The increased use of digital technologies to modify or even create entirely new business
models, customer experiences and working processes has led to a transformation in the
way companies operate.
Digital Transformation – Fast Forward
While this change has been happening for many years, the acceleration during the pandemic has increased urgency significantly. But with almost every business having to adapt, a new set of cyber security challenges present themselves.
Although bringing things like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning into business processes come with an array of benefits, it significantly complexifies the IT security landscape. Addressing these concerns is equally as important as keeping up with competitors when it comes to digital transformation. But how can decision-makers ensure security against ever-changing cyber threats?
Cybersecurity Risks & Challenges in Digital Transformation
Although the digital transformation in business has been happening for some time, there are several key factors behind its recent acceleration. Of course, the pandemic is a major one but so too are rapid developments in technology with industry heavyweights such as Amazon harnessing them to take customer experiences to the next level.
Customers are able to interact seamlessly with their platform, finding, ordering and receiving items quickly and easily. While this is great for Amazon’s profit margins, it quickly poses challenges to other businesses as customers come to expect a similar level of service. Companies now have to digitise their processes and systems with slick functionality in both the front and back ends.
When much of the world started working from home in early 2020, the impact of this was even more widespread. With next to no face-to-face engagement, companies had to offer an entirely digital experience almost overnight. While organisations with these processes in place flourished, those without were instantly playing catch up. While integrating new services, building new platforms and overhauling customer engagement was manageable, the myriad cybersecurity challenges these kinds of changes presented had to be accounted for.
Evolving Cyber Threats
As the need for digital transformation has grown, so have the cyber threats posed to it. Threats, like malware, are now more advanced, complex, targeted and professional than ever before with this trend only set to continue.
The sheer volume of threats out there is also a major cause for concern with 65% of financial service firms asked in a recent survey indicating that they were victims of cyber attacks between November 2019 and November 2020.
Ransomware is one of the main threats posed by cybercriminals and one that changes and
evolves constantly. During 2020, there was a significant rise in social engineering lures
that, alongside methods such as phishing, resulted in a dramatic increase in ransomware
IoT and its rise have been particularly problematic for security teams. With more interconnected devices on a network comes more opportunity for threats to enter. IoT security is increasingly on the agenda with more potential vulnerabilities than ever meaning keeping organisations secure has become a bigger task than ever.
How Important is Securing Your Digital Transformation?
The crux of the matter is that business continuity heavily relies on cyber security. If your networks are not secure and malpractice is commonplace among employees, you’re essentially a sitting duck for cybercriminals.
Within each sector some companies have already progressed much further than others, meaning they hold a competitive advantage. It’s vital to assess your organisation’s specific cybersecurity requirements as the digital transformation continues - this not only protects you now but helps future proof against unforeseen cybersecurity challenges.
While there is no fixed time frame on when organisations should have their digital transformation completed, many have hallmarked 2025 as a realistic target. Although this gives some time to assess and address vulnerabilities, the constant evolution of security threats means the sooner cybersecurity is dealt with, the better.
But although existing weaknesses need to be patched as a priority, this does not mean that security issues end there and then. Once digital transformation objectives have been met, there is no reduction in threat level. There is a consistent need for market awareness and the ability to adapt and react to any new threats that present themselves.
While digital transformation is key to the future of global business, a negligent approach to cyber security risks no future at all.
Protecting Your Digital Transformation
The most effective way to deal with the challenges posed by increased connectivity is having expert help, advice and guidance.