Today’s organizations are like a teenager with a new iPhone and unlimited bandwidth- they rely on technology for almost every aspect of their day-to-day functioning. While all this technology allows companies to deliver seamless operations and greater value to customers efficiently, such reliance comes with risks – one of the most dangerous being ever-increasing cyber attacks that disrupt business operations and put business-critical assets at risk. It’s the proverbial catch-22, and the only way to manage it is to build resilience.
Digital resilience refers to an organization’s ability to retain optimal operational functioning during an attack on any of its platforms. Like psychological resilience, digital resilience is built by understanding when and where you are at risk, knowing what to do if something goes wrong, learning from your experiences, and being able to recover from any difficulties or upsets. Perhaps most importantly, is to do all this while preventing any disruption of services during an attack.
This type of resilience is developed by being prepared from point A – having clear policies and processes through to Z – investment in technologies explicitly designed for maintaining optimal functioning during an attack. Digital resilience also means ensuring critical business assets such as data, intelligence, competitive information, and money are effectively protected.
Governments worldwide recognize this need to protect critical infrastructure and personal data from cyber threats through a range of regulatory frameworks. Both the United States and the United Kingdom have comprehensive frameworks in place that use different approaches.
US Regulatory Landscape: Driving Digital Resilience
The US regulatory landscape comprises a robust framework addressing various digital resilience concerns through key regulations such as:
- The Cybersecurity Enhancement Act (CEA)
- The Federal Information Security Modernization Act (FISMA)
- The Gramm Leach Bliley Act (GLBA)
These regulations have specific provisions and requirements aimed at strengthening digital resilience across diverse sectors.
For instance, The CEA stresses information sharing and collaboration between private and public sectors to promote more proactive cybersecurity approaches. It encourages the development of voluntary standards and best practices, and threat intelligence exchanges among all stakeholders to ensure that organizations can stay ahead of the cyber-threat game.
Under FISMA guidelines, federal agencies must implement comprehensive cybersecurity programs that include regular risk assessments, system security plans, and incident response capabilities. Furthermore, continuous monitoring is required to ensure that all security controls remain effective against evolving threats.
On the other hand, the GLBA focuses on data protection in the financial services industry and establishes standards for financial data protection by mandating the development of written information security programs. They also require risk assessments to be done regularly, and security measures to be implemented to protect customer information from unauthorized access or disclosure. Additionally, prompt responses to any security incidents with notifications to affected individuals ensure full compliance with GLBA provisions.
The UK Digital Security Regulatory Landscape: Taking a Broader Approach
UK authorities also established a set of regulations aimed at bolstering their country’s digital resilience amid ever-rising cyber threats. Two such examples are the Network and Information Systems Regulations (NIS Regulations) and the Data Protection Act (DPA).
The NIS Regulations aim to enhance network and information system security. They apply to essential and digital services service providers, including sectors such as energy, transportation, healthcare, and digital infrastructure. These organizations are required to put in place appropriate measures to prevent cyber incidents, assess risks daily, and establish incident response capabilities. Reporting significant incidents to relevant authorities is also mandatory.
The DPA is the UK’s implementation of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and so it upholds European data security standards. The DPA focuses on data protection and privacy and applies to all organizations processing UK citizens’ personal data – irrespective of their location. The DPA places a strong emphasis on data security measures to protect personal data from unauthorized access, loss, or disclosure. Organizations are required to implement appropriate technical measures to protect personal data from malicious actors. This includes measures such as encryption, access controls, regular security assessments, and incident response planning.
Differences and Similarities between US and UK Regulations
Even though the US and UK regulations share common objectives, they differ significantly in their approach toward various aspects of regulatory compliance. One major disparity is in the scope of regulations that each country enforces. In the US, regulations tend to target specific sectors, such as finance and government, whereas the UK has one overriding piece of legislation (the DPA) that applies to all industries across the board. In the US, until the new federal American Data Privacy Protection Act (ADPPA) is passed, they have state-by-state and sector-specific regulations.
Another key factor that sets apart these two countries’ regulatory landscapes centers around their implementation of cybersecurity measures. The US rules provide organizations with more flexibility focusing on establishing general requirements and allowing organizations to develop their approaches based on risk assessments and industry best practices. UK laws, however, tend to specify more prescriptive requirements that leave minimal room for the interpretation of cyber policies.
Despite the differences between these two countries’ regulatory environments, they are on par when it comes to stressing critical security protocols like regularly testing and reviewing digital resilience programs, ongoing risk assessment, and incident response planning – without any compromises. Both countries have large penalties for violations of regulations, and companies risk losing licenses, reputational risk, and even criminal liability.
Being compliant within both territories simultaneously requires ensuring these foundational activities are done, and then navigating the differences carefully.
So what are some of the foundational basics?
Strategies for Digital Resilience Compliance
Guaranteeing digital resilience in your organization requires taking a comprehensive approach and addressing every aspect of cybersecurity risks proactively. Some strategies include:
- Develop a Cybersecurity Framework: Creating an industry-aligned cybersecurity framework is paramount. Frameworks like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework or ISO 27001 provide a structured approach to managing cyber threats that can be customized to your organization’s needs.
- Conduct Regular Risk Assessments: Conducting regular assessments helps identify potential vulnerabilities while prioritizing areas that require improvements, including both internal and external threats.
- Implement Strong Access Controls and Authentication Mechanisms: Control access to your digital assets using strong multi-factor authentication (MFA) and robust password policies limiting user privileges and frequently reviewing access rights for employees & third-party vendors.
- Establish Incident Response Plans: Developing well-defined incident response plans helps to outline necessary steps in the event of a cybersecurity breach. It is important to have clearly defined roles and responsibilities within your teams plus clear escalation procedures if needed.
- Implement Continuous Monitoring and Threat Intelligence: Deploy security monitoring tools and solutions to detect and respond to potential threats in real time. Stay updated with the latest threat intelligence to proactively mitigate emerging risks.
- Engage in Information Sharing and Collaboration: Foster partnerships and engage in information sharing with other organizations in your industry, government agencies, and cybersecurity organizations. Participate in forums that share insights and threat intelligence.
Whether through constant monitoring or implementing new security measures, a continued commitment to cybersecurity is essential for staying secure.
Building Digital Resilience: A Business Priority
Building and maintaining digital resilience in the face of ever-evolving threats is paramount for businesses operating in today’s technologically dependent environment. As organizations strive to comply with the range of regulatory structures, they must simultaneously embrace cybersecurity best practices that ensure they are well-prepared to respond effectively to cybersecurity incidents. By proactively prioritizing digital resilience, businesses can navigate the complexities of the digital landscape with confidence.
LeapXpert’s communication platform offers the best in cybersecurity, providing a safe and fully compliant system that you can trust. LeapXpert was created to be “secure by design.” Every element of our platform is led by this ethos in an effort to deliver the most robust product for customers, businesses, and employees alike.
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