Simon Chassar, Chief Revenue Officer, NTT security division
Your organisation wants to innovate in the digital transformation era but, with hackers and saboteurs leading the race in cybersecurity, it could inadvertently fall at the first hurdle.
There’s no denying businesses must innovate if they are to grow and compete. It’s why many of them are investing in new tools and technologies. That’s all well and good, but there’s a problem. To innovate means to connect lots of legacy databases, servers and infrastructure, yet this increases complexity and opens up vulnerabilities and gaps that cybercriminals are only too willing to exploit.
Imagine, for example, the opportunities for criminals to target an organisation’s infrastructure when, according to research, around one million new devices are being connected worldwide every hour. We are amid a connectivity explosion – and a world that is completely borderless leads to weaknesses in cybersecurity and difficulties in managing complexity.
While your organisation can never be 100 per cent protected from an opportunist hacker, what’s certain is the need to bring cybersecurity into the overall design of your digital transformation programmes and initiatives. That’s true whether you’re looking to migrate to the cloud, harness the power of the Internet of Things or converge your IT and operational technology networks.
Your organisation needs to be implementing inherently secure solutions that provide the latest cyber threat protection required for your services or capabilities. This means that procedures, controls and policies all need to be built into your organisation’s technology solutions right from the start – they should never be an afterthought. Only then will you be able to quickly identify, protect and respond to new and existing threats while minimising their potential effects.
It’s what we call being ‘secure by design’, with cybersecurity core to your overall business strategy. By focusing on what’s critical in your organisation and putting the right protection in place from the beginning – across business process, technology, services and people – you will be able to advance how you protect your prized assets.
After all, effective cybersecurity is just as much about people as technology and processes. Everyone is responsible, which means you need to ensure that all levels of your organisation’s workforce, right up to board strategy level, are cybersecurity conscious. They need to be able to recognise the types of threats that could be exposing your organisation to risk.
Ultimately, cybersecurity is no longer a technology or governance, risk and compliance issue. Everyone in your workforce – both technical and non-technical staff – must be a student of cybersecurity. This, and taking a secure by design approach that is central to your business strategy, will help you stay ahead of the hackers as your organisation continues its digital evolution.