Cybersecurity can drive business transformation instead of holding it back

Security is often seen as a burden rather than a strategic business enabler. According to a survey by McKinsey, 70 percent of organizations are not embedding security into products, services and processes, and 71 percent of executives say cybersecurity concerns impede innovation at their organization.

cybersecurity drive business transformation

A security strategy that doesn’t offer the flexibility for innovation undermines the key competitive driver in a modern environment. So how do organizations bake trust into their security posture to provide the confidence to innovate and grow?

To achieve a balance between trust and innovation, businesses must rethink their approach by weaving security into every part of their digital fabric. Instead of creating a steel fortress around their digital ecosystem, they must have the flexibility to respond to market opportunities, confident that they can intercept and respond to risks in real-time.

Complexity undermines security ROI

The security market has never garnered more interest, with Gartner estimating spending on cybersecurity to exceed $150 billion by the end of 2021. However, according to a recent IBM study, despite more significant enterprise investment, enterprise security effectiveness has declined by 13%.

Businesses often fail to consider that their increased investment in security technology often creates toolset sprawl, which introduces complexity that degrades their ability to detect and manage threat vectors.

More layers of security seem, in theory, like a good thing – in fact, the average enterprise deploys over 45 unique pieces of security-related technology across its networks. Yet, according to IBM, organizations that deploy over 50 tools are 8% less effective in detecting threats than companies employing fewer toolsets or one provider managing the entire ecosystem.

Security talent is challenging to hire and retain

Within this increasingly sophisticated threat landscape, the demand for cybersecurity professionals is on the rise, and so are the expectations of the CISO and their team.

According to the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), job satisfaction within the security sector is difficult to achieve. Typical challenges faced by security professionals include IT projects that have been started with no security oversight (32%), working with disinterested business managers (31%) and overwhelming workloads (31%). This reflects a lack of organizational maturity and resources to proactively manage security workload at scale.

As a result, what may have been intended to bring security and peace of mind to a business, becomes an endless task with little true protection, slow response time and a lack of flexibility in approach.

A different approach: integrating security into the organizational DNA

Rather than viewing security as a perimeter that should be secured, modern digital-first organizations must build scalable real-time security capabilities into the operating fabric of the business itself. Weaving cybersecurity into the fiber of the business strengthens operational foundations. As a result, the organization goes from being inhibited to being empowered, from being rigid to being flexible.

To succeed, such an approach requires three elements:

  • Capability to dynamically instrument and monitor the entirety of an enterprise domain, east-west and north-south. In a flexible modern environment, the rate of change is so significant that traditional security models cannot achieve this.
  • Scalability to surface hidden threat vectors, both internal and external, before they cause damage. This real-time capability requires web-scale processing and correlation capacity usually not found within a single enterprise.
  • Response capacity to apply deep security expertise within minutes to minimize business interruption and customer risk.

The path to success

When cybersecurity becomes an enabling element, enterprise innovation accelerates. Adoption of new innovative technologies across the cloud, AI, IoT and remote working domains, can be fast-tracked with the assurance that enterprise and customer data is secure by design.

So, how can businesses overhaul security strategies and implement innovative thinking? By taking a three-step approach:

  • Align: Alignment to a flexible and modern security architecture. Understanding existing security capabilities holistically allows enterprises to recognize technology and resource gaps and build a concise roadmap to a more scalable and modern security posture that can support innovation at scale.
  • Transform: Transformation to weave security into the digital DNA. Investments in technical and organizational capabilities are required to deliver a scalable “secure by design” digital environment.
  • Scale: Scalability of cyber operations supported from a global security service provider ensures investments are underwritten by deep expertise when required. This allows the enterprise to focus on innovation and business value.

Investment for agility

This long-term lens for cybersecurity requires a more strategic, market-orientated mindset.

Despite the challenging journey security leaders and organizations will face in undertaking this transformation – the result delivers immense benefits. By embedding security into every facet of their operations, businesses will reap a dividend in agility that allows them to take the brakes off their digital initiatives and move ahead of their competition.

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