Digital Transformation is a phrase prominent in the mind of every board executive. Gartner reports that 87% of senior leaders see digital transformation as a priority for their enterprise. The need to digitalise and modernise business processes and services has long been a desire, but the need to innovate has been accelerated by what we have faced in the past few years. As transformation demand is now greater than ever, we are seeing smaller, more agile, technology-first businesses entering the market without the legacy constraints and threatening to overtake the larger enterprises, which typically take much longer to pivot and evolve digitally.
With the rise of readily available digital products and services at our fingertips that we have all consumed in our personal lives, enterprise boards are now looking to their IT leaders for rapid solutions that will open new digital revenue streams and give them that competitive edge. The well-celebrated scale and pace that many businesses were forced to adopt during the pandemic are now the expectation for IT projects and the wide variety of cloud-based, software-as-a-service solutions certainly lend themselves to this approach.
However, this expectation that IT shifts from a back-office cost centre to a revenue generator doesn’t come without pitfalls.
Why a Security Tool Glut is an Issue in the Modern Enterprise
There are now new challenges and considerations facing enterprise IT leaders. A report from the national cyber security centre for the UK found that 81% of large enterprises have experienced some sort of cyber-attack, supported by the statistic that roughly every 11 seconds there is some sort of ransomware attack. Digital Transformation has put a digital target on the head of every organisation.
As technology becomes more sophisticated and accessible, threat actors today are targeting large enterprises with increased frequency. They know that the larger the enterprise, the greater the volumes of systems, endpoints, and sensitive data, presenting more opportunities to exploit. The impact of this would be damaging both operationally and reputationally and therefore, these threat actors know the financial rewards are greater.
Suddenly, more and more of our products, services, and data are exposed to the outside world and that same scale and agility available to us is available to those wishing to disrupt their industry. The threat landscape has significantly evolved from protecting websites and back-office infrastructure to ensuring the security of a plethora of end-user devices that may not even be managed by the enterprise. This threat scales with the number of employees, all of whom could have multiple devices and are often located across the world. The more connected devices or digital touchpoints we introduce, the greater the risk.
Enterprises, whatever the size, can find themselves in breach of the general data protection act and face fines of up to 4% of their annual turnover or in some cases, completely unable to trade due to ransomware attacks exploiting vulnerabilities at the endpoint. The latter resulted in over $600M being paid out by organisations in 2021. To add fuel to the fire, the insurance market is becoming increasingly difficult due to the ever-changing landscape. The controls required to satisfy cyber insurance are putting a real strain on IT departments.
None of this comes as a surprise though. Enterprise IT departments have been busy arming themselves with the tools to protect these accessible systems and devices for some time. Gartner predicts an increase of 11% in spending on enterprise security in 2022, that’s up 25% in just two years. But there is such a thing as too many!
Once again, the volume only increases the risk and makes the task more challenging. Every tool needs to be managed, every alert verified, every incident managed. Another Gartner survey found that 75% of respondents are planning to consolidate the number of security vendors they use, citing an increase in dissatisfaction with operational efficiencies and lack of integration of a heterogenous security stack as the main reasons. This overhead directly impacts the IT department’s ability to focus on the client and drive the innovation and transformation required.
Driving Digital Transformation Through Partnerships
So, where do you start? How do you keep every aspect of your enterprise secure without huge overheads distracting the IT department from adding value? An enterprise already has challenges managing its workforce but with the volume of connected devices, how do you keep track of what assets you have and where they are located?
My recommendation would be not to tackle this in isolation. We’ve discussed how the IT department needs to drive digital transformation and focus on creating value. Visibility, awareness, and education are crucial elements in preventing breaches and are a lot easier than trying to remedy any breach, so engage a partner to help understand your objectives, baseline your security posture and develop a strategy that will complement the organisation’s goals.
Partners like Tanium offer a free, customised risk report that will present you with a risk score to assist with business decision-making and prioritisation based on organisational objectives, a proposed implementation plan to roadmap the journey the organisation needs to go on, asset inventory to understand the landscape of your enterprise devices, and vulnerability analysis to highlight immediate threats.
Of course, it’s important that IT teams first set a benchmark that they can assess themselves against, so they know where they’re excelling and where they will need improvements. This type of assessment puts minimal strain on the IT department, with a lightweight agent being deployed to collect data and one of Tanium’s expert technical solution engineers being on hand to analyse and produce your report. If enterprises are to stay secure and evolve digitally, they need this visibility of their whole IT estate as a standard.
Tanium’s extensive, enterprise-grade, solutions consolidate toolsets and reduce overheads and costs, whilst offering consistency for the IT department. IT departments can get a real-time view and manage endpoints from a central point, creating efficiency within the team and allowing them to focus on what really matters.
Find out your risk score today and get a holistic view on your organisation’s IT risk metrics.
This post is brought to you by Tanium and CIO. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Tanium.