As organizations proceed with the “great digital build-out” — reimagining their future through a digital lens — the need to adopt new technology, at greater scale and with greater speed becomes critical. Technologies such as the IoT, intelligent automation, big data and cloud computing are combining to create the “new machine” with the potential to supercharge revenues and significantly reduce costs.
In the race against, and with, the machine (a phrase made famous by Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee’s seminal book) one critical factor that is all too frequently being overlooked, in some cases due to outright laziness or an unappreciation of the risk, is – security.
It is clear that the information technology we are using today is not nearly as secure as it needs to be given the scale of organizations’ digital build-outs. A casual glance at the news bears that out. The 2016 U.S. election was potentially hacked, North Korea’s missile launch program was hacked, film studios, Pentagon satellites, Pacemakers and most recently Equifax.
So the threat is very real, for governments as well as organizations, and the onus rests on these respective leaders to secure devices, people and data. But what processes, culture and practices do these leaders need to introduce and embody to assist in securing their respective entities? In an upcoming report from the Center for the Future of Work (CFoW), Securing the Digital Future, we examine these issues and propose five key areas for leaders to examine and address in their organization today.
Firstly, security needs to move out of the back-office and into the C-suite. In our study, only 9% of respondents said their organization is making Cybersecurity a board-level priority. Leadership needs to embrace Cybersecurity as a board-level initiative and not just relegate it to IT.
Secondly, cybersecurity threats are more heavily weighted towards cloud migration initiatives. Our research identified the migration process involved in a cloud initiative (cloud migration) as the most vulnerable digital activity for organizations. Prioritizing security measures around this migration is fundamental to achieving digital success.
Thirdly, talent will remain key to security initiatives, but AI will close the gap. Sourcing adequately trained Cybersecurity talent is a major concern today, and artificial intelligence is set to mitigate this to a certain extent.
Fourthly, the pursuit of Cybersecurity is a continuous evolution. Threats are never constant in the Cyber realm; thus, neither is Cybersecurity. Organizations will need to update, evolve and reimagine strategies and execution in order to remain secure.
And lastly adapting to the next generation of security-related technology. The massive leap in processing power and the potential security benefits that Blockchain provides are core considerations for organizations today. The need to quickly adapt and evolve security practices will be vital for organizations moving forward.
Global business and technology decision makers can use the findings of our study, detailed in this upcoming report, as a practical guide to protecting and maximizing the strategic value of their digital investments. The researchers intend this report to be a call to action that will bring home how business should view and enhance their Cybersecurity practices to better manage the transformative impact of the new machine age.