Author: Andrii Lysyuk, Head of Cyber Security at Ciklum
Digital transformations are fundamentally changing how companies conduct business. Whether it’s gaining new insights from data or enhancing the customer experience, undergoing a digital transformation allows an organization to improve business practices through modern technology.
As a major business strategy for companies seeking to boost productivity, improve efficiency, and reduce costs, digital transformations make it possible to find new business opportunities, solve complex business challenges, and place digital technology at the forefront of any decision-making process.
Executing a digital transformation, however, isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. Integrating new solutions, changing old habits, and transforming even the most forward-thinking companies into a digital-first organization all require care, patience, and proper planning. Considering more than half of companies undergoing a digital transformation fail to meet their expectations, ensuring that the process is executed correctly is essential to become a successful digital-focused company.
One of the most important aspects organizations must consider when undergoing a digital transformation is cybersecurity. Even with the most well-thought-out plans to make a business more agile and productive through digital technology, proper cybersecurity precautions must be in place in order to safeguard critical business data. Because of the prevalence of cloud software and remote work arrangements, as well as the wide range of devices that may have access to a corporate network, establishing a secure foundation is essential for running a safe digital business practice.
How does technology impact organizations and what’s its role in digital transformation?
Companies embark upon digital transformations because of the sheer number of possibilities that modern technology offers. Across a wide array of vectors, technologies can be deployed to help organizations automate, collaborate, and streamline everyday workflows, which can result in significant cost savings and more responsive business practices.
Taking advantage of cloud storage and virtualization capabilities, analyzing and extracting insights from data, and establishing efficient methods of communication are among the many reasons companies choose to undergo a digital transformation. Whether it’s to digitize paper-based processes, extend remote work access, reduce risk, or any number of digital transformation possibilities, organizations that embrace modern technology can gain an advantage over competitors stuck in the 20th century.
What are the key security risks for transforming businesses?
Because digital transformations require fundamental changes to how an organization approaches the use of technology, establishing a high-quality cybersecurity strategy is essential to protecting critical business data. A lack of attention or neglectful cybersecurity planning throughout a digital transformation can seriously jeopardize a company’s reputation and its ability to respond to cyber threats in real-time.
Among the most common risks encountered by organizations undergoing digital transformations are data breaches and third-party vulnerabilities. Because massive amounts of data may be migrating from one system to another, built for the first time, or entrusted by a new service provider, organizations must take care to ensure that information isn’t at risk of being leaked onto the open web, accessed by bad actors, or lost in a large-scale transfer.
How can cybersecurity ensure a successful business transformation?
One of the most challenging aspects of digital transformation is changing a company’s culture — specifically, its relationship with technology. Old habits can die hard, and becoming a technologically agile organization requires a commitment from employees to adjust to new workflows and processes. This can be especially true when it comes to cybersecurity. Team members up and down the organization must adhere to best security practices to maintain a secure environment.
Digital transformations require a major shift in company culture, which means that implementing from the beginning cybersecurity practices, which means to benefit from new technologies while maintaining the risk at the acceptable level, can help build better business habits. As a component of a larger strategy, an emphasis on cybersecurity can allow for organizations to achieve its digital transformation goals while teaching employees how to be safe and secure at work. Rather than being tacked on as an afterthought, building cybersecurity into the foundation of a digital transformation can help ensure that employees adhere to IT policies and don’t break security rules — and that the work culture respects what must be done to maintain a secure environment.
How does an organization embed cybersecurity into a digital transformation?
Integrating cybersecurity into a digital transformation requires a holistic view of the transformation process. Overly stringent practices shouldn’t bog down the pace of innovation and work, but lax policies shouldn’t leave room for vulnerable points of entry.
Organizations should first determine the acceptable amount of cybersecurity risk posed by a digital transformation. After a reasonable approach is set, stakeholders should ensure that digital platforms are secure enough to leave room for agile innovation. This approach presents the best of both worlds, allowing organizations to move quickly without encountering dangerous security holes.
The DevSecOps model — software development, security, and IT operations — has emerged as a popular method of integrating security into a full-scale digital transformation. An extension of DevOps practices that allows organizations to shorten development cycles and provide continuous delivery, DevSecOps ensures that security plays an equally important role throughout the development process.
What are the benefits of integrating cybersecurity into a digital transformation?
Building cybersecurity directly into a digital transformation project allows a company to seamlessly protect its new digital environment, reducing the overall complexity of its security model. By managing risks and working to mitigate security concerns from the start, digital transformation projects can operate from a secure foundation on day one.
As a result, companies embarking on a digital transformation can help ensure that new technologies are safe for employees to use from the first moment that they’re adopted. Cultural changes will have security changes baked in, making it easier to train employees on new policies and practices going forward. Integrating cybersecurity can also help boost customer satisfaction, giving clients peace of mind that their information is being properly safeguarded.
While undergoing a digital transformation is no easy task, neglecting to integrate cybersecurity can pose significant long-term risks for any organization. By executing a transformation with cybersecurity in mind from the start, organizations can be well-equipped to meet the ever-evolving challenges of the digital landscape for years to come.
Contact Ciklum to learn more about a successful approach to integrating Security into DevOps that can help your business to transform even more effectively.