Digital Resilience Pays Off
Download this e-book to learn about the role of Digital Resilience across enterprises.
In today's interconnected world, where technology and data are at the forefront of modern society, the protection of critical national infrastructure has become more crucial than ever. The convergence of cyber threats and advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) has created a complex landscape, making it imperative for organisations to develop strategies that enhance their ability to withstand and recover from digital challenges.
Read on to learn more about these digital challenges and how organisations can enhance their ability to withstand and recover.
In an era marked by unprecedented digital interconnectivity, the relentless surge in the frequency of cyberattacks not only underscores the evolving sophistication of malicious acts but also highlights the growing vulnerability of our personal data, financial institutions, and importantly, critical infrastructure.
Critical national infrastructure is a term used to describe the fundamental systems and assets that are essential for the functioning of a nation's society, economy, and government. These are the key components that, if damaged or disrupted, can have a significant and potentially catastrophic impact on a country's security, public safety, and economic stability.
According to recent statistics, a cybercrime report is made approximately every 6 minutes in Australia. We also recently found in our 2023 CISO Report, that 90% of CISOs experienced at least one disruptive attack last year. Even more shockingly, 83% paid attackers in the wake of a ransomware attack — directly, via cyber insurance or with a negotiator — with more than half paying at least USD $100,000.
The Australian Government's Cyber and Infrastructure Security Centre received 47 cyber incident reports from critical infrastructure providers in the first nine months of a new mandatory reporting regime. These figures highlight the escalating threat landscape and the urgency to adopt AI-powered cybersecurity measures. It underscores the need for proactive vulnerability management.
Fortunately, the convergence of AI and cybersecurity has emerged as a game-changer in the quest for digital resilience. AI has the potential to accelerate decision-making, enhance incident response, and provide deeper insights.
When it comes to budgets, only 35% of CISOs say their boards allocate adequate cybersecurity budgets. But and in promising news, 93% predict an increase in their cybersecurity spending over the next year. Economic challenges are also impacting security, but not in the way you might expect with 80% saying they have noticed their organisation has faced a growing number of threats coinciding with the declining economy.
AI presents a dual nature in the realm of cybersecurity. It offers opportunities for efficiency gains but also introduces the potential for identifying and managing new threats to critical infrastructure. However, organisations must strike a delicate balance between harnessing the power of AI and staying responsible- ensuring compliance, privacy and security.
The integration of cybersecurity solutions is invaluable in providing comprehensive visibility and actionable insights. Recent legislative amendments, such as the Security of Critical Infrastructure Act 2018 (SoCI), have broadened the definition of critical infrastructure and increased reporting obligations. This has led to a better understanding of the nature of successful cyber incidents on critical infrastructure.
Moreover, the Australian Federal Government's consideration of a specific Cyber Security Act, or an expansion of the existing SoCI, indicates a growing focus on cybersecurity reforms. Organisations that handle customer data and marketing systems may need to comply with these regulations. The scale of investment required to reach minimum standards shows the level of under-preparedness for cyber threats against important assets across Australia.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to security and critical infrastructure risk management. Each organisation is unique and requires tailored risk management solutions. The key is to continually improve the efficiency of technology, tools, and human resources while reducing risk exposure.
In fact, levels of cybersecurity collaboration are highest with IT operations — likely because those integrations are more established — with 36% maintaining that collaboration was good, and another 40% saying it was good, but improvement was desired. CISOs also hail collaborations with software engineering/application development, the cloud team, and enterprise architecture as vital to ensure resilience throughout the organisation.
A holistic approach to digital resilience is paramount. Strategies encompassing AI-powered incident response, vulnerability management, risk assessment, and adaptive actions contribute to a more resilient and secure digital ecosystem. This approach involves embracing strategic collaboration, innovation, and adaptive practices to safeguard critical infrastructure and assets effectively.
For the agencies that are defending the country’s critical infrastructure, they can look at how some private enterprises are successful in the utilisation of a unified platform. A good reference can be seen through the innovations of industry-leading companies such as Singapore Airlines, who are incorporating the Splunk platform, and as a result, have seen 90% fewer backend issues and 75% faster issue resolution through access to real-time insights. With insights derived from near real-time monitoring, the airline is able to ensure quick resolution whenever a problem arises and creates the opportunity to innovate, which improves customer experience across the brand.
Safeguarding critical infrastructure in today's digital landscape requires a proactive and adaptive approach. The convergence of AI and cybersecurity presents challenges and opportunities that organisations must navigate. By embracing AI-powered solutions, striking a balance between risks and rewards, and adopting holistic, resilient frameworks, organisations can protect their critical infrastructure and ensure the stability of essential services in our ever-evolving digital world.