s clear that business leaders need greater clarity on the steps they should be taking to enhance their cyber and business resilience. From engaging with leaders around the region, I’ve found that many struggle to differentiate cyber security and cyber resilience, as well as data backup versus disaster recovery.

    At Dell Technologies, our team of cyber experts have been enabling public and private sector organisations across Northern Ireland to not only navigate the ever-changing cyber landscape, but to better understand and distinguish between the best protection strategies to increase their cyber resilience as they continue to transform at speed.

    The most effective cyber resiliency strategies involve using best practices involved in protecting data. That’s why, at Dell Technologies, we encourage all businesses to understand what their DNA is – that’s the critical 10% to 15% of data and mission critical business applications that must be protected at all costs.

    The next step is to explore a more resilient infrastructure than solely back-up environments to protect an organisation’s data. This process can be simplified and made more effective by services that enable organisations to move business critical data into an isolated air gap and lock it down in less than five steps.

    This is what we call a cyber vault. This will provide the ultimate protection for business-critical information, and, in the event of an attack, will help businesses to recover.

    Building cyber resilience

    As we look ahead, one thing is certain. As the world increasingly comes to rely on technology to help it to thrive and grow in a myriad of ways, businesses and organisations will handle more data than ever before. This will put even more companies across Ireland at greater risk of a cyberattack. Simultaneously, it has never been more important for organisations to both withstand and adapt to unpredictable changes in the environment in order to deliver their objectives.

    By continuing to prioritise cyber resilience at senior leadership level this Cyber Security Month and every month, and ensuring that this filters down to the strategies, infrastructure and resources they have in place, Northern Ireland’s business and IT leaders in can ensure their organisation performs and emerges as an improved, even stronger force in their market and showcase what it really means to be truly business resilient in a data-driven era.

    About the author

    Aoife is a Sync NI writer with a previous background working in print, online and broadcast media. She has a keen interest in all things tech related. To connect with Aoife feel free to send her an email or connect on LinkedIn.

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