Cyber Security: Securing Digital Transformation

Security is becoming a priority in digital strategies of companies. Most organizations are accelerating their digital transformation with the adoption of cloud computing, big data or Internet of Things. Simultaneously, they are also experiencing malicious cyber attacks, which by far are the most irrigating barrier to the implementation of digital transformation.

Digital transformation is increasing cyber risk. According to a report by Gartner, 60% of digital businesses would suffer major failures by 2020 due to the incapability of their security team to manage digital-related risks. Another report on digital transformation and cyber risk from Ponemon suggests that 82% of IT security and C-levels said that they “experienced at least one data breach because of digital transformation”. What we can conclude from these reports is the vulnerabilities of cyber infrastructure, and the importance of cybersecurity as an integrated part of a company’s digital transformation process.

The numbers

One cause of cyber attacks is the increased reliance on third parties, another cause is the conflict of security teams and the C-suite

  • 42% of respondents said they experienced at least 2 to 5 cyber risks

  • 55% of respondents believe that at least 1 of those cyber breaches was caused by a third party

  • 58% of respondents say their organization’s major change is the increased migration to the cloud, which implies the reliance on third parties. Although it’s easy to point out the risk, 58% blame their companies for the lack of a third-party cyber risk management program

  • 71% of security respondents believe the rush to digital transformation is the cause of an increasing number of data breaches, while it is believed by only 53% of C-suite respondents

  • 63% of C-level respondents versus only 41% of security respondents do not want to use the security measures suggested by IT security

*Statistics are from the report by CyberGRZ x Ponemon Institute*

The challenge of security and how it’s going to be addressed

It is obvious that investments in technologies would be completely meaningless if they fail to protect the business, its customers’ data and other vital assets. The rapid changing speed of digital transformation poses the challenge in security teams to add security at the speed of digital transformation, and to span at every new digital process.

Thus, the approach to cyber security must transform as well. Specifically, some imperatives are recommended. First, to mitigate the risk of cyber attacks, involve IT security teams in the digital transformation process, as these two must go hand in hand. Identify essential elements of a successful process, then educate colleagues on preventing cyber attacks, and create a thorough strategy.

Second, when a digital cyber security practice is well-built, embed professionals on digital risks in each practice. This creates a network of cyber leaders throughout the company, which gives a sense of control in the digital space of a company.

Reorganization is another transformative step. Using testers instead of software engineers is a great way to control cyber risks. In the end, who knows better how to secure a product then the one who created it?

Lastly, if companies own a large pool of security data, it is advised to combine machine learning, analytics, and algorithms, with a view to reacting to any threats at a flash. Flexibility and rapid decision making is the key to secure your digital transformation strategy.

So, where are we now?

We, as organizations involved in digital transformation, have now gone through the automation stage, and are on the lookout for artificial intelligence and “predictive modeling” for the alignment of our digital transformation process with the security needs. The future is near, as long as we insist on implementing cybersecurity and digital transformation in the right way as already mentioned.


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