The pace of digital transformation continues to increase in organizations across the world, owing to the speed it bestows to corporate affairs. Right from data storage to customer experience, digital transformation is core to profitable businesses. No one doubts that digital transformation improves business functions and adds value to customer experience. But it comes with a price (literally). Investors must shift their security setup to cope with the demands of digital transformation. Cybersecurity threats become more prominent when a company transitions digitally. This makes balancing cybersecurity and digital transformations at this juncture extremely crucial.

According to a post by Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “Security is not a problem you ever fully solve.” To think otherwise would create irreversible problems if security is not addressed properly. To say it in simple words, security is not a matter of “if”, they are a matter of “when”. And companies that lack the urgency to repair these problems immediately will suffer.

Maintaining the equilibrium

Consider this. According to global reports by Cybersecurity Ventures, cybersecurity crimes are likely to cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, up from $3 trillion in 2015. This poses a tough situation for organizations to determine their preferences. In this process, they often forget that they can’t afford to jeopardize digital transformation or security.

No scope exists for making mistakes in business. But businesses often land up with security issues while focusing on digital transformation. Let us not forget that both entities are integral to each other. Digital transformation often calls for an upgrade in security from their traditional functionalities to high-end operations that can cope with the latest transformation model. So, to maintain the equilibrium:

Provide security education to employees

Planning for a digital transformation? Even before that, make the employees aware of the security situations that may arise during transition. Train them about the new technology way ahead in time, while the IT team creates backups to handle any security breaches in the process. By implementing security training in the orientation programs of the employees, organizations can avoid security breaches caused due to human error. Remember, employee negligence and lack of knowledge of protocols to protect sensitive data account for four out of five data breaches.

Build best practices for handling security incidents

Employees should have a basic knowledge of security breaches and how to confront them before reporting to the IT department. It is natural that the chances of security breaches will increase as the infrastructure platforms grow. Therefore, it is important to have a set of best practices in place for handling different issues. Ensure that employees don’t fail to notify IT, immediately change their passwords and learn about what led to the breach so that the same mistake is not repeated.

Build a fortress around data

Spot the vulnerabilities in a system first, which tend to flare up during a digital transformation. Ensure that you move when you change technology systems. Identify what needs to be done to fortify security so that the issues are spotted at the beginning and resolved simultaneously.

Challenges that lie ahead

Coming to terms with the new era of compliance is rather difficult, owing to the fact that organizations hardly know where to strengthen their defences, all thanks to shadow IT. According to a recent survey, 78% of business decision-makers confess that their employees are using cloud services without the knowledge of IT. This makes it impossible to protect data, resulting in regulatory penalties and significant downtime. Expect the situation to worsen with time. In the European Union, 83% believe that shadow IT will increase over the coming years. To cope with the situation, companies must find a way to assess strengths and vulnerabilities. They can then build a baseline to compare their security posture against similar organizations.

Cybersecurity must be treated as an integral part of business strategy, which is constantly evolving as the business model. It is important to understand that security cannot be viewed as a static issue that can be solved by technology alone. It requires a joint effort by the organization and its employees to be able to maintain the equilibrium between digital transformation and cybersecurity.