While digital transformation is having a significant impact on technology—from data-driven decision-making to cloud adoption, mobility, and the explosion in Internet-of-Things (IoT)—it goes beyond just deploying new solutions. Organizations must also re-examine established business models and processes to drive innovation and better business outcomes. It’s the combined application of digital technologies and data processes to re-imagine the business for new growth that is key.
This is no easy task. Effective transformation requires a collaborative effort across departments involving partners, customers, and other stakeholders. Digital transformation imperatives increase the workload of already strained IT teams struggling to keep pace with business needs, security challenges, and compliance requirements. The integration of business systems, information technology, and operational technology that enables data-driven decision-making also poses new security challenges because these newly connected systems can also accelerate the speed and damage of attacks across enterprise networks. Going forward, security must be integral, holistic, and automated from the outset rather than pieced together over time.
Digital transformation’s impact on security
To help businesses of all sizes better understand the security issues of digital transformation, Fortinet has released its 2018 Security Implications of Digital Transformation Report. This research surveyed 300 CISO/CSOs from a variety of industries across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia about their digital transformation.
What are the business goals of digital transformation?
According to that data, a majority of organizations have already begun the digital transformation process, with 67 percent of respondents stating that their organizations started this process more than a year ago. And yet, many are still struggling to protect their infrastructure adequately.
Ultimately, digital transformation comes down to using technology and data to drive innovation and better business outcomes. Participants identified four key business goals they plan to achieve through digital transformation including, enhanced business agility, customer insights, operational efficiencies, and increased market share. To bring these changes about, organizations are looking at four key technologies:
4. Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning
Significantly, each of these technologies was rated by CISOs as having a “somewhat” or “extremely large” impact on business.
Security challenges that accompany digital transformation
As organizations pursue digital transformation and adopt new technologies and business processes, security issues are on the rise. In fact, 85 percent of CISOs said security issues during digital transformation had a "somewhat" to "extremely large" business impact. Likewise, the rapid adoption of new technologies, especially IoT and multi-cloud environments, has dramatically increased the attack surface and the number of entryways into a network. This is especially true if organizations do not have integration across their security solutions and incomplete visibility into user, system, and network behavior.
Enterprises are grappling with security issues in three key areas across threat management and operations:
Polymorphic Attacks: These sophisticated attacks can change and adapt to avoid detection by traditional security solutions. This style of attack has become more common, with 85 percent of respondents calling it a "somewhat" or "extremely large" challenge.
DevOps: Integrated DevOps teams and processes have allowed organizations to keep up with the continuous delivery and integration pipeline expected today. However, the faster development and release process makes it easier for security vulnerabilities to pass through undetected when published.
Lack of Visibility: This challenge is the result of a legacy of non-integrated, siloed multi-vendor point defense products. To secure complex, highly distributed environments spanning remote branches, enterprise data centers, and hybrid clouds, security teams must maintain cohesive visibility to identify anomalous behavior and rapidly mitigate threats.
Digital transformation has also created a focus on privacy protections and greater compliance requirements. As cyberattacks have become more sophisticated and damaging, regulatory bodies have established more rigorous rules and guidelines to protect consumer data and personally identifiable information (PII). As a result, organizations must be mindful of compliance requirements and turn to best-in-class, certified products, processes, and people to ensure a reasonable level of risk management.
Successfully securing digital transformation
Our research indicates the average organization has sustained an attack that resulted in data loss or compliance issues in the past two years. However, it’s worth noting that several organizations that experienced breaches did not suffer any data loss, compliance issues, or outages due to superior security preparedness.
When looking at organizations that have had more success in withstanding attacks and securing their data, several approaches stand out as best practices.
· Integrate systems to create a unified security architecture
· Share threat intelligence across the organization
· Ensure safeguards work on all parts of the network
· Automate more than half of their security practices
By incorporating these security best practices across their networks, these organizations have been able to embrace digital transformation while minimizing security and compliance problems.
How can Fortinet help?
It’s no longer sustainable for organizations to forgo digital transformation or security integration as a means to enable the other. Digital transformation and security policies must be planned and deployed in tandem.
Fortinet’s Security Fabric offers the automation and integration solutions that organizations need to connect and monitor their entire network, from endpoint to cloud. The Security Fabric leverages AI and machine learning to automate security processes, allowing security solutions across the network to communicate with each other to administer real-time defenses in the event of an attack. This architectural approach to cybersecurity additionally ensures sustained single-pane of glass visibility through one cohesive dashboard.
Furthermore, as more technology is deployed, it can be easily integrated into a single, scalable Security Fabric that incorporates endpoint security, access management, application security, multi-cloud security, and more.
Digital transformation will continue to impact how organizations approach business and technology. As their networks become more complex, organizations must adjust their approach to security to ensure there are no gaps in protection. By following security best practices, such as integration and automation, organizations can reduce the security challenges and stress that accompany digital transformation.