What is security's role in digital transformation?

With security regaining priority in digital strategies, CISOs are dispersing security responsibility throughout the organization and working to transform the IT culture.

Lock with a question mark-shaped keyhole in a network of circuits + binary / digital transformation
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Two years ago, digital transformations had kicked into high gear, with new processes and product development moving ahead at breakneck speed. As IT and business fast-tracked initiatives like agile and DevOps to improve speed to market, security considerations were often left in the dust. At the time, Gartner predicted that 60% of digital businesses would suffer major service failures by 2020 due to the inability of security teams to manage digital risk.

High-profile security lapses ensued as expected, although it’s hard to pinpoint that digital projects were the leading cause. “Regardless of whether highly publicized breaches were directly linked to digital transformation, they got business leaders thinking again about risk and solutions that minimize risk,” says Pete Lindstrom, vice president of security research at IDC.

Today, some 79% of global executives rank cyber attacks and threats as one of their organization’s highest risk management priorities in 2020, according to a Marsh & McLennan survey of 1,500 executives. Overall, security’s role in digital transformation has improved both in awareness and involvement in earlier stages of the design process, but CISOs are still grappling with visibility into the breadth of projects in their ecosystems.

Security’s challenge: Keeping pace, more risk

IT decision-makers are not only including cybersecurity among their top considerations when it comes to digital transformation, but it is also their second biggest investment priority (35%), just below the cloud (37%), according to a recent Altimeter survey. Investments in transformative technologies can be meaningless if they can’t protect the business, its customers or other vital assets, and the complexity and speed of development continues to challenge even the largest security operations.

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