Avoiding cyber attacks while on the road to digital transformation

No matter where your organization may be on its digital transformation journey, beware the dangers lurking along the way. Fellow travelers down this road have been waylaid time and again by cybercriminals wreaking havoc through ransomware, distributed denial of service attacks, data breaches and other types of attacks.

Digitizing more core business processes, after all, broadens the attack surface for all organizations.  And this at a time when attacks are getting more successful.  Last year, for example, we witnessed some of the largest data breaches on record. The Marriott Starwood hotels breach included nearly 500 million records. Other massive breaches included: Under Armour (150 million records), Facebook (87 million records), Elasticsearch (82 million records), Google+ (52.5 million records), Newegg (50 million records), and Panera (37 million records).

As the many companies that have suffered cyberattacks know, the consequences can be severe: everything from hefty fines for noncompliance with regulatory standards, to remediation costs, damaged brand reputation, loss of shareholder value, customer churn, law suits and more — all of which can seriously delay or threaten the success of digital transformation efforts.

Roadblocks to cyberthreat defense

We’re all aware of the risks in today’s cyberthreat landscape, so why are many organizations not able to withstand attacks? Simply put, it’s because of the roadblocks that keep cropping up along the way, many of which are familiar: too much data to analyze, too many potential threats to investigate, too few security staff, lack of cloud security skills, unsatisfactory internal security processes … the list goes on.

Part of the reason it’s hard to clear these roadblocks is today’s complex, dynamic application environments — think microservices, APIs, containers, serverless computing, and continuous integration and delivery processes and tools. The rapidly evolving and increasingly ephemeral technology stack makes it that much harder to understand how to adapt and extend security policies and tools to protect applications and data that are constantly on the move.

The security team needs the resources and skills to bring security aspects into the develop-to-deliver process and integrate security into the application development life cycle at the speed of development and delivery that today’s competitive environment demands.

Yet, skilled resources —  or rather, the lack thereof — is part of the problem. Numerous studies highlight the growing security talent gap. In its Cyberthreat Defense Report, CyberEdge Group reports that 84 percent of organizations are experiencing an IT security skills shortage.

Clearing the road

An infographic from DXC Technology and partner Micro Focus sheds light on these and other top cyberthreat challenges on the path to digital transformation. It also introduces ideas for overcoming those challenges.

For instance, one roadblock most organizations face is having too much data to analyze. This challenge can be addressed with advanced security analytics. Analytics solutions that deliver deep insights through artificial intelligence and machine learning can help IT security organizations cut through the noise of millions of security events generated by a typical enterprise security infrastructure.

Likewise, to address the talent shortage and do more with the same staff, enterprises are increasingly turning to security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solutions. These capabilities, integrated into a digital core security platform, can automate security tasks, processes and workflows to improve response time, accuracy and standardization.

As organizations proceed on their journey to transform their business, the transformation of security and risk management must be an integral component. Rather than bolting-on security at the end, organizations should plan for digital transformation and security together, simultaneously. While managing security risk in a fast-changing environment isn’t easy, it is possible with the right strategy that encompasses people, processes and technology.

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