IT Resiliency and Response Planning in Today’s Digital World

IT Resiliency

While many Canadian organizations have settled into remote work, the pandemic continues to present major disruptions to organizations big and small. Unfortunately, this includes introducing a spectrum of serious cybersecurity threats to organizations across Canada. Cybercriminals are capitalizing on the massive reliance on remote networks for months on end, as organizations’ data and information systems are at risk of exposure if left unprotected.

Since the shift to a remote workforce happened so suddenly, organizations with sustainable and flexible IT infrastructure were able to make the switch successfully while many organizations struggled – and continue to struggle – to make ends meet. Organizations have been pushed to rapidly digitize while ensuring business continuity, which can result in severe implications on network security. Luckily, there are solutions available to increase preparedness moving forward.

The importance of IT resiliency

Ensuring IT resiliency by implementing proactive response planning is key to getting ahead of cyberattacks before they occur. It’s critical that organizations educate employees to recognize the red flags of malicious activity and continuously assess and evaluate vulnerabilities. An organization’s ability to prevent incidents and respond effectively to disruptions can ultimately determine business continuity and ensure that company data remains secure and future-proofed.

It’s important to recognize the long-term value of IT resiliency and response planning as flexibility and agility will continue to be key organizational drivers long after we emerge from the pandemic. CDW recently commissioned a survey with Angus Reid revealing that, on the small business side, 30 percent of small organizations will continue to work remotely after the pandemic, and 25 percent will eventually pursue a hybrid model of remote and in-office operations. This showcases that investing in IT resiliency, response planning, maintenance and adjustments need to be baked into the core of any organization’s IT picture – from Canada’s smallest to largest organizations.

The response planning process

So, you’ve recognized the risks and are ready to move forward. Now what? Our senior consultants will analyze your current infrastructure, its resilience capability along with response planning through major disruption and breach scenarios. Then, we will assess and plan your IT resilience and response procedures by utilizing best practice frameworks such as NIST 800-160 and ISO 22316.

A key element of this process includes working with you to establish the desired outcome and goals of the project and gathering information to review existing technologies, people, processes and procedures. We will also conduct workshops and interviews requiring resilience and map these results back to the lines of business and undermining infrastructure.

Following information gathering, next comes critical asset identification and the capabilities assessment phase. Here, we will compare the business environment against industry standards and best practices to identify gaps in the organization’s resilience capabilities. During this phase, we will also assess the IT resilience, establish tolerable failure levels and test and validate existing capabilities. Additionally, we will create a gap and risk analysis matrix to establish response scenarios.

At CDW, we use our deep domain knowledge and industry-leading methodologies and frameworks such as Agile/Scrum, SAFe, Waterfall and Zachman to ensure that our teams are delivering the solutions that meet business needs and provide results. If you have any questions about your organization’s IT resiliency and response planning, connect with one of our experts at