Modernizing and streamlining company processes to efficiently operate in today’s hybrid world has become critical. With promises of increasing revenue, providing improved experiences, and bringing innovation, it is no wonder that the market for digital transformation (DT) is predicted to grow to $3.4 trillion by 2026. As companies continue their quest toward successful digital transformation, leaders globally are embracing cloud infrastructures and digitizing their business processes.
The reality is that completing a company’s digital transformation project as soon as feasible is essential for an organization’s future success; failure to do so may result in a loss of market share. However, succeeding in the digital world is no walk in the park; 70% of companies fall short of their objectives.
Let’s explore the ins and outs of digital transformation, why it is happening, what distinguishes successful efforts from failures, and why zero-trust access is at the core of it all.
The Digital Transformation Journey
It is no secret that the world of IT has been completely revolutionized in the past few years; at the forefront of it all has been cloud computing. From how we work to how we access data overall, this technology single-handedly kept companies afloat during the pandemic.
Now, its relevance has expanded and is shaping every company’s IT infrastructure choice, as it provides the mechanisms to create, share, analyze, and store data at augmented volumes – none of which would be possible without cloud application programming interfaces (cloud APIs), which allow massive datasets to communicate with one another and enable the modern enterprise to flow.
As technology stacks become more powerful, new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and data analytics are taking center stage. These, and many more, are providing opportunities to turn legacy business processes into smooth digital experiences. But this new high-tech world brings unique challenges and can dangerously become a dreamland for cybercriminals.
Embracing a Security-First Approach
Breaches have been on the rise, and unfortunately, each year has exponentially worsened – a contribution also of remote work. During Q3 of 2022, approximately 15 million records were exposed worldwide. In addition, Gartner predicts that by 2025, 45% of companies will have experienced cyberattacks, a three-fold increase from 2021.
Old methodologies, such as the expanded edge of cloud computing and the “castle and moat” security approach, have made securing access to data and IT resources increasingly difficult, as they cannot answer today’s security needs. Multiple factors, such as insufficient maintenance, a lack of integrations between security controls and basic security flaws make the network’s entry points vulnerable, resulting in malicious actors being able to enter the network with relatively little effort.
In addition, we’re faced with the daunting reality that systems were created for humans, but we are also the biggest risk. At this intersection, where the digital and human touch mesh, a weak spot occurs: identity.
By exploiting identities within the enterprise, cybercriminals are much more successful – and in today’s landscape, no company can afford a compromise on security. Embracing solutions that securely connect their people, data, and devices reduces a company’s attack surface, minimizing the potential for catastrophic financial and reputational consequences.
The Heart of Digital Transformation = Zero-Trust Access
As mentioned, our data today flows across diverse cloud and on-premise networks, systems, and applications; creating more complexity and making identity-based security that much more important. In this context, a dynamic and adaptive method is necessary: Enter the zero-trust access approach.
Identity-based zero-trust solutions, as opposed to traditional security tools, are designed to meet the agility and adaptability needed for controlling access to an abundant amount of applications and data. Through leveraging next-generation security technologies, organizations can effectively secure data, stay compliant with industry regulations, prevent malware, ransomware, or social engineering attacks, and shift network-based parameters to identity-based controls. By addressing key vulnerabilities, namely the human factor, organizations can establish a security backbone to protect their digital transformation strategies.
Today, a zero-trust access approach is recognized as one of the most effective security models for controlling access by security experts, analysts, governments, and standards agencies such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
A Future of Beating the Odds
One thing is clear: A security-first approach is vital for a successful digital transformation.
As the global cybersecurity landscape continues to evolve, leaders must work to balance the security gaps brought on by the shifting dynamics of new work models and technology adoptions. The path to success today is driven by the adoption of adaptive, intelligent, and identity-based security solutions, which help minimize weak areas within security processes.
Organizations can more easily meet the rigorous requirements of data protection and privacy laws – while becoming modern, agile, and digitally superior through zero-trust access.