Digital transformation is disrupting the old ways of doing business by introducing digital technologies into the workplace and enabling employees to perform tasks in more efficient and productive ways, which in turn brings exponential new opportunity for business growth.
However, with digital transformation comes risk. The devices, software and technologies that are transforming your business need to be protected from hackers, insider threats and other cyberattacks. While digital transformation is reshaping the way companies do business, it is also forcing companies to reshape the way they approach their security.
Security Risks in the Digital Transformation
Protecting networks and data is a top priority of IT departments today. A single data breach or security incident can destroy an organisation’s reputation, and the financial costs can shutter a small business.
But the truth is, security can be difficult to ensure because there are so many variables involved, and the digital environment is constantly changing. Users make mistakes that can harm under-protected systems, so applications need to be consistently updated and patched to prevent hackers from sneaking through new vulnerabilities.
And then there is the ever-increasing number of endpoints and applications attached to the network. Estimates show most employees used at least five devices in 2016 to access corporate data. With Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), many employees are using their personal devices and favourite applications to conduct work, often without permission or knowledge of the IT department. While all of these endpoints and applications improve worker productivity, they create a potential nightmare scenario for security.
Rethinking the Approach to Security
Overall cyber security spending is expected to hit $90 billion this year, with many organisations increasing their budgets to fight against mounting threats. However, traditional approaches to security aren’t as effective as hackers become more sophisticated and find ways to circumvent legacy security methods.
To counter the increasing stealth and persistence of modern cyber threats, organisations need to shift to a more holistic approach to cyber security. The holistic approach integrates technology with human behaviours and physical considerations and recognises that security incidents go beyond simply dumping malware into a network.
They require a human to plan the attack and a human to make a mistake; they also factor in location or industry, or in some cases, something as simple as dropping an infected USB flash drive on someone’s desk in hopes of them plugging it into the company network. By looking at the overall picture of how cyber threats happen, you can better map your security plan to address them. But effective cyber security takes a very tactical approach to win the battle. Our partner, VMware, recommends taking these tactical steps in an effort to start building a defence:
- Simplify security models by replacing ad-hoc, poorly coordinated systems with collaborative, unified architectures that deliver protection efficiently and effectively.
- Implement a ubiquitous software layer across the application infrastructure and endpoints to abstract infrastructure from the applications running on it.
- Gain more visibility and context to more fully understand interactions between users, applications and data to better pinpoint security vulnerabilities and align security controls and policies to applications.
The digital transformation has opened doors for many businesses to thrive and is creating opportunities never seen before. But as you rely on more applications and endpoints to access your network, the threat level rises.
By rethinking your security approach, your business becomes better equipped to meet new threat challenges. A good starting point is working with an IT solutions company like QCS Group to establish a plan that protects your applications, infrastructure and endpoints. With this in place, you can improve visibility into your company’s digital interactions and better protect your most sensitive holdings.
LEARN MORE about how VMware is rethinking security to combat growing threats. Download the eBook: Guide to Rethinking IT Security