Technology

Two sides of the coin of Digitization

By Anand Veeramani, VP & Sales Head – India & Middle East, Happiest Minds

New ways of working and the advent of disruptive technologies such as robotic process automation (RPA), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), cloud computing, the Internet of things (IoT), and no-code or low-code platforms are leading organizations to rethink their business models and tread on the digital transformation path. However, digital infrastructure and evolving security requirements are often put on the back burner. A survey by Fortinet revealed that 85% of chief information security officers (CISOs) view security concerns connected to digital transformation as having a tremendous effect on their organizations.

Digital infra and security — The pillars for digital transformation

To ensure data and processes are utilized and managed well during and after digital transformation, an enterprise’s IT infrastructure needs to be agile, scalable, and flexible. Organizations must be able to make sense of their sophisticated digital infra landscape, and for this, they should leverage the latest in technology—AI, ML, 5G, edge computing, etc. They should boost their IT operations efforts with the help of RPA, conversational UI, and chatbots. Making the right investments and upgrades as part of digital transformation initiatives will enable enterprises to keep up with business needs, constantly evolving customer expectations, the growing competition, changing regulatory compliances, and advanced cyber threats.

The intensifying digital environment is also witnessing an increasing number of cyber threats, further amplified due to a shift to a remote working model. The attack surface has widened. Rapid cloud deployment and unauthorized access due to poorly configured access controls have contributed to the increasing number of data breaches. Enterprises are struggling to identify and respond to cyber risks and attacks as their traditional security controls are no longer effective.

Organizations need to accept that cybersecurity has evolved from merely an IT issue to a top priority. It is a business enabler that protects the business from attacks and drives revenue growth. Enterprises must make a conscious attempt at transforming their digital infra and IT security approaches.

Cloud transformation — An essential element of digital transformation

The agile world is set up on a cloud foundation. Legacy infrastructure solutions and IT processes can impact the success of digital transformation journeys. It can be challenging to deploy and run sustainable clouds in an organization’s datacenters, lowering the effectiveness of the IT service delivery environment. At the same time, multi-cloud computing is transforming the way business is conducted.

The strong cloud-based infrastructure allows organizations to scale up as required and support evolving business priorities at a lower cost. However, it also means that there are additional access and endpoints that need to be secured.

According to CSO, multi-cloud computing is among the most urgent cybersecurity threats that organizations across the globe are facing. As more data moves onto the cloud, this risk is bound to intensify further. Hence, deploying the right tools while doing so is critical to the success of the transformation initiative. Well-planned and protected cloud-based infrastructure is essential to deliver flexible and seamless access to resources supporting new digital business offerings.

Enterprises must also consider integrating traditional Oracle SQL server environments or replacing them with newer databases such as NoSQL powered by big data. Big data offers organizations the advantage of managing, storing, and evaluating large unstructured data sets.

Cloud automation and DevSecOps

Cloud automation helps integrate cloud management processes, allowing seamless process acceleration and scaling up of environments while encouraging continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) workflows.

DevSecOps, a new approach that fortifies the security of cloud-based applications, automates the integration of application and infrastructure security right at the beginning of every project. Weaving security into every step of the application development process during digital transformation can help organizations bring down complexity, time, and errors and reduce data breaches, information leakage, and other cloud security issues.

According to Gartner, through 2024, organizations deploying a cloud security posture management (CSPM) solution and extending it into development will bring down cloud-related security events due to misconfiguration by 80%.

The need for modern security controls and AI-based threat hunting

Newly introduced technologies bring new loopholes in the environment, and organizations can no longer trust traditional signature-based security controls to protect their digital assets. Open-source, cross-platform, back-end JavaScript runtime environments such as Node.js have rendered stable code and ERP installations obsolete. However, they come in with a lot of threats too. How can enterprises address security concerns in such instances?

While initiating digital transformation, enterprises must address questions such as: what risks and security vulnerabilities the new technologies and open-source components will introduce, and if the organization has the required tools and infrastructure to counter the vulnerabilities and mitigate risks.

Comprehensive AI-based cyber analytics and threat hunting solutions can help. These solutions, powered with machine learning capabilities, need to be integrated into the digital transformation initiative to improve the organization’s security posture. They will help detect, analyze, and respond to security incidents proactively.

Modern service desks and monitoring platforms are a necessity

Modern service desks, ticket management systems, and monitoring platforms are also necessary to enable streamlined workflows across processes in the organization. Automating triage, response, escalation, monitoring, and report generation with the help of RPA and AI-powered chatbots can help organizations to improve productivity significantly.

CTOs, CISOs, and other business leaders should consider investing in cloud-based central monitoring platforms in their digital transformation journey. Doing so can simplify remote monitoring and management (RMM), service desk support and monitoring, patch management, endpoint access and security management, and an array of crucial services via an integrated, reliable platform with speed and accuracy.

Next steps

“Digital transformation” and “digital infrastructure and security” are two sides of the same coin. Security needs will change with the expanding digital landscape, and the two need to go hand in hand to avoid more significant challenges in the long run. Older infrastructure and security investments can weaken any digital transformation journey, resulting in a poor user experience, spiraling costs, and a shaky IT security posture.

When organizations modernize their business processes and embark on digital transformation journeys, they must consciously allocate sufficient budgets to digital infrastructure and security so that existing and new applications and services are consistently secured and managed for reliability and scalability.

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