The CDK Global Cyber Attack 2024: The Importance of Business Continuity Planning for Cybersecurity Teams

The recent cybersecurity attack on CDK Global, resulting in widespread outages for car dealerships, is yet another reminder that no industry is immune to cyber threats and highlights the significance of Business Continuity Planning (BCP) for the impacted car dealerships. All companies have some form of BCP plan in place—whether formalized or in-progress, executive teams and CISOs create, train people, and test business continuity plans in preparation, ultimately hoping they never have to formally initiate these plans. Let's delve into the significance of BCP, with a particular focus on the often-overlooked role of cybersecurity staff within this process.

The Critical Role of BCP Planning in Cybersecurity

BCP is a fundamental aspect of any organization’s risk management strategy. It ensures that essential functions can continue during and after a disaster, be it natural, technical, or cyber. The CDK Global cybersecurity attack underscores the importance of having a robust BCP that includes technical recovery plans and also provisions for maintaining cybersecurity operations.

In the context of a cybersecurity attack, the immediate focus often falls on restoring systems and data. However, an equally important aspect is the continuity of cybersecurity operations. Cybersecurity teams are on the front lines, defending against cyber threats and mitigating damage. Their expertise and ability to respond swiftly are critical to minimizing the impact of an attack.

Cybersecurity Teams in the Business Continuity Planning Process

While much of BCP focuses on systems, data, and processes, there's a critical component that often gets overlooked: the cybersecurity staff themselves. Including cybersecurity teams in BCP planning is essential for several reasons. First, these professionals possess unique skills and knowledge crucial for responding to cyber incidents. They understand the organization’s security architecture, are familiar with threat landscapes, and can execute response plans effectively. Losing a key team member, even temporarily, can significantly hamper an organization's ability to respond to and recover from a cyber incident.

The continuity of cybersecurity operations relies heavily on the availability and capability of the cybersecurity team. During a cybersecurity attack, cyber staff are responsible for detecting and analyzing the cyber threat, coordinating the response, and implementing recovery measures. Their absence can lead to delays, miscommunication, and potentially more severe consequences.

The Impact of Cybersecurity Team Member Departures

The departure of a cybersecurity team member, whether planned or unexpected, poses a substantial risk. The knowledge and experience that individuals bring to the table are not easily replaceable. In a field where strong cybersecurity talent is already scarce, finding qualified replacements can be a daunting task.

Succession planning is critical and often insufficient by itself. Organizations must understand the specific tasks and projects each team member handles and develop a comprehensive knowledge transfer strategy. This ensures that critical functions can continue smoothly even if key personnel are unavailable.

BCP Plan and Cybersecurity Staff: A Critical Resource in Risk Assessments

When conducting a Business Impact Analysis (BIA) as part of BCP, organizations typically assess the impact and likelihood of various risks. It is imperative to include cybersecurity staff as a critical resource in this process. The risks associated with the absence of key cyber personnel should be evaluated in terms of both impact and likelihood.

CyberSN’s Cyber Workforce Risk Management Solutions can be a valuable resource for organizations looking to manage this risk effectively. Our solutions provide insights into the availability, maturity and readiness of cybersecurity talent, helping organizations to mitigate the impact of staff departures and maintain robust security operations.

Enhancing Cybersecurity Resilience

The CDK Global cybersecurity attack is a powerful reminder of the need for comprehensive Business Continuity Planning that includes a focus on cybersecurity teams. Ensuring the continuity of cybersecurity operations during an attack is crucial and the presence of skilled cyber professionals is indispensable. As we navigate an increasingly complex threat landscape, organizations must proactively prioritize the integration of cyber staff into their BCP plan and leverage solutions like CyberSN’s workforce risk management to maintain a resilient security posture.

For more information on how to manage workforce risks in your cybersecurity team, view  CyberSN’s Workforce Risk Management Solution.