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How to Integrate Cybersecurity with Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has been taking place in several organizations around the world. In fact, according to the 2018 State of Digital Business Transformation survey by IDC (International Data Corporation), approximately 37% of organizations have already started integrating and executing a digital-first approach, and 7% say they are already an enterprise-wide digital business. However, 45% of IT and business leaders surveyed say their companies are in the very early stages of becoming a digital business.

The report lists the following factors as the obstacles to achieving success with digital business initiatives: Lack of sufficient budget 39% Lack of staff and/or correct skill sets 36% The need to replace legacy systems 34% Cultural issues 33%

Despite these challenges, however, these organizations are aware that digital transformation is a must in today’s business landscape if you want to have a competitive edge.

When asked about applying digitalization, survey respondents said top five technologies that they have already implemented are: big data/analytics (58%), mobile technologies (59%), private cloud (53%), public cloud (45%) and APIs and embeddable technologies (40%).

The Crucial Role of Cybersecurity in Digital Transformation

The benefits of digital transformation in today’s organizations are clear: operations are consolidated and become more customer-centric; customer strategy is enhanced and as a result, digital transformation provides a universal customer experience; it also drives data-based insights and ultimately, costs are reduced and sales increase.

However, it is also important to remember that as organizations implement digital transformation, risks also increase in quantity and complexity.

Today’s digitalized business landscape requires businesses to provide available services continuously to customers. Organizations have to prove that they are reliable if they want to keep current customers and if they want to acquire new ones.

It is of utmost importance, therefore, to embed security solutions into all procedures and processes of the business in order to mitigate risks.

How can organizations integrate cybersecurity with digital transformation?

1.    Cybersecurity should be prioritized, not treated as an afterthought

The truth is, everyone knows that cybersecurity is important for all types of organizations.  Still, for several companies, cybersecurity remains an afterthought. Unfortunately, many organizations still view security as slowing down a project rather than enabling its success. Since most projects come with pressure to get them up and running as quickly as possible, companies typically end up making decisions that lack sound security considerations.

2.    Cybersecurity experts should have an active part when organizations make critical decisions

Often, security experts are not included in marketing planning or business meetings when critical decisions are being made. If security experts are not present, organizations are exposing themselves to critical risks that could damage their reputation. Instead of calling in security experts when an attack has occurred, organizations should make sure that these experts take an active part at the beginning of digital transformation.

3.    Employee training should remain one of the top priorities

Cybersecurity should not be limited to IT personnel only. A 2017 report states that almost 90% of cyberattacks are caused by human error or behavior. Since the majority of the workforce handle computers, all employees in the organization should undergo training for cybersecurity best practices.

According to a survey conducted by Ovum, a data research and consulting firm, 11% of employees are prepared to share passwords with co-workers from inside the business. In addition, 5% of employees surveyed are actually prepared to share their passwords with non-employees. Furthermore, 64% of organizations surveyed had no technology in place to avoid unnecessary password sharing. In fact, 78% of IT executives surveyed acknowledged that they do not have complete control over cloud apps that their employees use and 68% of these executives admit that this lack of control opens their organization to significant risk.

Training employees is not a guarantee that cyberattacks will no longer take place but teaching employees how to avoid opening doorways for hackers to get into, will certainly reduce these attacks considerably.

4.    Roles and responsibilities of everyone in the organization should be clearly defined

This is especially true for personnel who will manage cyber defense and incident response.  They should have a plan on how they will work together if a breach occurs and they should also help educate other employees on how to prevent attacks from taking place at their end.

5.    Effective communication channels and relationships should be established with IT, operations and external service providers

Good relationships and open communication contribute greatly to the success of any organization. When communication is open and honest among team members, any problems with procedures, processes, and cybersecurity can be identified quickly and mutual cooperation will make it easier to come up with the best solution for every problem.

6.    Robust security operations should always be conducted within the organization

Security operations should continuously monitor threat intelligence, technical intelligence and vulnerability management as an integrated process. Constant monitoring can help quickly identify problems thus, enabling incident response and recovery teams to apply the appropriate security solution to a specific problem.

Cyberrisk management plays a crucial role in digital transformation. It must be included from the very beginning and cybersecurity solutions should be embedded across the organization from all types of technology used to the organization’s culture.

We are in the age where businesses are expected to provide available service continuously to customers wherever they may be. Technology has made this possible but it has also made it convenient for criminals to steal from organizations and individual consumers.

It may not be possible to completely stop cyberattacks but integrating cybersecurity with digital transformation is an organization’s best defense and will significantly reduce these attacks.

For many companies, digital transformation can be difficult. The best way to ensure that transitioning to digitalization is successful is to consult cyber experts.

Netswitch offers Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services to all types of businesses. Our company has been named by industry analysts as one of the leading MDR services in the world.

We deliver advanced threat detection through security analytics with 24/7 monitoring and alerting. Remote incident investigation and response are also included in our end-to-end service. Our services are available at a price point that is affordable to small and medium businesses.

Contact Netswitch today for a consultation. Our cybersecurity experts will help guide you in developing a unique cybersecurity strategy that you can integrate into your organization’s digital transformation.


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