The security of IT landscapes and applications has become an essential competitive advantage in the age of digital transformation. That is why a large number of IT professionals consider the security impact of digital transformation their top concern, while the industry executives see protection from cyber threats as the biggest digital transformation-related challenge.
While digital transformation indispensably involves agility, changes, compatibility, cost-efficiency and the disruption of the traditional conduct of business, companies used to think that safety provisions only stymie technological progress. However, it is a proper application of safety measures that helps businesses create truly advanced software capable of withstanding new security challenges of digital transformation. That is why we highly recommend companies prioritize this aspect and make it a competitive edge of their businesses instead of treating it as a measure that slows progress.
Below there are measures that will help you cope with the implications and improve the security of digital transformation to create a better connected IT environment.
Complete Visibility of the Environment
As safety threats become more sophisticated, diverse, dynamic and invisible, companies risk losing control of their networks. That is why businesses need to have a 360-degree overview of their environments to constantly be aware of any software, device or person that tries to connect to their networks.
Various security intelligence systems allow companies to have a comprehensive idea of what’s going on in their IT landscapes and identify possible intrusions and attacks in a timely manner. However, such solutions are quite expensive, which is why only large enterprises can afford them.
Moreover, a complete overview is a prerequisite of digital transformation security as a clear understanding of the present state of affairs enables the development of an efficient protection strategy.
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Elaborate Security Culture
The human factor has been and is one of the most common causes of breaches and cyber-attacks — they account for 24 percent of cases. That is why employers should adopt the principles of skeptical computing within the framework of cybersecurity and digital transformation.
It involves the following basic requirements:
- To reset default passwords and set reliable ones
- To stay away from fishy links and attachments
- To avoid unknown devices
As you can see, these rules are quite simple, but they can help prevent big problems. Also, this measure is budget-friendly, but it does entail comprehensive training and the development of the internal security culture.
Threat Intelligence and Analytics
Being aware of threats that are currently taking place within the environment is no longer
enough in a highly digitalized world. Security officers should be a step ahead of criminals, understand their motives, behavior and methods.
We will discuss threat intelligence and analytics that allow companies to look beyond existing menaces and provide an overall visibility of a corporate IT landscape, 24/7. Based on behavioral analytics, machine learning and other modern technologies, threat intelligence and analytics allow detecting past, current and potential attacks to anticipate and thus prevent future attacks.
Recently, the number of connected devices has grown exponentially, and it is predicted to amount to 50 billion devices by 2020. That is why the protection of a company’s connected endpoints is a hot topic and one of the top security concerns.
Figure 1. Number of connected devices worldwide in 2014 and 2020, by device (in millions)
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Also, an increased role of IoT only heightens the need for endpoint protection: IoT connections will be hit in more than 25 percent of cyber-attacks, by 2020. This will force companies to refocus attention on the safety of their IoT-connected endpoints.
The health of the overall network depends on the safety of individual digital assets, as each of them may become a breach point for an attack. Companies should get the most out of all possible measures to protect assets in their networks, such as antiviruses, IDS and firewalls, anti-spyware software and spam filters.
In the era of connected everything, a company’s environment is no longer separated, so the protection of a peripheral IT landscape is not enough to provide its ultimate safety. That is why businesses should enhance the protection of their applications, which includes the embedding of safety tools into their custom apps.
Self-defending apps that have recently emerged is a great example of a proactive software protection measure. These apps control access to corporate information and in-house digital assets, which allows them to respond to possible bugs in the source code and fix them on the fly.
While the cloud continues to attract a growing number of users, a bigger number yet is seriously concerned about the safety and privacy aspects of shared infrastructures, storages, services and other capabilities provided by the cloud. That is why the technology that significantly contributes to digitalization and improved connectivity can also disrupt businesses. Indeed, in 2017, there were 456 cloud-related breaches, and their number is growing as well.
However, according to Nickolas McQuire, Vice President of Enterprise Research at CCS Insight, “cloud computing improves IT security.” Cloud-based infrastructures enable companies to have a comprehensive overview of their IT landscapes, and thus address threats much more quickly.
The Solidarity of Security and Operations
The need to stand against cyber attacks forces the internal departments within companies to consolidate their strengths and capabilities. That is why security, IoT, software development departments and an operations unit should break down the walls between them once and for all.
A SecOps principle stipulates that safety becomes a common concern and the two departments work in a seamless collaboration. This approach allows teams to detect, prioritize and address vulnerabilities in multi-cloud environments to offset risks and significantly enhance an overall safety.
The Security of Everything
When it comes to digital transformation and security, organizations are used to peg safety provisions as measures that complicate and drag on technological development. Security does necessitate being proactive and creating a protected environment, which means comprehensive instructions and training, adhering to strict rules and regulations and aligning all business processes with them. However, the addition of safety provisions into the development best practices can significantly enhance a company’s security position in the long term.