Dynamic Computing Calls for Cyber Resilience, Not Just Security

The era of dynamic computing is exposing the differences between cyber resilience and security and the challenges of achieving both.

June 24, 2024

4 Min Read
Cyber Resilience via Level Blue
Cyber Resilience via LevelBlue

There are differences between cyber resilience and security. Dynamic computing, the evolution of computing that is driving innovation for organizations, is further exposing these differences. The challenges to understand them for more effective decision-making are nearly the same across industries.

The LevelBlue Futures report assesses how cybersecurity organizations are performing, exploring their missions and their impact on business agility. The report also evaluates what new technologies organizations are concerned with, top attack vectors, and most importantly, their barriers to achieving cyber resilience. This year, the top attack concern is ransomware, a shift from last year's top attack concern, DDoS. Also, 77% of organizations report they are at risk due to barriers impacting their cybersecurity resilience strategies.

Cyber Resilience and Security — Understanding the Difference

Organizations often conflate cyber resilience with cybersecurity. However, resilience is not just about the cybersecurity controls you implement; it's about having a robust strategy to make business more resilient. Cyber resilience looks at the entire IT estate to assess how it — and the business — can recover from any type of attack or catastrophic event that hinders business continuity.

Cybersecurity, on the other hand, typically looks only at how to lower risks and protect an organization.

Security and Resilience in the Era of Dynamic Computing

The network perimeter has been dissolved for a long time, and innovation is happening beyond the four walls of an organization. The Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, edge computing, and other technologies are fostering innovative computing styles, but organizations are still not striking the right balance between innovation and security. To that effect, the LevelBlue Futures report finds that 85% of C-suite leaders acknowledge that innovation presents a lot of new risks. Yet 74% say innovation outweighs the risk.

IoT and 5G-led innovations — from cashierless checkout to smart sensors, wearables, robots, autonomous drones and vehicles, and more — will also affect the security operation center (SOC) in the era of dynamic computing. As endpoints expand beyond the four walls and typical devices like phones, tablets, laptops, and desktops, the SOC must be able to identify those endpoints to protect and secure them. Data and application security will also be equivalent to the role of the SOC in establishing cyber resilience. SOCs will have to understand the complete data life cycle, including what data is doing at rest and in motion. What is your attack surface? What is connected to your network? Automation and analytics are crucial to understanding the telemetry associated with innovations, yet 69% of organizations with access to these analytics are not using them. 

Barriers to Improving Cyber Resilience

One of the biggest barriers to improving cyber resilience is a lack of understanding about what it is. A full 72% of governance teams — those who set the rules and regulations for how an organization operates — misunderstand this, according to the LevelBlue Futures report. Likewise, many executives lack understanding of what cyber resilience is, who oversees it in their organization, how much to invest in it, and where it should be located. Moreover, many business leaders who are investing in cybersecurity, and see cybersecurity and cyber resilience as the same, don't see the need to invest in cyber resilience. Seventy-four percent acknowledge cyber resilience is not a whole-organization priority.  

The report also finds that 67% of cybersecurity organizations are still siloed, with security typically implemented at the end of a project rather than included from the beginning. Additionally, cybersecurity is still fairly reactive, with organizations typically reacting to external triggers like a breach or new regulations and compliance requirements.

In terms of top threats, ransomware is the top attack concern, followed by business email compromise. Organizations in all seven vertical industries included in the survey reported confidence in remediating against these types of attacks. However, these organizations say DDoS or nation-state attacks remain the top attacks they are not prepared to remediate against. 

The Path Forward

Organizations have a duty to protect their intellectual property and digital assets. That 72% of surveyed organizations say digital transformation is an ongoing barrier to cybersecurity resilience underscores the need to start focusing on cyber resilience, in addition to security.

By implementing the following five steps, organizations can establish a framework for cyber resilience: Identify barriers, be secure by design, align cyber investments with the business, build a support ecosystem, and transform the cybersecurity strategy. With a deeper understanding of their risk landscape, organizations can leverage new technologies to build a more secure future while furthering innovation.

Cybersecurity resilience is a fundamental business dependency. By embracing a proactive approach, businesses can navigate the complexities of dynamic computing with confidence and agility. The ultimate goal is to protect all aspects of the business.

By Theresa Lanowitz, Chief Evangelist, AT&T Cybersecurity/LevelBlue    

About the Author


Theresa Lanowitz is a proven global influencer and speaks on trends and technologies to help today’s businesses flourish. She is currently the Chief Evangelist at LevelBlue. Prior to LevelBlue, Theresa was an industry analyst with firms Gartner and voke. At Gartner, Theresa led the app quality ecosystem, championed app security, and created the AppDev conference. As product manager at Borland, she launched the Java IDE, JBuilder. At Sun Microsystems, she led strategic marketing for Jini, a precursor to IoT. Theresa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh.

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