Published 28. Feb. 2017
Pursue Digital Transformation Aggressively and Safely by Leveraging Cloud-Based Security
Qualys, pioneer of cloud-based security solutions, explains why moving to a cloud-based security solution makes a lot of sense.
CEOs worldwide are under intense pressure to accelerate their companies’ digital transformation efforts to remain competitive in the face of quick and unexpected market changes. This means embracing mobility, cloud computing, web apps and other technologies to make their business more innovative and their operations more agile and convenient for employees, partners and customers. But while digital transformation boosts business, it also shakes up a company’s traditional IT environment and information security architecture.
The Risk of Losing Visibility into Your IT Environment
Digital transformation requires networks to be opened up to the Internet and perimeters extended beyond traditional boundaries. Applications get widely interconnected with third-party web services, and exposed via browsers and mobile apps. As this happens, many organizations lose the visibility they once had into their IT environments in general and into individual assets specifically. Aware of this, hackers are out there salivating at all the new opportunities that these digital transformation efforts create for breaches.
Digital Transformation Has Been Good for Hackers
The volume, sophistication, and effectiveness of cyber attacks are rising. Massive data theft incidents occur more and more frequently, with dire consequences for companies.
To picture how damaging a data breach can be for a business, consider the following:
- The EU’s upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) calls for fines of up to 4% of a firm’s global revenue if the firm suffers a data breach and is found in regulatory non-compliance.
- According to Ponemon Institute, data breach costs have spiked almost 30% since 2013 to $4 million per incident on average. Costs include fixing systems, supporting customers, repairing brands, losing sales, paying fines and battling lawsuits.
IT on the Hot Seat
CIOs and CISOs must ensure digital transformation efforts don’t endanger the IT environment.
They’re terrified of seeing their companies in the news due to a breach, but also worry about getting blamed for squelching innovation.
“CIOs are struggling between two competing pressures: to provide stable, secure, high-performance services and to deliver agile, innovative, technology-intensive services quickly,” Gartner’s Andy Rowsell-Jones said recently.
What’s the correct strategy?
Many organizations throw money at the problem by accumulating point solutions, which won’t secure IT environments upended by digital transformation. These organizations end up with a heterogeneous pile of security products from multiple vendors that don’t inter-operate well, are costly to maintain, complex to manage and ultimately ineffective.
The right approach: A consolidated platform that’s not bolted on to, but rather built into this new infrastructure. This allows the InfoSec team to support digital transformation efforts needed by the business, allowing innovation and security to co-exist.
Unfortunately, most companies pursue digital transformation without proper security.
“CEOs laser focused on growing the business are loath to slow down to reduce risk. Ultimately, cybersecurity fails to become the imperative that it should be,” CIO Magazine wrote about a KPMG study that found most companies prioritize innovation over security.
Cloud: Key for Securing Digital Transformation
Digital transformation is at its core about collecting and making data available everywhere it’s needed to drive business. Think about IoT. A key element is to leverage the scale, flexibility, extensibility and visibility of cloud-based solutions, which on-premises legacy security products can’t provide.
Many reputable sources, such as PwC, have endorsed it, “Cloud computing services are foundational to the integration and management of the many moving parts of a threat-management program.” (Read this PwC report)