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Building Cyber-Resilient Teams: 14 Strategies for Business Leaders

Vivian Lee

Cyber threats are on the rise, and it’s impossible to stay off bad actors’ radars. You can’t run, and you can’t hide, but you can build cyber-resilient teams ready to anticipate, withstand, and recover from cyber incidents.

While technology plays an important role (we’ll get into that later), cyber resilience starts at a more fundamental foundation: your employees, teams, and culture. It’s about building a culture of vigilance, non-stop learning, and collaboration across all departments.

Creating a cyber-resilient team and company culture can feel overwhelming, but it’s completely doable when you follow the right steps. Below, we’ll walk you through tried-and-true strategies to build cyber-resilient teams through comprehensive training, proactive threat detection, immutable backups, cyber resilience tools, and more.

What Is a Cyber-Resilient Team?

A cyber-resilient team is ready to tackle any cyber threat that comes your way. It’s being prepared to prevent, respond, and recover from cyber incidents.

And it’s not just about defense—it’s about bouncing back quickly, keeping operations running smoothly, and maintaining customer trust.

Here’s what makes a team cyber-resilient:

  1. Preparedness: A cyber-resilient team anticipates threats before they happen. This involves continuous training, staying updated on the latest cyber threats, and having a well-practiced incident response plan. It’s about being ready to act at a moment’s notice.
  2. Adaptability: Cyber threats are constantly evolving—your teams need to, as well. A resilient team quickly adapts to new threats and changing circumstances to guarantee your defense strategies are always up-to-date.
  3. Collaboration: Cyber resilience isn’t just the responsibility of the IT department. It requires collaboration across all departments—HR, legal, operations, and beyond. Everyone plays a role in maintaining the security posture of your organization.
  4. Communication: A cyber-resilient team has established communication protocols so that everyone knows their role and the steps that need to be taken.
  5. Recovery: It’s not just about how you defend against an attack but how you recover from it. A cyber-resilient team restores business operations quickly to minimize downtime and financial loss.

Cyber-resilient teams transform potential chaos and catastrophe into controlled and efficient response and recovery. They are proactive, always learning, and ready to act quickly.

Why Do You Need Cyber-Resilient Teams?

In the high-stakes game of cybersecurity, being reactive isn’t enough. You need a team ready to handle incidents and one that can anticipate, prevent, and adapt to new threats.

Here’s how a cyber-resilient team can help your business:

  • Minimize Impact: Cyber incidents are inevitable, but their impact doesn’t have to be disastrous. Cyber-resilient teams can quickly identify and mitigate threats to reduce downtime and financial losses. This means you continue to provide exceptional services even when you’re under attack.
  • Protect Customer Trust: Customers aren’t ignorant of cybersecurity issues. They want to know your company can protect their data. A breach can significantly damage your reputation and erode customer trust.
  • Maintain Compliance: Cyber-resilient teams know the latest regulations and can respond to incidents while maintaining legal and compliance requirements.
  • Save Money: Investing in cyber-resilient teams can require a high upfront cost, but it’s far more economical than dealing with major cyber incidents.
  • Improve Security Posture: A cyber-resilient team continuously improves your security measures by learning from past incidents and staying ahead of emerging threats.
  • Boost Employee Confidence: Having a plan in place creates a sense of confidence and security among your staff—they know their jobs aren’t at risk due to external threats.

14 Strategies for Building Cyber-Resilient Teams

Whether you’re starting from scratch or looking to upgrade your current cybersecurity program, these strategies will help you build a cyber-resilient team that’s ready for anything. We’ll walk you through everything from proactive threat detection to incident response plans.

1. Build a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Training Program

A strong cybersecurity training program is foundational for any cyber-resilient team—you’re only as cyber-resilient as the least cyber-resilient member of your team. It’s not just about teaching the basics—it’s about creating a culture where every team member feels confident in their ability to recognize and respond to threats.

The best technology in the world can’t protect your business if your people don’t know how to use it. Start by scheduling regular training sessions that cover everything from spotting phishing emails to understanding the latest cybersecurity threats. Incorporate real-life simulations to give your team hands-on experience.

Remember, cybersecurity is everyone’s responsibility, and a well-trained team is your first line of defense against cyber attacks.

2. Develop a Cybersecurity Culture

Creating a cybersecurity culture means making security a fundamental part of your organization’s DNA. Every employee (from the CEO to the new intern) should understand the importance of cybersecurity and their role in maintaining it.

Start by integrating cybersecurity topics into regular meetings, newsletters, and even casual conversations. Recognize and reward employees who demonstrate exceptional security practices.

3. Hire a Chief Resilience Officer

It’s not about if you’ll face a cyberattack—it’s when. This makes a Chief Resilience Officer (CRO) indispensable to your executive leadership team.

Unlike a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)—who focuses on protecting digital assets and managing incidents—a CRO prepares for inevitable disruptions and guarantees your business can bounce back quickly when things go wrong.

A CRO develops a comprehensive resilience strategy tailored to your organization’s needs, size, and customer base. They work closely with the CISO to prevent breaches and plan for minimal disruption during an attack. Imagine having someone who always has a Plan B (and C and D)—that’s your Chief Resilience Officer.

4. Implement Proactive Threat Detection and Response

Proactive threat detection and response means staying one step ahead of cybercriminals. This strategy involves using advanced tools and technologies to constantly monitor your systems, identify potential threats, and respond to issues before they cause any damage.

The sooner you detect a threat, the less impact it will have on your business. Proactive detection reduces the time cybercriminals have to exploit vulnerabilities, minimizing potential damage and downtime.

Leverage solutions like Airiam AirGuard—it’s a managed detection and response (MDR) system that provides 24/7 monitoring, identity and access management (IAM), multi-factor authentication (MFA), advanced threat analytics, and rapid incident response.

5. Perform Regular Security Audits

Cyber threats constantly evolve—what was secure yesterday might not be secure today. Regularly examining your systems lets you catch potential issues early and make necessary adjustments to keep your systems safe. It’s about being proactive rather than reactive.

Keeping your business secure means staying on top of potential vulnerabilities. Regular security audits help you identify and address weaknesses in your system before cybercriminals can.

Conduct these audits with security policy reviews, defense testing, pen-testing, simulated attacks, and network analysis. We can help. Airiam AirAudit helps you stay one step ahead of attackers:

  • Penetration Testing: Conducts thorough penetration testing to identify and exploit vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and flaws in your systems.
  • Ransomware Simulation: Performs step-by-step simulations of real-world ransomware attack chains to test your security against each phase of an attack.
  • Continuous Year-Round Testing: Offers options for daily vulnerability scanning and year-round penetration testing to keep your security measures up to date and effective against the latest vulnerabilities and attack methods.
  • Comprehensive Vulnerability Reports: Provides detailed reports that outline your security mitigations against real-world threats to give your team the necessary information to prepare for and respond to cyber threats.
  • Expert Remediation Guidance: Includes expert remediation guidance and retesting options to help you address identified vulnerabilities.

6. Create an Incident Response Plan

A clear, well-practiced plan can make all the difference in the chaotic moments following a breach. It minimizes downtime, reduces panic, and provides a holistic response.

An Incident Response Plan (IRP) is like having a fire drill for your cybersecurity team—it guarantees everyone knows exactly what to do when a cyber threat occurs. This plan outlines the steps to take during and after an incident to mitigate damage, recover data, and restore normal operations as quickly as possible.

Want to prepare for the toughest situations? Get Airiam AirRescue—our comprehensive support service designed to handle the most challenging cyber incidents.

7. Learn from Your Mistakes

Every cyber incident is an opportunity to strengthen your defenses. Learning the root cause of an incident and addressing it guarantees your defenses are continually evolving. It turns every setback into a learning experience that makes your team and systems more resilient over time.

Conduct a thorough post-incident analysis after cyber breaches to understand what went wrong and how similar incidents can be prevented in the future. This process involves reviewing logs, identifying vulnerabilities, and evaluating the effectiveness of your response plan.

Engage your team in regular post-mortem meetings to discuss what happened, what worked, and what didn’t. Implement the lessons learned into your security protocols and update your incident response plan

8. Fix Vulnerabilities and Harden Systems

Cyber threats evolve rapidly, and what was secure yesterday might be vulnerable today. Don’t wait for cybercriminals to find your weaknesses first—regularly scan for vulnerabilities and address them proactively.

Fixing vulnerabilities involves more than just patching software. It requires a holistic approach to harden your systems against potential attacks. This includes updating software, configuring security settings, and implementing strong access controls.

And we can help. Airiam AirAudit and remediation services help you stay one step ahead of attackers. We provide in-depth analysis to find (and fix) vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, and flaws.

9. Supplement Your IT Team

Even the most experienced IT teams can become overwhelmed by the constant demands of cybersecurity. Supplementing your IT team with external expertise provides additional support to stay ahead of threats and maintain a strong security posture.

  • Airiam AirCtrl: AirCtrl provides comprehensive managed IT services. We take care of your servers, networks, and workstations so your internal team can focus on strategic initiatives. You get around-the-clock monitoring, maintenance, and support to guarantee your IT infrastructure is always secure and running smoothly.
  • Airiam AirExec: AirExec offers executive-level IT leadership and strategic guidance. Whether you need a virtual Chief Information Officer (vCIO) or a Chief Information Security Officer (vCISO), AirExec provides the expertise to align your IT strategy with your business goals.

10. Air-Gap Your Backups

Ransomware attacks often target backup systems to increase the pressure on victims to pay the ransom. An air-gapped backup is physically isolated from your network—it’s inaccessible to hackers and guarantees your data remains safe if your primary systems become compromised.

Need help securing immutable backups? Airiam AirGapd provides air-gapped backup services to protect your most important data. We follow the 3-2-1-1- backup rule to guarantee you always have the backups you need to keep business going as usual:

  • 3 copies of data
  • 2 different media types
  • 1 off-site copy
  • 1 air-gapped or immutable copy

11. Collaborate Across Departments

Cybersecurity isn’t just the responsibility of the IT department—it’s a company-wide effort. Cyber-resilient teams collaborate across departments to create a unified front against cyber threats.

Every department interacts with digital assets and can potentially be targeted by cyber attacks. For example, HR handles sensitive employee data, finance deals with financial transactions, and marketing manages customer information. Each department needs to be up-to-date on cybersecurity best practices to adequately respond to threats.

Start by organizing regular cross-departmental meetings to discuss cybersecurity issues, share updates, and review incident response plans. Help everyone understand their roles and responsibilities.

12. Invest in Advanced Cyber Resilience Tools

Advanced cyber resilience tools can identify and mitigate threats better than traditional solutions. They leverage artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation to provide real-time threat detection, comprehensive monitoring, and rapid response capabilities.

Here are a few tools that can help you build more cyber-resilient teams:

  • AirGuard: Provides managed detection and response (MDR), offering 24/7 monitoring, threat hunting, and incident response.
  • AirMonitor: Delivers IT monitoring with a comprehensive RMM toolset that scans for security issues and guarantees smooth network operations.
  • AirAudit: Helps you stay ahead of attackers by identifying and fixing vulnerabilities through penetration testing and comprehensive assessments.

13. Provide Regular, Transparent Communication

Keeping your team informed helps prevent security incidents and provides a coordinated response when threats arise. Everyone needs to understand the current security landscape and their role within it. Maintain open lines of communication (especially during incidents) to keep everyone informed about potential threats, security policies, and response plans.

Schedule regular cybersecurity briefings and updates. Use a variety of channels—emails, intranet posts, team meetings, and training sessions—to spread information. Include updates on new threats, changes in security policies, and lessons learned from recent incidents.

14. Develop a Resilient IT Infrastructure

Cyber threats are inevitable. You need a resilient IT infrastructure that’ll let your business continue operating even during attacks. This will minimize downtime, protect sensitive information, and help you recover faster.

Start by implementing strong security controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and multi-factor authentication. Double-check that your network is segmented to contain potential breaches and limit the spread of malware. Regularly update and patch your systems to protect against known vulnerabilities.

Incorporate redundancy and backup solutions to safeguard your data. Develop and regularly test a comprehensive disaster recovery plan that outlines the steps to take in case of a cyber incident. This plan should include backup and restoration procedures, communication protocols, and roles and responsibilities for your team.

Pave Your Path to Cyber Resilience with Airiam

Building a cyber-resilient team isn’t just about implementing the right strategies—it’s about creating a culture and infrastructure that can adapt to cyber threats.

At Airiam, we specialize in helping businesses like yours develop and maintain cyber resilience. From comprehensive training programs and advanced threat detection to robust incident response and resilient IT infrastructure, our solutions address every aspect of your cybersecurity needs:

  • Expertise and Experience: With over 75,000 hours spent responding to cybersecurity incidents, our team has the know-how and experience to help you navigate the most complex threats.
  • Comprehensive Solutions: Our range of services (including AirAudit, AirGuard, AirCtrl, AirExec, and AirGapd) provides a holistic approach to cybersecurity to cover all your bases.
  • Proactive and Reactive Support: We offer proactive measures to prevent incidents and reactive support to help you recover quickly and effectively when threats arise.
  • Tailored Strategies: We work closely with you to understand your unique challenges and develop customized strategies that fit your business’s needs.

Don’t wait for a cyber incident to expose vulnerabilities in your defenses. Act today to build cyber-resilient teams and frameworks that can withstand and recover from any threat.

Contact our experts today to learn how our comprehensive cybersecurity solutions can protect and empower your business.

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