Last year, 70% of respondents to a Tech Pro Research survey said their company either had a digital transformation strategy in place or was working on one. Those that see digital transformation as a priority are investing heavily, over $13 million on average, according to another study by Deloitte. One surefire way to tank your digital transformation initiative is to not consider certain realities that come with digital transformation, like the fact that cybercrime is steadily increasing and becoming a bigger threat to your organization’s IT security.

Symantec’s 2019 Internet Security Threat Report says:
  • Web attacks are up 56%
  • Enterprise ransomware attacks are up 12%
  • Mobile ransomware is up 33%

Many organizations are aware of the increasing threats, but don’t know how to prepare or respond. Just over half (53%) of the respondents to a study conducted by the Ponemon Institute in 2019 felt equipped to quickly detect a cyberattack. Even fewer (49%) felt equipped to quickly contain a cyberattack.

One of the challenges is the nature of the attacks. In a recent interview with TierPoint’s CSO, Paul Mazzucco, he estimated that 51% of the traffic on the internet is bot traffic and has described this as the ‘battle of the bots’. He goes on to explain how the good bots’ machine learning algorithms are competing with similar machine learning algorithms that the bad bots are using. Good bots are on defense - strengthening, protecting and updating the infrastructure, while bad bots are on offense - finding and exploiting weaknesses in that same infrastructure.

It can get very confusing. No wonder so many businesses can’t keep up. Nevertheless, failure to account for increased cybersecurity needs in your digital transformation budget can mean exposing your initiatives – and your company – to great risk.

Also read: How Edge Computing Amplifies Security Challenges (Data Center Knowledge)

Benefits of IT security strategies

To combat the cybersecurity threat, IT security needs to be a strategic initiative, and IT security leadership needs to be involved early in your digital transformation initiatives. Aside from the obvious – a strategy for protecting your data and applications - marrying IT security strategy with digital transformation has multiple benefits:

#1: Risk management

While your business leaders are busy dreaming up ways of transforming the business, they probably aren’t thinking deeply about the security risks. Contrary to how it may seem at times, your average IT security professional probably isn’t thrilled about coming in at the 11th hour to explain why an idea would violate HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, or some other regulation. By involving them early in the discussions, they can help steer ideas toward solutions that won’t unnecessarily expose the business to risk.

#2: Roll out projects faster

With security issues already ironed out, projects can be implemented faster. In addition, your IT security professional can help ready your IT infrastructure for any increased demands the transformation initiative will place on it. TierPoint CSO, Paul Mazzucco says, “I can’t tell you how often we’ve heard of initiatives unnecessarily delayed because no one bothered to tell IT what was in the works until the last minute.”

#3: Decrease risk of failure

It can be tempting to launch a project without IT’s blessing, but with DDoS attacks and ransomware on the rise, it’s not a good idea. Nothing derails a digital transformation initiative quite like a cyberattack that shuts down your website or takes over your systems completely.

#4: Lower costs

As the above three benefits have already illustrated, involving IT security professionals early in your digital transformation means less backtracking. And, less backtracking means potentially lower costs.

The cost of remediation after a security event can also be monumental. Last year, the city of Atlanta was hit with a ransomware demand of $51K. That paled in comparison to the $2.6 million they paid to clean up the damage. 

Need to revisit your IT security strategy?

To successfully digitally transform your business, you must have the right IT security strategy. Are you positioned to succeed? Organizations need to have a good understanding of the threat landscape and a plan to protect their vital data and applications. We understand that many businesses may seek expert help. As an IT security services provider, we specialize in development, implementation and management of comprehensive IT security strategies. Contact us today to learn more and see how we can help you.

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