October is Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Are You Protected?
The imperative of digital transformation (DX) for businesses isn’t new but, rather, is being widely embraced and maturing into its third decade. But the recent explosion of data volume and complexity is ushering in a newly expanded plethora of risks and challenges, plaguing companies of all sizes across the digital transformation spectrum. The perfect storm of technology trends driving digital transformation – cloud, mobility, IoT, AI and big data – is driving a dramatic increase in the attack surface, activating a proportional increase in cybersecurity risk.
The Digital Transformation Imperative
Remaining relevant in today’s increasingly digital environment, while optimizing operational efficiency and customer satisfaction, is driving the universal pursuit of digital transformation. DX brings the promise of increasing productivity and efficiency while enhancing the customer experience, the latter of which is a corporate objective that is expected to surpass price and product as the key brand differentiator for companies by 2020 (Walker).
The competitive necessity of DX is clear: according to IDC, at least 55% of organizations will be “digitally determined” by 2020, leveraging and reaping the benefits of digital transformation. In addition, 85 percent of senior executives at 500 companies recently surveyed, indicated they are funding digital transformation by devoting up to 25 percent of total budget dollars (Forbes). Adding to the pressure amid a growing IT talent shortage, 46% of companies recently surveyed feel the need to innovate out of concern they’ll become less relevant in the market while 42% fear losing IT staff to competitors that are seen as more innovative. (Couchbase)
Cybersecurity risks increase amid talent shortage
Despite the imperative of digital transformation, challenges in implementation prevail with upwards of 90% of DX initiatives failing to achieve their objectives (Couchbase). Several factors contribute, not least of which is the aforementioned, growing shortage of IT resources across the technology spectrum. This shortage is levering pressure on existing IT processes and productivity while increasingly limiting progress in digital transformation initiatives.
As organizations pursue digital transformation, adopt new technologies, and modify their business processes, they similarly increase their cyber security risk. 85 percent of CISOs report significant business impact due to security issues during digital transformation (Cisco) and 73% of companies are not properly prepared for a cyberattack (Hiscox). The increased attack surface presented by the profusion of data and new technologies in today’s digital world is driving an increased urgency for companies to protect their data and mitigate cybersecurity risk.
The confluence of these two challenges heightens the risk for companies who have not yet implemented an effective cybersecurity strategy; the cybersecurity skill set is more specialized and in even shorter supply than broader IT talent. And cybersecurity risk is ever increasing in frequency and complexity, posing risks that can be financially devastating to unprotected companies.
Prioritize cybersecurity as you execute your digital transformation strategy
In order to protect precious data and reap the benefits of digital transformation amid increasing complexity and risk, it’s imperative for all companies to develop and implement an incisive cybersecurity strategy.
The threat landscape is expanding and hackers are known for their ability to continuously evolve tactics for the fastest and most effective ways to attack networks. As a result, cybersecurity risks will constantly change - making top IT talent a priority to stay ahead of the risk and prevent your business from falling victim to avoidable cybersecurity attacks.
Skilled, cybersecurity IT talent is necessary to best manage your cybersecurity strategy. But given the shortage, it may present a conundrum to stay ahead of the hackers by deploying a cybersecurity strategy. Even if you were fortunate to find and insource cybersecurity talent, are you able to deploy the resources to keep their skills ahead of the risk curve?
As a first step, a well-established cybersecurity managed services provider can help address and reduce cybersecurity risk through implementation of a cybersecurity monitoring solution. An experienced managed services provider will work to keep your business protected with the most updated tools and expertise - yielding digital transformation success without placing your company at unnecessary or avoidable risk.