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application resilience

Essential Business Continuity Requires Application Resilience

For organizations playing a crucial role in infrastructure and the economy, application resilience is a necessity 

When the links of financial institutions or energy providers are pivotal to the economy and critical infrastructure, the hardiness of their application portfolios becomes an absolute essential.  

The modern playing field of digital threats and regulatory pressures makes uninterrupted business operations crucial. Application resilience is key to ensuring business continuity, particularly for financial institutions and critical utilities, and adopting an advanced, streamlined approach can support organizational and operational resilience.  

The Imperative of Application Resilience 

For financial institutions and the energy sector, application resilience isn’t just a part of their disaster recovery (DR) strategy; it is integral to their operational fabric and a necessity for cyber-resilience. Given their critical role in the economy and provision of essential services, these institutions must ensure that their applications can withstand and recover from disruptions with the minimum fuss and downtime.  

The average cost of downtime for financial services companies is in excess of $5,600 per minute, which underscores the urgency of resilient applications. [Ponemon Institute] 

Please see our TrueFort industry resources on Enabling Finacial Services and Empowering Energy and Utilities, which examine this problem further. 

Challenges in Achieving Application Resilience  

  • Conducting Regular DR Simulations: Regular testing is vital to demonstrate the resilience of applications. However, it is often hampered by non-uniform procedures and labor-intensive processes.  
  • Regulatory Compliance: Financial institutions face the challenge of maintaining auditable records of their DR capabilities to satisfy regulatory requirements.  
  • Manual and Inconsistent DR Exercises: The traditional approach to DR exercises is labor-intensive, leading to significant commitments and inconsistent evidence quality.  

Streamlining DR Processes  

Advancements in technology have paved the way for more efficient disaster recovery (DR) processes.  

Automating Evidence Collection  

By leveraging telemetry from existing tools and analytics, the evidence-collection process during DR events can be significantly automated. This approach can lead to an estimated 80% reduction in manual efforts. [Gartner 

Enhancing Reporting and Risk Identification 

With advanced systems, financial institutions can benefit from summary reporting and empirical evidence that provide clear insights for decision-making. We help identify dependency risks and ensure traceability and auditability with unlimited retention, with more details available in our Maximizing Network Insights with TrueFort Reporter solution brief. 

Comprehensive Application Visibility 

A modern approach to application resilience includes comprehensive visibility of all applications, including the opportunity to modernize legacy applications. This complete overview is crucial for understanding each application’s behavior and interdependencies, thus enhancing resilience.  

Application Behavioral and Dependency Mapping  

Detailed profiling of normal application behavior is essential. Comparing failover operations to regular operations helps identify discrepancies and potential risks. Dependency mapping in mapping vulnerability further aids in understanding how applications are interconnected, allowing for the identification of subtle risks that could impact operations during a disaster.  

Integration with Existing Security Systems EDR Systems  

Integration with existing Endpoint Detection and Response systems (EDR agents) like SentinelOne and CrowdStrike Falcon simplifies deployment and enhances automation capabilities. 

Notable for utility and energy companies, collaboration with systems that provide OT security and insights into IoT devices and their relationships with enterprise applications, such as Armis, are essential for a comprehensive risk posture.  

The Strategic Imperative of Application Resilience  

For financial institutions and energy providers, ensuring application resilience is a strategic imperative. It goes beyond maintaining business continuity; it’s about fortifying against evolving cybersecurity threats and meeting regulatory demands. By adopting an approach that is streamlined, automated, and application-focused, these institutions can safeguard their operations. This comprehensive strategy ensures quick identification and mitigation of risks, bolstering the institution’s ability to withstand and quickly recover from disruptions.  

Within the modern financial sector, resilience is no longer just about having robust physical infrastructure; it’s about ensuring that every application, every piece of data, is protected and recoverable in the face of any disaster. Financial institutions that prioritize and invest in advanced application resilience strategies aren’t just protecting their assets; they are ensuring their role in the economy remains steadfast and secure.  

In addition, the energy and utilities sector are increasingly exposed to substantial cyber risks due to vulnerabilities within its information technology and operational technology infrastructure, as well as supply chain security partnerships. This risk is amplified by the merging of IT and OT, particularly in the development of ‘smart grids’ and the industrial Internet of Things, which introduces new potential channels for cyber threats.

A commitment to application resilience will differentiate the leaders in these sectors in the face of tomorrow’s cybersecurity challenges. 

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