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The Important Difference Between Cybersecurity and Cyber Resilience

5 min read
Cyber Security

Alternative Title- Cyber Security and Cyber Resilience- The Differences, Relationships, and Their Importance

This article will explain the differences between cybersecurity and cyber resilience, how they relate to each other, why they matter, and the steps towards cyber resilience.

  • Cybersecurity Definition

Cybersecurity is a widely used term whose definitions are remarkably variable. There is no concise and broadly acceptable definition of cybersecurity.


The National Initiative for Cyber Security Careers and Studies (NICCS) defines cybersecurity as: “The activity or process, ability or capability, or state whereby information and communications systems and the information contained therein are protected from and/or defended against damage, unauthorized use or modification, or exploitation.”


Another ideal definition of cybersecurity will be the organization and collection of tools, techniques, and resources to safeguard computer networks, information, data, and all cyber resources from criminals and hackers.


Although numerous definitions for cybersecurity exist, all definitions share similar elements. A closer look at all these definitions draw you to the conclusion that cybersecurity is concerned with the following major elements:


  • Protection of computer systems, websites, and web-based applications from hackers and other cyber vulnerabilities.


  • Information security that majorly deals with preventing unauthorized access to computer information.


  • Disaster recovery is concerned with a business’s continuity after a successful data breach.


  • Continual risk assessment to assess the vulnerabilities in a computer network.


  • End-user education, training, and awareness programs.


The tools, approaches, techniques, resources, and methods used to achieve all of the above.

  • Cyber Resilience Definition

Cyber resilience refers to the measure of how well a system or network is prepared to absorb, recover and adapt to adverse cyber effects. Adverse cyber effects include intentional or unintentional loss of data and information, machine or device failures, and cyberattacks.

From this definition, we can associate cyber resilience with four vital elements. The elements are like the building blocks of cyber resilience. They are:

Adapt- This element defines the adjusting responses or change in management approaches that should be undertaken to deal with disruptive events. Adapting approaches are usually drawn from previous disruptions.

Prepare-This element deals with an organization’s ability to predict and anticipate potential cyber disruptions and all the mechanisms to plan on how to deal with those disruptions.

Withstand- this element is concerned with the question of how a business or organization will maintain its regular operation without performance degradation or disruptions of operations after a cyber-disruption has occurred. It is of the idea that cyber disruptions should not affect the organizations’ general well-being and standard functionalities.


Recovery-This element includes the approaches and actions taken to bring back the organizations to where it was before the advent of disruptions or adverse events.

  • How Does Cybersecurity Fit Within Cyber Resilience?

No place has resilience been fabulously displayed like in nature. Trees bend but do not break when heavily swayed by strong winds. The human metabolic system will automatically clean blood, renew cells and initiate a response plan whenever viruses and bacteria try to take hold. Like nature is designed to be resilient, I firmly believe that government agencies, organizations, and individuals should take a similar cybersecurity approach.

The kind of resilience that nature exhibits has an explanation. Nature recognizes that things can inevitably go wrong as they have always done.

No matter the number of security walls that we built, cyber attackers will always find a way to navigate through the walls and reach their desired destinations- the data repositories. It is safe to say that absolute cybersecurity is impossible.

The question of how cybersecurity fits within cyber resilience is one that was answered long ago. By no means is the relationship between cybersecurity and cyber resilience new.

It has been here with us for quite some time. First, the four elements of cyber resilience (adapt, prepare, withstand, and recovery) are also the building blocks of cybersecurity.

Cybersecurity is concerned with preventing possible cyber threats, adapting to new cybersecurity tools and techniques, and recovering lost data through back-up systems.

We already have organizations with alternative websites that they switch to whenever primary sites’ failure inevitably occurs. Furthermore, data centres, back-up generators, and alternatives storage points such as cloud systems have always been big players in cybersecurity.

More fault-tolerant computers and networks have also been architected. We have seen patterns in all forms of computer devices and networks. The goal is to build highly tolerant, redundant, and resilient systems to cyberattacks.

  • Why Does Cyber Resilience Matter?

The first reason why both governmental and non-governmental organizations should pay much attention to cyber resilience is to avoid disastrous failures that result from an all-or-nothing security approach. A proper cyber-resilient system will assess all actions and outcomes of unplanned catastrophic events, thereby putting the organization in a preparedness mode.

Resilience allows an organization to persevere both anticipated and unanticipated threats. It builds a redundant and highly tolerant organization that reduces the probability of an attack succeeding and minimizes the extent of the damage caused by an attack. Cyber resilience also helps to reduce the costs of repairing a successful cyber breach.

  • Why Does Cyber Security Matter?

Highly protected systems have been victims of cyber breaches. This has cast fear on internet users that their safety could be compromised at any time. Indeed, the internet is not safe.


The impact of a successful data breach on a business or organization could be devastating. It could lead to loss of data and resources and reputational damage.


Another costly tide that is sweeping across banks, governments, and credit providers is identity theft. Organizations are also increasingly experiencing malware attacks, phishing attacks, and social engineering attacks that target confidential user data and block access to critical files.


With all these cases of cyber insecurities, there is no doubt that something should be done quickly to tame the impact of such cases. Cybersecurity efforts should be converged towards ensuring a secure internet.


Quite a lot has been done in this regard. We have seen the development tools and protocols such as SSL certificates, anti-malware software, cloud storage systems, and firewalls that play a critical role in cybersecurity.


It is your responsibility to ensure that you have proper measures and tools and multiple security layers to protect yourself from the many cyber threats that exist today.

  • Steps Towards Cyber Resilience

The journey to cyber resiliency starts with a framework. The framework is usually based on five key pillars mentioned below;

  1. Identification of critical information and security vulnerabilities.
  2. Developing and implementing proper safeguards to secure vital services and infrastructure.
  3. Developing and implementing a monitoring and detection system that constantly assesses your system and implements a timely response.
  4. Creating a response plan that clearly defines roles and responsibilities for the responders.
  5. Creation and implementation of a data recovery plan.

Summing Up

In a boxing match, fighters should take a few punches but still keep on fighting to victory. Cyber resiliency operates in such a manner. It allows a business to properly deal with adverse events while continuing its proper operations and standard functionalities. Thus, cyber resilience bolsters readiness for adversities and reduces costs associated with repairing the adverse events.

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