What Constitutes “Reasonable Cybersecurity” in a Hyperconnected World?

server racks with wires flowing in from both sides

It’s safe to say that the world we now live in is more interconnected than at any other point in human history. Even a moderately-sized business may collaborate with a web of several hundred contractors, vendors, and supply chain partners. Even a small business may have to contend with scores of connected devices and endpoints. 

The benefits of digital transformation and connectivity are well-documented. New technologies give us access to larger talent pools, improve productivity, and unlock new lines of business. They allow us to manage our businesses more effectively and efficiently. 

Unfortunately, these benefits do not come without a cost. Not only is digital transformation positively fraught with hidden risks, but the hyperconnectivity of modern ecosystems also represents a great opportunity for hackers. Because in a world where everything is connected, one weak link is all that’s needed to bring everything crashing down.

reflective balls connected by lines

It is, as we mentioned in a previous piece, the core driver behind the recent upturn in supply chain attacks. Compromise one vendor or supplier, and you potentially have access to every single one of their clients and partners. In a similar vein, even an unassuming device like a coffee machine can serve as an entry point or attack vector in its own right. 

You’ve probably surmised by now that, given the complexity of modern technology and supplier ecosystems, it’s impossible to secure everything. There will always be a weak link. There will always be an unprotected device, unpatched software, or a careless employee. 

To put it another way, in today’s world there is no such thing as ironclad cybersecurity. No business is immune to cyberattacks. No security solution can, in isolation, stop every single threat actor and tactic.

Protecting your business and its assets in this climate requires a different approach—it demands that your business embrace the concept of cyber resilience. Under this approach, cybersecurity solutions are not your sole means of prevention but simply another line of defense against threat actors. More importantly, a resilience-focused mindset assumes that eventually, someone will make it through your defenses. 

And it ensures that you’re ready to stop them the moment they do.

Prevention, detection, and mitigation are the cornerstones of cyber resilience. You want to detect and prevent whatever attacks you can and ensure you have the tools to mitigate those that you cannot. The tools and strategies comprising this approach include, but are not limited to: 

  • Automated backups.
  • AI-powered threat detection and behavioral analysis.
  • A tool to orchestrate and digest threat intelligence from across your ecosystem such as extended detection and response. 
  • The adoption of least privilege and zero-trust frameworks.
  • Risk management and remediation.
  • The capacity to immediately lock down or air-gap potentially compromised systems.
  • Proactive threat hunting.

In today’s world, there’s no such thing as perfect cybersecurity. Not anymore. The best you can do is adopt a set of tools and strategies that allow you to maintain a reasonable security posture and ensure that your business is resilient enough to avoid disruption at the hands of threat actors. Are you looking for more organization-oriented content around cybersecurity? Check out our post on cybersecurity strategy!