Innovation with a focus on security
IT leaders may find themselves scrambling to minimize security risks while keeping pace with evolving business demands. In an increasingly digital environment, gaining an edge on the competition requires agile business and security practices. Tremendous change occurs at lightning speeds, as innovations in cloud software, automation, and big data analytics transform to enable digital transformation.
With the increased distribution of data – comes greater risks. Organizations continue to splurge on security to protect against the increased threat of cyber criminals. Yet, they don’t often see a clear risk reduction- and it’s evident that the traditional approach to cybersecurity is no longer effective. Security tools and techniques that once reigned supreme in traditional data centers no longer stand up to cloud software. The solution to these complex problems is a secure digital transformation – beyond implementing new technology – and focuses on continuous agile collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure that organizations are procuring solutions that will drive secure digital transformation.
This article will talk you through implementing a secure digital transformation.
What is secure digital transformation?
Digital transformation can be used to describe many innovative practices in business, such as integrating new technologies, automating operations, improving customers’ experience, or the rollout of digital products and services. CIO Magazine defines digital transformation as a necessary disruption that fundamentally changes how organizations deliver value to their customers.
However, digital transformation is much more than adding tech processes or bolting on a digital solution to an operational problem. McKinsey defines digital transformation as “an effort to enable existing business models by integrating advanced technologies.”
But what about Secure digital transformation? Gartner describes their model for supporting the changing secure access needs of the digital enterprise, “the secure access service edge.” In Gartner’s definition, SASE describes “a way to securely connect entities such as users and machines to applications and services when their locations may be anywhere.”
At Olive, we agree with Gartner’s SASE approach. We define digital transformation as adopting the right technologies and processes that transform companies’ internal and external-facing operations to achieve an overarching business goal. Our definition examines entire departments and systems and reimagines them by infusing technology in place of inefficiency. In our definition, ‘the right’ technology considers the unique needs of the business. Thus, if your business needs a certain level of security in the solutions you buy or build for digital transformation initiatives, we advise baking this into the beginning of the search for the right technologies by writing this into your requirements.
Why is secure digital transformation important?
The pandemic has only accelerated a previously existing rapid rate of digital transformation across industries. Non-digital native enterprises are forging ahead to tackle all kinds of challenges relevant to growth, customer service, the efficiency of operations, productivity, cost reduction, innovation, and risk management. That said, digital transformation has undeniably moved from being a top priority to a necessity- and companies that don’t transform will not survive. Securing digital transformation without slowing down fundamental business operations requires a delicate balance. An integrated approach – which harnesses the agility and power of automation and analytics, alongside agile collaboration – will simplify operations and bring about better security outcomes with less effort. Secure digital transformation can also improve organizational growth, boost productivity and rapidly increase profits.
“We live in a society where people want things faster. Consumers demand it. But very few businesses have the culture of innovation they need to keep up with the fast-changing marketplace. Employees often don’t feel encouraged to bring forth ideas about how to improve the business. Digital transformation is about fostering such an innovative culture.”
– BDC Business Advisor Jivi Cheema.
Secure digital transformation is not just important – it is critical for the growth and survival of enterprises. Let’s take a look at the guiding principles that secure digital transformation.
Olive’s 5 steps to secure digital transformation
1. Establish the why behind the digital transformation before implementation
The first step in a secure digital transformation is establishing why your organization needs to do it. Conducting a pain point assessment is a great place to start to discover what’s working well and what’s not. BDC suggests asking the following questions:
- Where is your business fragmented right now?
- What is the current reality, and how is it working?
- Where do breakdowns occur in each area of the business?
- Does everyone understand their role and the business vision?
- How well does information flow?
2. Engage in agile collaboration to gather and rank security requirements
Digital transformation is not just about tech; it’s about engaging the right stakeholders to find the right tech. Agile collaboration with the right stakeholders will help you find the solutions that transform your business. Digital transformation should involve key stakeholders and be a well-thought-out strategy with a clear business objective to solve and a clear path to success:
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What does success look like?
- What challenges are you trying to solve?
- What is driving the change?
You need to ask your stakeholders these questions to define the unique business requirements, especially security requirements. Agile collaboration is also key to gaining consensus and establishing a clear reason for why digital transformation needs to take place. For this to occur, alignment between the board, C-suite leadership, and the workforce is essential. This “why” must be solidified from the top down. When the board or executive leadership lacks the experience, knowledge, or mindset required for digital transformation, teams may end up frustrated by a lack of clear direction, which may erode trust. Essentially, digital transformation is a people issue, and it’s critical to have accurate representation from each department. This can often mean hiring mobile developers, project managers, an interim CIO, a change management leader, or an agency to employ data scientists.
3. Create An Integrated Approach to Secure Digital Transformation
To optimize secure digital transformation, organizations need to investigate how technology and better data can help each business area. However, securing digital transformation without slowing down the business requires an integrated approach: harnessing the agility of the cloud along with the power of automation and analytics. Paloalto Networks recommends the following three requirements for secure digital transformation:
Cybersecurity innovations have become an arduous process. With the level of digital integration running through our lives, there is an increasing threat of misuse or attack. A cloud-delivered approach creates a scalable ecosystem of security apps and innovation that lets teams focus on new digital transformation capabilities. Cloud-delivered security infrastructure consolidates network, cloud, and endpoint log data and keeps track of the data for analytics. With the right cloud-delivered security in place, organizations spend less time on the lengthy process of managing infrastructure and more time enabling secure digital transformation that will add longevity and yield success to the business.
Big Data and Machine Learning
Big data analytics uncovers hidden patterns, correlations, and other insights to provide security teams with real-time, actionable intelligence. This data needs to be ready for analytics. Machine learning and AI can help make big data analytics more effective for your organization’s security posture. Leveraging AI to combat cyber security threats may seem contradictory. Still, in reality, humans bear more responsibility for cyber security breaches than one may expect. Machine learning can unveil historical patterns of behaviours to differentiate “normal” activity from anomalies, providing focus to accelerate the response. The goal? Automate routine security tasks so security teams can focus on identifying and stopping security threats.
Hyper Automation is the concept championed by many. Anything that can be automated should be. In essence, any repetitive task without the need for human supervision should be built into an automated process. Through the implementation of automation, organizations can bridge this gap. From a security perspective, automation can:
- Turn threat detection into prevention: Save your organization time with automatic threat detection, letting your security teams and IT departments focus on the things that matter most.
- Automate work through analytics and machine learning: Automation protects against attackers through in-depth analytics – so organizations can maintain an edge over competitors with insights around their techniques. By looking deeper into the data, the organization can easily identify threats. A security vendor that offers automation enables organizations to concentrate on more valuable work. Automation will enable security teams to move away from repetitive operational tasks and focus on strategic efforts that benefit the organization.
4. Find the right solutions for your organization’s unique security needs.
Secure digital transformation won’t happen without the right solutions in place. As mentioned above, our definition of digital transformation considers the unique needs of the business. Real digital transformation requires strategy, stakeholders’ input, and solutions best fit to these unique needs. In a robust requirements gathering process, solution evaluation should be centered around these needs. Only when this is complete should solution evaluation begin.
However, that is not what the typical sources of advice will suggest. Many companies shortcut the software selection process, searching through reviews for the “top 10 best cybersecurity solutions for retail”. Unfortunately, these shortcuts can cost the business in the long run. What’s best for a retailer will not be best for a healthcare provider. When searching for solutions pertaining to security, the search should be led by the organization’s security requirements.
5. Secure your solution evaluation process
Waterfall processes and old school tools are still used to evaluate technology, resulting in innovators using outdated technology to innovate. The irony! Using a secure software selection tool like Olive to run the technology evaluation process simplifies finding exactly what’s needed for secure digital transformation. Olive enables organizations to run the entire process collaboratively and securely in far less time.
Secure digital transformation is closer than you think.
Secure digital transformation is not just about finding new technology; it’s about continuous agile collaboration with key stakeholders to ensure that your organization procures solutions that will drive digital transformation. Secure digital transformation also requires strategy:
- Establishing the why behind the implementation
- Prioritizing security requirements
- Finding the right tools to support transformation efforts
Olive can help you prioritize security as a requirement or evaluation criteria and can ultimately result in your organization finding the right security solutions.
Additionally, you can use Olive to source security solutions for your organization, such as;
- AI solutions
- Application security software
- Cloud security software
- Confidentiality software
- Cybersecurity solutions
- Data security software
- DevSecOps software
- Identity management software
- Risk assessment solutions
- User threat prevention software
- Vulnerability management software
- Web security
Interested in how Olive can help you find any of these solutions, or run a secure digital transformation?
Book a Demo with us or learn more about how Olive works.