Digital transformation, by definition, is the use of new, fast, and frequently-changing digital technology to solve problems. When done successfully, digital transformation can help businesses be more agile, so they can quickly innovate and adapt. Recent reports have shared that 56% of surveyed CEOs said digital improvements have led to increased revenue, and digital-first companies are 64% more likely to achieve their business goals than their peers.
Digital transformation is exceedingly relevant today, as it has been the past few months during the COVID-19 pandemic, given the dramatic shift in how companies operate across the globe. To keep up with the demands of a remote workforce, many companies were forced to adopt cloud-first strategies and modernize in haste, without having enough time to consider implications to cost, complexity, and security.
Cost: Develop an investment strategy.
Many companies have made the mistake of adopting modern technology for technology’s sake, without being able to achieve business outcomes. Of the $1.3 trillion spent on digital transformation in 2018, an estimated $900 billion was wasted when initiatives didn’t meet their goals. That’s 70% of the overall spend! As with any big investment, companies headed toward digital transformation need to develop a solid strategy before investing in new technology, so they don’t end up paying for services and tools they don’t actually need.
Complexity: Adopt technology that enhances—not slow down—productivity.
Digital transformation, with its many advantages, also introduces new complexity. Companies now need to adopt new infrastructures, deploy new applications, acquire new services, and support new customers (both internal and external) more than ever before. The challenge can be exponential.
Jake King, Co-Founder and CEO of Cmd shared the need for modern approaches that enable the workforce without slowing them down. “As mission-critical, data-rich environments move to the cloud, it’s more than just the platform that is changing. These applications are accessed by lots of employees in iterative cycles that are getting faster and faster. ”
A new report emphasizes this, sharing that 56% of individuals will only adopt new technologies that are easy to use and significantly improve account security. According to Dr. Shimrit Tzur David, CTO and Co-Founder of Secret Double Octopus, companies must consider strategies that meet the challenge of balancing usability with security. “To fully enjoy the benefits of digital transformation, companies should adopt innovative mechanisms like passwordless authentication that deliver a seamless and easy user experience across the enterprise while dramatically boosting security,” she said.
Security: Enable strong authentication across systems and services.
With the adoption of new technology, and a rapid increase of employees and customers who rely on this technology, comes a new and sometimes unforeseen set of security risks. With remote work on the rise, unsecured WiFi networks and the use of multiple computers and mobile devices have given hackers plenty of new attack vectors and surfaces to exploit.
Hed Kovetz, CEO and Co-Founder of Silverfort identified SSH credentials used to access business servers as a high-value target for hackers, as they are used by developers and systems administrators who may have higher access levels to critical systems and data.
“Securing remote access doesn’t end at the VPN. It’s important to protect all forms of remote access, especially RDP/SSH to internet-facing servers and administrative interfaces like PsExec,” he said. “It’s also important to monitor and analyze access beyond the perimeter, to on-premise and cloud resources, in order to detect and respond to threats.”
Understanding that security is only as good as its weakest link, Shashank Rajvanshi, Product Management Consultant at RSA shares that digital risk can be managed through a practical, phased approach. “Since passwords represent the weakest link, the first step in minimizing risk is adding layers of security using multi-factor authentication (MFA), and eventually going passwordless with methods like FIDO-based authentication,” he said.
James LaPalme, VP and GM of Authentication at Entrust Datacard also highlighted the benefit of enabling strong authentication at the user level. “The ability to quickly and securely verify identities is a critical requirement for digital transformation,” he said. “High assurance MFA delivers the security, flexibility, and scale required for a successful digital transformation.”
As we’ve learned from the statistics and from our industry peers, digital transformation is no longer a buzzword, but an imperative for which companies must consider cost, complexity, and most importantly, security. “On the path to digital transformation, consider security at every step,” said Robert Freudenreich, CTO of Boxcryptor. “There are many advantages to digitization if you protect your business properly.”