How security needs to be at the forefront of digital transformation thinking

By: Matthew Hammerstone

March 5, 2020

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The ever-pressing need for digital transformation, with pressure mounting to deploy the most advanced technologies to keep up with industry trends and consumer expectations, has brought businesses face to face with cybersecurity risks.

According to a report by Meticulous Research, the global digital transformation market is set to reach $3.29 trillion by 2025, growing at a CAGR of 22.7% between now and 2025. The growth will be driven by increased adoption of robotics and artificial intelligence in manufacturing, adoption of 5G technology and Internet of Things, increased focus of the companies on streamlining their business operations, as well as government initiatives aimed at digitalisation.

Companies are deploying different solutions and piloting projects that can improve processes across all domains. The solutions range from applications and tools for recruitment and human capital management (HCM), to solutions for managing inter- and intra-site communications, production, inventory, supply chain, marketing, and beyond.

 

A security-first approach

 

All these disparate systems cater to different processes and departments and have their unique security requirements. As the network of enterprise solutions becomes more complex in the quest of achieving digital transformation, companies are required to take a step back and understand the key security risks before deployment.

IT and cybersecurity teams need to align and assess the various cyber threats that a company may be exposed to due to its line of business as well as the existing technologies and the ones it plans to deploy, including cloud, artificial intelligence and machine learning-based solutions. The company needs to understand the access and security issues related to a cloud setup, including the ways to manage different cloud services, access rights to employees working on-site and off-site and access and integration with the cloud services of partners/vendors. There are other areas that the teams need to consider while evaluating the security resilience of the company and devising a robust and comprehensive security transformation strategy.

A flawed or inadequate assessment and an incompetent security transformation strategy could have serious consequences for a company’s digital transformation strategy.

 

Security transformation and digital transformation go together

 

Companies are increasingly shifting to digital systems that can accelerate and automate several functions within a process and improve the productivity.

With companies now more aware of the risks they could be susceptible to with the adoption of digital systems, secure by design is one of the most effective models and long encouraged by business leaders and cybersecurity experts. It helps in integrating security functions into the digital systems right from the design phase, with the final product featuring more robust, built-in security features to tackle malicious ingress or attempts.

What’s more, companies can have in place a more robust security team, comprising of a core team of IT and cybersecurity personnel as well as cybersecurity professionals within each practice. This can help in identifying generic as well as department-focussed cyber risks and come up with more precise solutions to tackle cyber threats.

Continuous monitoring and advancement is another essential activity that the companies should adopt. They should proactively identify potential future threats and implement more advanced security measures. This will help in preparing the company for future technology deployments, while improving resilience to cyber threats.

As the world becomes more turbulent, businesses need to have more robust resilience planning that combines risk management planning with business continuity planning to better navigate disruptive changes and safeguard shareholder value.

 

References:

 

https://gcn.com/articles/2019/10/04/cybersecurity-for-transformation.aspx

 

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3512578/what-is-securitys-role-in-digital-transformation.html

 

https://www.fortinet.com/blog/business-and-technology/security-transformation–the-key-to-successful-digital-transform.html