Core Tenets of DX: Security and Digital Transformation

Protecting Digital Investments

Chapter 5

What it Means to be Secure

Digital Transformation (DX) represents a huge opportunity to grow your business for the future in a smart way. However, it’s paramount to also secure IT systems and data at every stage of the DX journey. This protection of assets notes the process of “digital resiliency,” which leverages digital solutions to secure subsequent digital solutions. This use of technology assists in some of the more manual processes that contributed to slow-paced, traditional security measures.

Like any good security professional might tell you, robust protection demands a holistic approach to ensure no vulnerabilities exist. And using a technology set to protect other technologies shouldn’t be the only gatekeeper of your IT systems. Since no single solution is ever 100% effective, especially when cybercriminals are getting more sophisticated each year, it’s important to have a backup plan to your primary plan. In other words, a two-pronged approach is necessary to ensure holistic cybersecurity against threats of data loss, exposure and downtime. But what does this specifically look like?

Sanction vs. Control

It’s key to remember that when using any cloud environment, there’s a shared responsibility with a third party, and it’s essential to see where those responsibilities lie in order to close security gaps. Too often, companies can find their sensitive corporate information sprawled across several applications they might not be knowledgeable of or comfortable with. To embrace new solutions in a controlled manner, keep a list of sanctioned applications to help identify and prevent non-sanctioned ones. When considering these sanctioned applications, also be aware how much and often data is being exchanged between them, and if you approve of this traffic.

Security should be at the forefront of all digital transformation initiatives, ideally at the planning and design stages right at the beginning. Too often, I see projects that get delayed or railroaded because they are not designed with security in mind or the right principles from the outset. Therefore, when the security team does finally get involved, the entire project gets red flagged.

Nick McQuire

VP of Enterprise Research, CCS Insight

If you haven’t already, establish rules of data governance for the business to define what datasets you deem valuable, where you keep them, who’s using them, who’s storing them and why. If someone asks for this information, would you be able to provide it? For example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) requires that organizations track which data is collected on EU citizens, knowing where that data is kept and who has access to it. For companies with global clients, they will be asked to show evidence for this security posture, even if not subject to those regulations.

The roles and responsibilities of IT members managing cybersecurity can make or break even the most advanced technologies, so companies should keep this front and center as they move through DX. As in any business, it’s especially important to have an employee education program that informs the workforce of the latest threats and best practices for handling sensitive data, identifying suspicious emails, and ensuring proper protocols are followed. The changes that often occur in the DX journey make education and re-education particularly important.

These are all examples where cloud can make a substantial difference. But sometimes, cloud might not be the best fit for your business. Here are a couple reasons why some do NOT move to cloud:

DX can assist in driving a faster, more efficient IT stance. Even if the cloud isn’t right for your organization in the moment, this doesn’t mean it won’t be a right choice later down the road. For this reason, it’s key to assess company goals not just for the next year, but for the next decade as well. This focused planning will ultimately determine which technology choices you make.

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DX and the App Explosion

The bottom line is that if you want to provide consistent security, compliance, and performance across multiple clouds—you need F5.

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