Digital transformation is the integration of digital technologies into business operations – and it’s happening everywhere you look. According to Gartner, 91% of businesses are engaged in some form of digital initiative. And no wonder: get it right and you stand to radically streamline your operations while improving your customer experience.
But while the rewards involved in digital transformation are big, so are the risks. Digital technologies depend on data, much of it data sensitive. This data needs protecting – on-premises, in the cloud and on the move. (Our Data Protection Platform can do all three, incidentally.)
But exactly what technologies enable digital transformation? And how do these technologies open you up to the threat of cyber attack (and the stiff financial penalties that come with falling foul of regulatory compliance)?
Read on to find out…
H2: 1. Big Data (and Real Time Analytics)
As we mentioned in our intro, there’s a lot of data out there. Indeed, IDC predicts that the Global Datasphere will grow from 33 Zettabytes (ZB) in 2018 to 175 ZB by 2025.
And data is the pulsing lifeblood of digital transformation. Analyzing big data empowers businesses to make lightning quick decisions with confidence, streamline operations and provide customers with ultra-targeted experiences.
With the emergence of real-time analytics, huge quantities of data can now be processed at sub-second speeds, and leveraged to (for example) track a pepperoni pizza’s location en route to your apartment.
The downside of all this upside? All that data creates a gaping threat vector for cyber attack – unless you have the data protection technology in place to secure it.
H2: 2. Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML)
Viewed from one angle, AI/ML is a positive boon for risk management. Using AI, cyber security teams can rapidly scan vast quantities of data for potential threats that they otherwise wouldn’t have the time or resources to detect. In this way, AI massively accelerates threat detection and response times.
But remember: hackers are using AI, too. Every day brings new threats, and your cyber security team should be continuously tracking these, aided by your continuously learning AI/ML algorithms.
H2: 3. Cloud Technology
Cloud migration is an essential component of digital transformation and is now commonplace, as businesses seek out the speed, flexibility, scalability and security that cloud brings.
That’s right: security. This might surprise some businesses, who naturally still feel concerned about letting sensitive data leave their highly robust on-premises perimeters.
But while cloud (like on-premises) is vulnerable to attack, cloud service providers now offer numerous advanced features to guarantee data is securely stored and handled, including granular permission and access management via federated role to restrict access to sensitive data to only those users who really need it.
Still, breaches do happen, and you should look to supplement these features with additional protection for your data in the cloud (and in transit to and from it) to ensure it’s protected and remains within regulatory compliance at all times.
H2: 4. Mobile
Businesses have come to rely on phones as much as the rest of us, and (especially since COVID-19 catalyzed the steady shift to flexible and remote work) increasingly consider mobile devices – including employees’ personal ‘BYOD’ devices – essential infrastructure.
Unfortunately, this means they’re also a large, tempting and growing target for cyber attack.
There are countless traps lying in wait for employees using their company or personal mobiles, particularly once they’re out of the office and off your secure network. These include: malicious apps and websites, phishing, man-in-the-middle interceptions of SMS messages, and insecure public Wi-Fi networks.
To protect against these threats, you need to define a clear policy around the use of mobile devices in your office, educate your employees in mobile security, and secure their devices wherever possible and necessary with (to name a few solutions) email security, endpoint protection, secure gateways, authentication and access management.
H2: 5. Internet of Things (IoT) & 5G
For businesses across numerous sectors (including manufacturing, retail and healthcare), the proliferation of the internet-linked, data-relaying devices that make up the Internet of Things (IoT) presents a golden opportunity to improve operational efficiency and customer experience.
But alas, the IoT also presents a golden opportunity for cyber criminals. IoT devices are particularly vulnerable to attack, as they usually lack built-in security and are easily mismanaged or misconfigured,
Both the potential and risks involved in the IoT (and elsewhere) are being fueled by the widespread adoption of superfast 5G networks. As a result, more than ever before, sensitive data is leaving and re-entering security perimeters at unprecedented volume and speed.
This movement should be enabled and, indeed, encouraged as it brings tremendous benefits to your business. But you also need to be more diligent than ever in protecting your business’s data, both in-transit and at rest.
H2: Protect yourself from cyber attack to digitally transform with confidence
Digital transformation is no longer optional for most businesses because (near enough) everybody’s doing it.
To keep up with the competition, your employees need to be able to use data (in real-time, ideally) to help direct and assess the impact of their daily business decisions.
But to protect yourself from cyber attack and ensure regulatory compliance is adhered to, data accessibility must be balanced with data protection at all times.
That’s why when we ask what technologies enable digital transformation, risk management technology has to be on the shortlist.
You can achieve the perfect balance of security and innovation-fuelling agility with our Data Protection Platform.
Not only does it protect your data on-premises, in the cloud, and in transit, but it also makes sure that the data your employees need is always available to use, empowering secure digital transformation on a full-time basis.