Traditional approach to data security hindering digital transformation initiatives

Security professionals who adopted a more traditional or reactive approach to their data protection and security program did not believe they would reach their digital transformation goals, according to a TITUS report.

data security digital transformation

The report, “The Vital Role of Security in Digital Transformation,” is based on a survey conducted by Market Strategies International of more than 600 IT decision makers at leading brands across a diverse set of industries in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

The report highlights that more than nine out of 10 security professionals deploying a strategic approach to security believed their current efforts would address digital transformation needs within five years and that their organization would achieve its digital transformation goals in the next five years.

Most of these respondents held senior-level titles, with over half listing their title as Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs).

Conversely, only fifty percent of those leveraging a more traditional or conservative approach to their security initiatives believed their current efforts would address digital transformation needs in the next five years and that their organization would achieve its digital transformation goals in that same timeframe. While many of these respondents held more junior titles, a full third self-identified as CISOs.

“In speaking with organizations of all sizes, it’s clear there are two approaches to security – one where you view it as enabling your business, and one where you view it as a cost of doing business,” said Jim Barkdoll, CEO for TITUS.

“Adopting a strategic approach to security is a game changer for our customers, as they’re able to better define and quantify the value of their data protection and security initiatives to the entire organization, from the board of directors to individual lines of business.

“The survey results underline that viewing security proactively not only helps an organization’s overall security posture and culture, but also becomes a competitive differentiator, particularly when it comes to digital transformation.”

Strategic security posture includes early adoption, fewer security solutions

Perhaps unsurprisingly, respondents adopting a more strategic approach to their security and data protection initiatives were more likely to state that their existing security infrastructure is up-to-date, with 64 percent indicating that they were early adopters of new technologies and 60 percent pursuing best-of-breed security solutions on an ongoing basis.

Fewer than 40 percent of respondents adopting a traditional or more conservative stance to security and data protection identified themselves as early adopters, with 43 percent describing themselves as best-of-breed purchasers.

Additionally, strategic security professionals tended to work with fewer vendors and fewer products in their security stack. More than 80 percent worked with ten or fewer security vendors and 70 percent deployed ten or fewer security solutions.

This was a stark contrast to their more conservative and traditional counterparts, nearly a quarter of whom use more than 25 different security solutions.

data security digital transformation

Other findings

North Americans prefer buying ‘best of breed’: North American respondents had a more assertive stance in their messaging of digital transformation, security and protection:

  • 62 percent were more likely to describe themselves as early adopters of technology, compared to 46 percent of UK respondents
  • Almost sixty percent indicated they preferred ‘best of breed’ providers, compared to only 49 percent of UK respondents

UK less confident in security and digital transformation: While 81 percent of North American respondents believe the success of their digital transformation efforts relies heavily on strong IT security and data protection, only 70 percent of UK respondents felt similarly

Financial services firms more skeptical about digital transformation: Half of all financial services respondents viewed security as their biggest obstacle to digital transformation, well above the average. By contrast, retail and professional services respondents were least concerned about security, which likely contributed to their greater buoyancy about digital transformation.