Adaptive Cyber Defense Planning

Harnessing the Power of Adaptive Cyber Defense


Turn and face the strange” 

Who knew that the great David Bowie had a hidden talent as a cybersecurity expert? Clearly, his famous song intends to reveal a fundamental truth about cybersecurity planning and offer CISOs some great advice. As Bowie was unintentionally hinting, a cyber defense plan that is flexible enough to handle life’s inevitable changes is your best protection against existing and future cyber threats. 

Security professionals face challenges in accurately simulating the impact of external and internal changes on cybersecurity plans aimed at defending against nation-state-grade attacks. Unfortunately, this can leave them vulnerable to new attack vectors, attack types, and organizational changes that leave areas of the company exposed.  

A static cyber security plan is outdated as soon as it’s finished. Implementing a plan that is flexible and designed to change when there is new information is your best bet at protecting against existing and future threats.  

Adaptive cyber defense plans are all-encompassing, scalable strategic plans that can (and should) be modified to deal with threats on the ground. It allows security teams to plan for, manage and defuse new and evolving cyber threats and risks, as well as changing attack vectors, that are coming from external and internal sources.  

At the same time, it also allows for flexibility within the organization. As business units evolve together with workflows and requirements, the security needs must adapt as well. Changes in IT, OT, cloud infrastructure, and software can drive the need for adaptivity in the cybersecurity plan as well. New third-party vendors, who may have different security standards or may introduce new risks, need to be adjusted for as well.  

An adaptive cybersecurity plan should include every element you’d find in a static plan. It demands continuous risk assessment, 24/7 monitoring, incident response, budget, vendors, and other staples of cybersecurity.  

The Importance of Adaptive Cyber Defense  

Software giant Kaseya experienced a REvil ransomware attack during the Independence Day weekend in July 2021. The attack was significant enough to garner attention from the US government, who eventually helped apprehend and arrest the Russian perpetrators. However, Bloomberg media reported that Kaseya employees had previously alerted company executives multiple times about the cybersecurity vulnerabilities that ultimately left them susceptible to the attack.  

Although the specifics of what happened behind closed doors at Kaseya remain secret if they had a comprehensive adaptive cyber defense plan in place, it could have facilitated a more agile response to internal warnings and helped them strengthened their defenses. It would have been easier for them to pivot in response to internal warnings and shore up their defenses. 

Similarly, when the Log4J vulnerability was discovered at the end of 2021, organizations with a robust adaptive cyber defense plan were better able to respond to the threat. They were more prepared to allocate resources to assess their systems and determine if they were running any affected versions of Log4j and apply the patch when it was released.  

Data Breach Impacts and The Need for Adaptive Cyber Defense

Data breaches and cyberattacks leave a long-lasting trail of financial heartbreak. In the wake of an attack, there may be exposure of sensitive data, financial theft, and disruption of day-to-day business operations. Ultimately, customers may lose trust and take their business elsewhere.  

As threats become increasingly sophisticated and complex, with new nation-state-grade attacks emerging regularly, it is vital for companies to remain proactive in their response.  

Threat actors are using a wide array of threat vectors – malware, ransomware, phishing, and social engineering – to target their victims. A robust defense plan considers all of these.  

As the digital economy grows and businesses heavily rely on technology, the expanding attack landscape creates a higher risk of breaches. To counter these evolving threats, an adaptive cybersecurity plan is crucial for CISOs to effectively protect their organizations. 

Adaptive Cyber Defense Advantages: Before, During, and After an Attack

Putting an adaptive defense plan in place can help you prevent, react to, and recover from a cyber attack.  It enables the security team to be proactive in protecting against complex cyber threats. It allows organizations to anticipate, identify, and avoid potential attacks before they become a reality. 

In the unfortunate event of an attack, having an adaptive cyber-defense plan in place allows you to respond to it more effectively.  By activating a plan, CISOs can mitigate risks and minimize damage, leading to reduced business and damage impacts.

After an attack, an adaptive cyber defense plan plays a crucial role in mitigating additional risks, minimizing damage, enabling efficient response and recovery, and a quicker return to business. 

Ultimately, having a proactive plan reduces the risk of cyber incidents, minimizes the impact of attacks, and ensures business continuity.  

How SAGE Can Help 

HolistiCyber’s SAGE is an innovative AI-based strategic cyber defense planning platform that helps organizations create and maintain an effective adaptive cyber defense plan. The platform is scalable and editable, allowing businesses to tailor a defense plan to their specific needs. With the implementation of SAGE, businesses can enhance their cyber defense planning and optimization (CDPO), ensuring it remains current and effective. This empowers them to proactively address the ever-evolving threat landscape and strengthen their overall security posture. 

One of SAGE’s key benefits is continual feedback, insights, and updates to the CISO on evolving threats and business considerations such as third-party software and industry benchmarking to include in the plan. This means that businesses can be confident that their cyber defense plan is always up-to-date. With SAGE, CISOs can strategically plan, assess risk tolerance, and allocate budgets to address evolving threats. This empowers them to make informed decisions and effectively safeguard their organization. 

The Benefits of SAGE Adaptive Cybersecurity for CISOs

SAGE introduces a number of key benefits to your cyber-defense. Its data-driven decision-making enables more optimization, while its ability to prioritize risks, projects, and goals makes your defense approach far more efficient. At the same time, SAGE’s dynamic cyber-defense planning ensures you have the right defenses in play at the right time.  

SAGE provides industry-specific benchmarks to give you a better idea of how well your defenses compare to those of your competitors. Finally, it uses business language, making it easier to communicate with leadership, the board, and the C-Suite.  

Controlling Your Cyber Future with Holistic Cyber

Adaptive cyber defense plans put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to defending your cyber landscape. Combined with our AI-powered SAGE platform, you have the tools at your disposal to better shield yourself against nation-state-grade threats, even if you aren’t David Bowie. 

Learn more about SAGE and how it delivers adaptive cybersecurity plans that optimize your security budget. 


HolistiCyber enables organizations in their cyber defense challenge, providing them with state-of-the art consultancy, services & solutions to help them proactively and holistically defend themselves in a new era of constantly evolving cyber threats, many of which lead to nation state grade attacks. 

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