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Security is critical to success in an era of digital transformation

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Every cloud has a dark lining – digital transformation means collaboration, it means working online, it means the cloud and this is all exciting stuff, but forget about security and you might as well forget about peace of mind.

Digital transformation also means a business that is eminently flexible and able to change. That means massive reliance on the cloud, with the flexibility that brings.

According to a survey carried out as part of ‘The State of Digital Transformation 2016’ report, 91 per cent of IT decision makers say security is very important to their company’s success in digital transformation.

Half said that security is the most important factor.

Unfortunately, security is complex, indeed 19 per cent of those questioned in the survey said that security is a lot more complex than just two years ago, while a resounding 59 per cent said it was a little more complex.

82 per cent said they had to dedicate more staff to security.

It turns out that IT decision makers believe security has become the biggest obstacle in migrating applications to the Cloud. And as the report stated, they have “allocated more resources to security as a result, while two thirds also purchased more security tools as they’ve moved data to the Cloud.”

There are some rules that you can follow that will help.

For one thing, know who has remote access to the IT system, and set rules concerning the circumstances in which staff access the Cloud from remote locations.

Also, employ a robust identification system, and make sure all users of the Cloud IT system have secure passwords – not generic passwords such as admin or using their name.

Another issue relates to any bugs in the IT system that an attacker can exploit; secure design and architecture can lessen this risk.

There is also a risk of account hijacking, in which an attacker can gain passwords or other identification codes off staff and other users of the system.

But there is also a security risk implicit in digital transformation that may not be down to deliberate attacks.  A system failure may lead to the loss of data – which highlights the need for regular data backup.

But due diligence can achieve much – during the process of digital transformation, ensure that when cloud technologies are implemented sufficient due diligence is applied – failure to do this can open a firm up to a host of issues including financial, technical, legal and compliance.

But digital transformation is about empowering staff, welcoming change, and ensuring the company is nimble, not afraid to experiment. Such an ethos can be dangerous when applied to security – and in this one respect, even a digitally transformed company must keep tight rules and tight control over use of the Cloud.

 

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Tags: Business, Digital Transformation