With 2021 starting, we're entering a whole new year of challenges and issues facing cybersecurity teams within businesses. The past year saw numerous attacks on businesses and even the government, and in 2021, it doesn't look like these attacks will lighten up. We’ve learned that no one is safe from being attacked and more organizations are looking to develop their security programs than ever before.
Having cybersecurity exercises planned and performed regularly helps develop and strengthen your security program by using specific scenarios that could affect your organization. Depending on the exercise and attack, these scenarios can determine what needs to be improved and changed based on the severity of any weaknesses.
Companies will often not include critical systems in their cybersecurity exercises, likely because they can be time-consuming, expensive to run, and potentially disruptive. However, disruptions can be avoided through proper planning, and the benefits of running these exercises outweigh the costs. These compelling benefits include:
- Identifying Strengths
In cybersecurity, teams like to focus on finding weaknesses and fixing them. This is absolutely necessary, but teams should be just as aware of their strengths. This helps address what is going well and should continue in the future of the organization.
- Identifying Weaknesses
As well as looking at the strengths, it's important to be aware of and identify weaknesses. This will allow the organization to remediate any issues according to the severity assigned.
- Improving your Response
This is one of the most obvious benefits since the exercises are built for responses. Teams can test current procedures within the response plan and make sure they work. It also allows other approaches to be considered and necessary changes to be made when it comes to the defense response.
- Training Employees
This is the closest to an actual attack on your organization you will get. Nothing beats the hands-on experience of having to practically respond to an incident. Through practice, employees will be able to better perform during a real attack. This also enables organizations to view different scenarios that could stem from a potential incident.
- Increasing Awareness
These exercises can bring in many different people from entry-level to board members, which benefits the security of the entire organization. Cybersecurity starts with your people, and when organizations don’t realize that every single uneducated employee poses a risk, they’re leaving themselves open to attacks.
If organizations are serious about getting their cybersecurity programs on the right track, they must understand that the benefits are worth the costs. Otherwise, they’ll be paying a lot more in time and money when an incident strikes.