Department Of Homeland Security: How To Build Resilient Networks


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Today’s global cybersecurity threats do not allow for any perfect solutions, security expert Juliette Kayyem tells business owners.

“You’re never going to get the risk to zero,” Kayyem said. ““The goal is to minimize the risk.”

Kayyem served as President Obama’s assistant secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs at the Department of Homeland Security and now holds a faculty spot at the Harvard Kennedy School.

Kayyem’s guide to building resilient networks and systems depends on several levels of protection and the belief that no single step toward security is successful on its own.

Firstly, Kayyem said, it’s important to have redundancies.

“You don’t want to have a single point of failure,” she said.

Flexibility in systems and staff is equally important and can be implemented through training and other mechanisms.

Kayyem said that the most resilient systems also have fail-safe mechanisms. All systems and networks have some sort of vulnerability, she said, and what's important is how your system responds to attempted hacks and breaches.

“Assuming that the vulnerability is manipulated, you ensure that your entire system does not go down because of that,” she explained.

Finally, a completely synced and connected network is not always secure.

“While you might want your system interconnected, you don’t want it interconnected perfectly,” Kayyem said, explaining that all systems should have different walls and levels of access and security.

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