Cybersecurity at the Front of Digital Transformation
Since the start of the new millennium, the global society has been characterized by a significant digital evolution that has encapsulated every daily activity that individuals undertake. In addition to the conventional IT fields, the rapid development of technological tools and solutions has provided innovative methods and mechanisms for businesses to enhance their processes, operations, and general value that they provide to their partners and customers. With technology being the backbone of any successful operation, every business that relies on technology and the digital environment is at risk of cyber-attacks and various types of incidents.
The modern digitized economy is under constant threat from various types of malicious sources with the number of reported data and security breaches being higher than ever. The numerous benefits that have come as a result of technological developments have at times been overshadowed by the increased risks and threat landscape that businesses have to deal with while operating in the digital environment. IT and cloud solutions have become the go-to approach for organizations operating in the modern era, which is why securing a sustainable position within the operating market are essential for businesses.
The concept of digital transformation refers to an evolutionary process that aims to leverage the value of digital technologies for enabling major improvements for individuals as well as organizations regarding processes, operations, products, services, and general output value. This process at its core uses the process of digitalization, whereby transforming brick-and-mortar processes, assets, products, or services into digital formats, helps enhance its value and purpose in comparison to its tangible format. In its beginnings, this process has been associated with technological innovations and their incorporation into a business environment.
Digital technologies have become the norm across every operating industry, and as such, businesses have witnessed their importance for enabling development, sustainability, and establishing a competitive edge. The process of digital transformation has become widely important for businesses seeking to establish a competitive position in the modern digital age characterized by the ubiquitous presence of the internet which provides new methods for driving efficiency, interaction, and engagement. Though there are numerous technologies that support digital transformation, businesses must place cybersecurity as the forefront of this transformation for ensuring the safety of organizational assets, resources, and operations.
The popularity of the digital transformation process came with the simultaneous development of novel technologies which provided new methods of communication, interaction, engagement, and overall business development. Technologies such as cloud computing which enabled organizations to utilize the cloud infrastructure as a cost-effective solution in comparison to the conventional approach of heavy investments on on-site IT infrastructure proved to be a breakthrough in the perspective of businesses regardless of their size because up until then IT solutions were perceived as too great of a cost for smaller sized businesses.
The Importance of Cybersecurity
For business organizations operating in the modern digital environment, cybersecurity has become one of the critical concerns due to the significant increase in the number of cyber-attacks and other related incidents. Considering the sophistication of cyber-attack strategies and the increased threat landscape, organizations have had to carefully develop strategies and mechanisms that would help them preserve their digital assets, networks, and systems. The increased number of cyber incidents and data breaches have emphasized the importance of integrating a proactive approach that focuses on foreseeing cyber incidents as a likely occurrence, rather than following a reactive approach which would leave very few options to the recipient of a cyber-attack.
Business organizations that fail to develop an adequate cybersecurity strategy that encompasses their organizational objectives and security requirements, will be in a vulnerable position that increases the likelihood of them falling victim to a cyber-attack or a data breach. Delegating the IT department with the cybersecurity responsibilities for the entirety of the organization is not a sufficient approach considering the high levels of dependency that businesses in the modern age have placed on technology and IT solutions. Businesses will have to embark on a strategic and cultural transformation process that has at its core the awareness related to the mitigation of cybersecurity risks and threats.
The Digital Transformation Process
Digital transformation is associated with the idea that Information and Communication Technologies will be integrated into every aspect of human life with the purpose of supporting humans in undertaking their tasks and responsibilities and generally improving life for the better. The roots of the concept of digital transformation can be traced back to the last century where there had been various incentives for leveraging the benefits that computerized technologies provided for organizations and institutions, and with the development of personalized devices, the transformation process became inevitable.
At the current state, technological advancements have reached levels which at the past were seen as unthinkable or thought of as science fiction from pop culture. These advancements are far from being over as numerous enterprise technologies such as cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and data analytics have facilitated the growth and expansion of digital transformation. These novel technologies are more vulnerable to cybersecurity risks due to the increasing threat landscape going back and forth between security professionals seeking to stay ahead of the attack strategies of cybercriminals.
The responsibility for leading the digital transformation process falls upon the top-level management who have to adequately assess and evaluate the processes and operations which should be transformed by this process. Moreover, business leaders must recognize that digital transformation requires a cultural adoption within the organization with new methods and mechanisms, and most importantly, new risks that the organization will be facing. Hence, to effectively address the rising issues within the digital transformation process, organizations must place cybersecurity at the lead to ensure the effectiveness of this process.