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August 24, 2023

Using the Important Business Services Framework to accelerate cyber recovery

In conversations with CISOs in major financial organizations across the globe it seems that many are adopting the Bank of England (BoE) Important Business Services Framework to ensure that their investment in cyber recovery is best placed to minimize the impact of disruptions. This post sets out an introduction to the framework and how it can accelerate your cyber recovery approach.

What is the BoE Important Business Services Framework?

The Important Business Services Framework issued by the Bank of England is a structured approach to identifying, assessing, and protecting critical business services and underlying systems, including those related to operational resilience and cyber response, to ensure the continuous delivery of essential functions and minimize the impact of disruptions to your customers.

The 6 key steps involved in the Important Business Service Framework:

  1. Identify your most important business services and the customers of that service, which may include retail or business customers, other legal entities, trustees, market participants, supervisory authorities, or other members of a regulated entity’s group. The BoE emphasizes the importance of identifying the services that are critical to your organization's operations and reputation. By focusing on these services, you can prioritize resources and efforts to protect them.
  2. Determine your impact tolerance: The BoE recommends determining the maximum amount of disruption your organization can tolerate before it impacts your important business services. This helps you understand the level of resilience required to prevent unacceptable impacts.
  3. Determine the technology applications/services that support each important business service and confirm that Recovery Time Objectives for underpinning technology services allow you to remain within defined impact tolerances. Also, set out and align your data recovery requirements so data backups for the various applications supporting an important business service are synced with the same frequency.
  4. Set out your recovery plans in the form of automated executable runbooks to minimize the time it takes you to recover from a cyber attack.
  5. Test and refine your strategy and regularly test your resilience strategy through scenario exercises and stress testing to identify gaps and weaknesses. Use the results to refine and improve your strategy.
  6. Collaborate with third parties, including suppliers and other stakeholders, to ensure their resilience plans align with yours and don't pose a risk to your important business services.

5 key benefits of adopting the Important Business Services Framework:

The benefits of the Important Business Services Framework for considering how to prepare for cyber attacks and enable a swift cyber recovery include:

  1. Focused protection: By identifying your important business services, you can focus your protection efforts on the services that matter most, ensuring they remain available even in the event of a cyber attack.
  2. Prioritized response: In the event of a cyber attack, knowing your important business services allows you to quickly identify which systems and data are most critical, enabling a faster and more targeted response.
  3. Reduced downtime: With a clear understanding of your important business services, you can implement backup and recovery processes that minimize downtime, reducing the impact on your customers and bottom line.
  4. Improved communication: The Important Business Services Framework facilitates better communication between IT, management, and other stakeholders, ensuring everyone understands what services are most critical and need to be protected.
  5. Enhanced reputation: By demonstrating a proactive approach to cyber resilience, you can build trust with customers, regulators, and partners, ultimately enhancing your organization's reputation.

By following the BoE's resilience framework and focusing on your important business services, you can significantly reduce the risks associated with cyber attacks and ensure a swift recovery in the event of an incident.

How Cutover can help

Cutover allows you to customize your important business services recovery actions to fit your organization's specific requirements, ensuring a personalized and effective recovery response to any cybersecurity or downtime event. Using the Cutover platform, you can create your recovery plan as an executable runbook to support the effective recovery of your technology services. These executable runbooks seamlessly integrate with a range of third-party solutions and applications, allowing recovery teams to extend the value of the technologies they're already using and providing additional flexibility for faster recovery.

Cutover features for cyber recovery: 

  • Automated runbooks: Manage the live interactions of thousands of parallel runbooks across your teams and technology to deliver faster recoveries via the automated execution of the flow of activities at an enterprise scale and automated reporting and live visibility across the enterprise. 
  • APIs and integrations: Automate repetitive, manual tasks with automation and integration to any app across your technology recovery stack to deliver significant efficiencies.
  • Orchestration across your key people and your technology stack: Minimize human error and increase productivity via controlled collaboration across your key people and with automation and integrations with Cutover runbooks. Decrease the risk of missteps and incorrect actions resulting in major customer impacts.
  • Real-time visibility and reporting: Use Cutover as a central point of reference and control. Get visibility into progress for business stakeholders and real-time status updates via live dashboards. Minimize otherwise manual reporting and status updates across the enterprise.
  • Audit trails and compliance: Get a comprehensive audit trail for regulators and post-execution analysis and learning. Significantly reduce post-recovery reporting times.  
  • Post-execution analytics: Enable continuous improvement and next-level capabilities through a complete set of objective data on the recovery.
Find out more about using Cutover for cyber resilience
Ky Nichol
Cyber recovery
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