Security Lags in Digital Transformation

Digital transformation has become a pressing issue for businesses worldwide, spurred in part by the COVID-19 pandemic. But as businesses go digital, security is not keeping up.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to take a hard look at technology. Digital transformation was already starting in some businesses, others were in the planning stage and still other businesses were only beginning to discover the trend. Then COVID hit and the entire world was sent home to work. Businesses struggled to ensure their employees not only had the equipment they needed to do their jobs, but also to ensure the security of so many remote connections. As cyberattacks ramped up in 2020, businesses who had speedily gone through a digital transformation realized that the security of their organization was sorely lacking.

Digital transformation typically involves cloud migration. But before you can migrate your business to the cloud, you have to modernize. And you don’t just have to modernize your systems and processes and applications, but you have to modernize your security. Legacy items generally do not fit into the cloud, and that also applies to traditional security methods. The cloud is designed to be secure by default, and the way it is secure is not compatible with traditional methods.

According to a survey conducted by Check Point Software Technologies in July, over 80% of the 650 cybersecurity and IT professionals said that their traditional security methods either didn’t work or had limited functionality in the cloud. Tech News World shares, “This indicates that organizations’ cloud migrations and deployments are racing ahead of their security teams’ abilities to defend against attacks and breaches, according to TJ Gonen, head of the company’s cloud product line.

“Their existing security solutions only provide limited protections against cloud threats, and teams often lack the expertise needed to improve security and compliance processes,” said Gonen.”

This information points to a number of things we have discussed. Modernization must come before cloud migration. Security, whether digital or analogue, requires layers to be effective. Hire an expert to assist with all complex technological projects/solutions.

There is no real reason that security of your business should lag behind digital transformation. Security should be built into everything as you go. This is a classic example of businesses trying to rush the process because they think they need to go fast, and business leaders saying, “Oh, security can wait.” No. It. Can’t. And if the increasing number of configuration problems, vulnerabilities discovered, attacks on businesses and new types of malware showing up hasn’t gotten your attention, especially over the last year, then you are not paying attention.

Security and digital transformation are both hot-button topics right now. Businesses are all about digitizing to make employee’s lives and jobs easier while working remotely, but they have also started to really pay attention to security. At least, some have. Others will catch up, but only time will tell if it is too late for their business or not.

Because those are hot-button topics, it is vital, crucial, IMPERATIVE that you bring in an expert. Not only is an expert well-versed in the arena, but they know the best way to manage the project for max efficiency and completion. An expert gives you an outside set of eyes which may catch something your internal team did not see simply because they look at it all the time. This expert isn’t taking the place of your staff, this person is simply giving you the best way to complete a task. And then they can show you how to maintain everything and teach your team how it works and how to troubleshoot problems.

This one-time expense is far less costly than what a security breach will cost you. On top of that, you will have peace of mind knowing that your business is running smoothly, is secure and that there are effective processes in place. It’s also prudent to point out that if you begin the process of digital transformation without consulting an expert and something goes wrong, now you have the expense of fixing what went wrong, the project is delayed and it’s more expensive than it would have been to just hire an expert in the first place.

Don’t assume that your traditional security methods and protocols are going to work in the cloud, it’s unlikely that they will. Don’t assume that your systems and processes can laterally move to the cloud without being adapted. That’s not how it works. Everything has to be modernized, anything that can be automated should be automated, and then you can migrate. There’s an order to operations, and if not done properly, the project often will fail. Make sure your business doesn’t get caught in limbo, bring in fresh eyes to help!

About the Author

Pieter VanIperen, Managing Partner of PWV Consultants, leads a boutique group of industry leaders and influencers from the digital tech, security and design industries that acts as trusted technical partners for many Fortune 500 companies, high-visibility startups, universities, defense agencies, and NGOs. He is a 20-year software engineering veteran, who founded or co-founder several companies. He acts as a trusted advisor and mentor to numerous early stage startups, and has held the titles of software and software security executive, consultant and professor. His expert consulting and advisory work spans several industries in finance, media, medical tech, and defense contracting. Has also authored the highly influential precursor HAZL (jADE) programming language.

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