In the rush to digitize, don’t leave cybersecurity in the dust.
The race to digitize is on. But in the mad rush to modernize, cybersecurity can fall behind.
Yes, digital transformation brings speed, but speed has its price. Traditional cyber controls simply can’t keep pace with the velocity, scale, and complexity of today’s digital businesses. And as your business accelerates, the ability to rapidly deploy new services increases your cyber risk.
ServiceNow recently partnered with 10 other corporate sponsors to commission an extensive survey of industry leaders around the world on a variety of cybersecurity topics. The report details where companies and industries fall on the cybersecurity maturity framework, which industries and geographical regions are leading and which are lagging, and in what categories. It also highlights eight key factors changing the cybersecurity landscape in an ever-riskier world.
Risks upon risks
Today, your suppliers and partners are part of your organization’s digital ecosystem, adding their vulnerabilities to yours. Increasing the number of remote workers adds to your risk profile by bringing more vulnerable endpoints into your ecosystem. The prevalence of shadow IT and unapproved cloud services continue to rise, and over the last few years, ransomware and phishing attacks have escalated in scope and cost.
In fact, according to the ThoughtLab study, the average number of attacks and breaches detected in the first nine months of 2021 was already higher than the number detected for all of 2020.
And the list goes on.
Start with the fundamentals
As physical and digital worlds blend and new technologies emerge, it’s essential to have solid cybersecurity fundamentals in place. As Duc Lai, CISO, University of Maryland Medical System, and one of the leaders featured in the ThoughtLab report said, “Make sure the fundamentals are sound first…if your foundation is broken it doesn’t matter what you throw on top of it, it will always collapse.”
With average breach costs increasing 24% between 2020 and 2021, a solid, well-planned cybersecurity strategy—with the right technology, training, and people in place—will help you defend against sophisticated cyber adversaries, nation-state cyber warfare, and an increasingly complex regulatory landscape.
Prioritize your risk framework
Given the rapidly expanding threat landscape coupled with workforce and budget constraints, prioritization and transparency are essential to continuously managing organizational cyber risk. It’s simply not possible or sustainable to commit more people and money to manage risks. This is why it is crucial to put a risk-based framework that proactively maps investments to risk reduction in place.
Frequent assessments are key to asking the right questions when it comes to prioritizing threats: What are the top cyber risks to our business? What is our appetite for that risk, and has that changed in an increasingly digital context? Are we investing enough in the right places, and are we getting enough return from those investments?
If that sounds like a lot to handle, it is.
The sheer volume of work, combined with the speed of digital business, requires automation (not to mention navigating existing internal hurdles or lack of leadership support). In my experience as a CISO overseeing multiple digital and cybersecurity transformations, I can attest that a platform made my job managing data and security together that much more manageable.
The power of the platform
At ServiceNow, we use the power of the Now Platform to help us coordinate our digital and cybersecurity transformation. Having all our work on one foundational enterprise platform allows us to more efficiently and proactively collaborate across traditionally siloed business and security units to refine our governance, investment, and data policies and processes.
Cyber risk needs to become a business imperative managed through collaboration across the C-suite and the entire enterprise.
We’ve also augmented our security skillsets, with greater emphasis on cyber risk management, automation, and data. In the past few years, we’ve seen that cybersecurity can no longer be one group’s sole responsibility under the CISO. Instead, cyber risk needs to become a business imperative managed through collaboration across the C-suite and the entire enterprise. And it’s not just us—the ThoughtLab survey came to the same conclusion.
Faster time to detect and respond is another key ingredient to risk reduction. In an increasingly connected and complex digital landscape where attackers can move quickly, platforms are essential, enabling you to use a holistic and integrated approach to:
- Increase your visibility
- Know your assets, vulnerabilities, and what is most important to protect
- Break through existing silos and respond quickly using automated workflows
Transforming security along with your business
Digital transformation requires a radical rethinking of your cybersecurity approach.
New skills, governance models, and controls are all part of the modern secure enterprise. Functional silos are replaced by shared data and risk co-ownership, hyperautomation on a single digital platform, and controls that can scale as the business evolves. These are the hallmarks of tomorrow’s well-protected enterprise.
When done thoughtfully, digital transformation and cybersecurity go hand in hand. They can help you move from constantly checking the rear-view mirror to looking through the heads-up windshield display showing you what’s coming far down the road, so you can better anticipate and address whatever risks lie ahead.
Download the full ThoughtLab report here.