There are two ways to define “digital resilience”.
The first applies to us as individuals, being prepared for the risks we face online: knowing what to do if something goes wrong, learning from experiences and being able to recover.
This is an important attribute for anyone to have and organisations should support such digital resilience for their employees and users. Especially as many are now working remotely, beyond the safety perimeters of business-owned working environments.
The second way to think about digital resilience is as an extension of business resilience and continuity, as companies increasingly rely on digital infrastructure to keep the lights on.
Building your digital continuity and resiliency
An effective digital resilience strategy starts by assessing areas of digital risk. This should include reviewing your privacy and data protection practices. You should also have a back up plan to protect against any loss of confidential data.
Laying the groundwork for digital resilience involves several key steps.
Develop a structured approach to digital risk; define which digital assets are most valuable to your organisation; plan how you can protect them if a security breach occurs. Aim to eliminate risk where you can. If you can’t, but the risk is too great, can you remove or change the digital asset to make it safer, by moving it to the cloud for example?
When adding new digital technology, always assess how that new tech will affect your overall continuity and resiliency.
As with all business continuity and resilience, you need to identify the people who have a stake in your digital resilience. Senior management needs to be involved and engaged. Relevant employees should be made aware of the types of threats and events that may cause failure, as well as their roles and responsibilities. Never underestimate the importance of training and awareness.
To ensure your digital resiliency is sufficient, you’ll need to test your response to potential disruptions. You’ll also need to review, revise and adapt your digital resilience strategy on an ongoing basis.
Business is becoming more digital
When assessing your digital assets, consider how vulnerable they may be in a dispersed work environment. Some of your digital infrastructure might not be suited to serving your newly dispersed organisation, which may create new vulnerabilities.
Similarly, the digital infrastructure you choose to deploy for a dispersed organisation might not meet the continuity and resilience requirements you established previously, when your business was more centralised and office-based. This is where you may need to relook at your risk assessment and overall plan.
Accelerated digital transformation and cloud adoption, along with increased remote working, is making modern businesses even more dependent on their digital infrastructure.
To avoid coming up short, this needs to be mirrored by investment in digital continuity and resilience. In other words, as businesses become digital, so too must their continuity and resiliency.