Although more companies are electing to budget for a digital transformation strategy with a focus on apps, the cloud, and IoT devices to enhance customer experience, one area where these companies’ goals fail to focus is on information security. Often, data exchanged with the customer happens in an unsecured environment open to hackers.
Yet, in the past, information security was treated as a secondary or tertiary concern. In 2019, now that small concern has become more prominent as CEOs realize how important it is for them to protect their corporate reputation and their customers.
Change in View Toward Information Security
While every business sees the necessity for the use of technology to improve the connection between their employees and customers, in the past tech departments were mostly ignored by CEOs. But with news stories every other day, it seems, about hackers and cyber-attacks, their view toward information security has changed.
IT department heads, more often than not, now report directly to the CEO and 10% of the overall IT budget is allocated toward security measures. Not only that, but 25% of IT departments are now infusing every product build with security, and 39% of businesses carry a cyber insurance policy that protects a company and its customers against data breaches, identity theft, and other types of cyber-crime.
Digital Transformation Influencing Security
The cloud is basically an internet-based server farm where users can store their data for free and sometimes at a minimal monthly cost. Whereas in the past, access to servers was limited to company employees and protected with layers of security, that is now not so much the case.
Cloud-based servers can be accessed from anywhere over any type of connection, even one that is totally unsecure. And therein lies the problem for many IT departments. 28% of organizations fear that cloud accounts can be hacked. The main area of concern: cybercriminals are more sophisticated than ever and have the same level of skills as developers.
The sad fact is, IT departments don’t have the ability to defend against these attacks. That is why security needs to become part of the core business operations for every company that is planning a digital transformation strategy.
What Security Measures Can Be Taken
Cyber-attacks may come from anywhere outside an organization. Although the characteristics of an attack may share similar features, it’s almost impossible for IT departments to predict how hackers might break through. So, what steps can businesses take to protect themselves against potential cyber-crimes? Here are a few ways they are responding to these threats.
- Educating their current cybersecurity people via training about the multiple types of threats. 40% of IT security people, when asked, admitted they ignore critical security threats because they don’t have the skills or the time to address them.
- Collaborating with other IT professionals to share data about how to respond to these threats both within an organization and with other IT departments from competing businesses.
- Studying the digital presence across networks, applications, cloud infrastructures, data stores, and user access.
- Building security elements into the products a company offers, such as cloud access, IoT devices, apps, etc., to protect a company, its employees, and its customers.
- Practicing security drills around various kinds of attacks.
- Automating defenses with two-factor authentication or biometric authentication so access is specific to users.
The old adage “knowledge is power” is even more true for companies who want to launch a digital transformation initiative. But the concerns of 85% of Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) that security issues around this initiative are cause for alarm, especially with attacks from hackers who know how to mask their activities with artificial intelligence (AI) and other tools. That means that securing current technology, as well as emerging technology, will only continue to be a challenge in the future.
About the Author: Michael Kelley is the Chief Content Strategist at Fueled. With a background in journalism, Michael’s passion lies in educating audiences in the realm of tech. He is especially intrigued by the world of app development and all associated facets including Android, iOS, blockchain, and dApp technology. Michael has spent the last few years working with app agencies to elevate their content strategy and expand his knowledge even further as app development technologies advance. When he’s not typing away at his computer, you can find Michael traveling the globe or taste-testing pizzas in search of the ultimate pie.