Keeping a defence organisation in operation, whether in a main operating base, a forward operating base, or aboard a vessel, is about keeping IT-based systems and processes working. If digital assets providing critical information are affected, any installation or engagement can be severely hampered.

More cyberbreaches will happen because the information security paradigm is still focused on the attacker instead of its digital risk posture. That seems particularly odd as ‘the relationship between centres of gravity and critical vulnerabilities’ is a widely discussed concept in the defence and military sector.

Cyber-resilience of IT infrastructure and processes is achieved when you address the following core elements of a cyberattack: the capabilities of an attacker; the reachability of the target; and a vulnerability to be exploited. A cybercriminal can always learn new capabilities in the web.

Current cyber defence strategies focus on available technologies to control the reachability of a targeted system in an attempt to stop an attack while it happens. Being attack-orientateed only, it tries to detect and deter an attacker by increasing the cost of an offensive with a somewhat bigger firewall to break through.

Numerous evasion techniques currently exist aimed at vulnerabilities within a target IT infrastructure. A total of 1.5 billion new variants of malware have been generated in exploit kits used by attackers. Interestingly, these exploit kits target approximately 800 vulnerabilities, the third element of the list above.

Vulnerabilities in IT infrastructure form the exploitable attack surface. The smaller that surface, the longer it takes for an attacker to get in, making easier targets more attractive. Managing vulnerabilities increases the cyberresilience of digital assets and processes.

Managing vulnerabilities in a process-orientated, asset-aware manner reduces the risk related to digital assets in your infrastructure.