What is Cybersecurity Transformation?
Cybersecurity transformation is the implementation of a holistic cybersecurity strategy that incorporates risk management, incident response planning, threat intelligence, security governance, regulatory compliance, security awareness training, and more.
The fundamental concept behind cybersecurity transformation is to ensure that cybersecurity strategy is built into and aligned with every aspect of the business to facilitate digital transformation.
Why Is Cybersecurity Transformation Important?
Cybersecurity transformation has become an important investment area at a time when cloud security, hybrid work, artificial intelligence in cybersecurity, IoT security and other trends continue to alter the business landscape.
Traditional approaches to cybersecurity are not sufficient to meet the challenges of today’s more sophisticated threat landscape. There is no longer a defined perimeter to protect, which means data, applications, networks, users, identities and devices are anywhere and everywhere:
- Across multiple cloud environments
- At distributed endpoints and edge locations across a company’s network
- Wherever remote and hybrid workers happen to be located at any given time
- Wherever IoT devices are located
In other words, today’s organizations are distributed, which creates larger and more diverse attack surfaces. This makes risk management, incident response planning, security governance, security awareness training, cloud security, network security and IoT security more complex than ever.
The growing sophistication of adversaries exacerbates these challenges. According to Forrester in a study on data breaches in 2022, “Even as companies strove to improve their security postures, enterprising attackers successfully made off with treasure troves of customer and citizen information.”
The research shows that 74% of security decision-makers with responsibilities for network, data center, app security or security operations experienced at least one data breach at their firms in the prior 12 months, and 36% had three or more breaches.
The growing use of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and automation is adding new challenges to an already complex environment, making cybersecurity transformation even more urgent.
Intelligent tools enable adversaries to launch attacks that are both larger in scale and more targeted at specific vulnerabilities, such as IoT security, network security and remote workers.
Cybersecurity transformation helps organizations stay ahead of these threats by modernizing, integrating and consolidating all of the key aspects of a successful cybersecurity strategy—network and IoT security, cloud security, threat intelligence, IAM, SEIM, vulnerability management, multi-factor authentication, AI in cybersecurity.
Beyond that, cybersecurity transformation instills a culture of cybersecurity across the entire organization, including cybersecurity awareness training, incident response planning, compliance audits, security governance, cybersecurity frameworks and Zero Trust.
4 Benefits of Cybersecurity Transformation
1. Reduce the Risk of Cyberattacks
Cybersecurity transformation offers improved risk management and protection against today’s most pernicious threats. It sets the foundation for a future-proofed cybersecurity strategy as adversaries adapt and seek to exploit new vulnerabilities.
2. Simplify Security Architecture
Security teams today employ 31.58 tools on average, each requiring time and resources for security experts to manage. Cybersecurity transformation and consolidation streamline the number of tools and services so defenders get maximum protection without the tool sprawl.
3. Move From Legacy Infrastructure to the Cloud
Many organizations still rely on legacy infrastructure (such as on-premise technology) that’s inflexible and tough to scale. Cybersecurity transformation guides a company’s journey from those legacy devices to cloud security, oftentimes with minimal disruptions to business operations.
4. Reduce Implementation and Procurement Time
One of the biggest challenges of adopting new cybersecurity tools is the time and resources spent on vetting, deploying and integrating those tools. With a solid cybersecurity transformation strategy, security teams can significantly speed up implementation and procurement time by evaluating assets, risks and solutions.
How to Implement Cybersecurity Transformation
Cybersecurity transformation typically requires a commitment from executive management in the C-suite and the boardroom because cybersecurity transformation affects security technologies, business processes and corporate cultures.
Steps to a successful cybersecurity transformation include:
- Commitment from executive management to develop a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy tightly aligned with digital transformation goals.
- Full assessment of current cybersecurity technologies and vulnerabilities. This includes risk management, regulatory compliance, cloud security, IoT security, network security, threat intelligence, IAM, vulnerability management, AI in cybersecurity, cybersecurity frameworks, etc.
- Engage with key stakeholders, including employees, executives, IT staff, SOC teams, and, when appropriate, customers and partners across supply chains and broader ecosystems.
- Engage with key technology partners in IT and cybersecurity.
- Prioritize and set goals, including timetables, budgets and risk management profile. Make sure to factor in regulatory compliance and compliance audits.
- Build a cybersecurity transformation roadmap and communicate regularly with stakeholders on progress, goals, timetables, etc.
- Conduct ongoing security audits and assessments.
- Measure results where possible in terms of improved risk management and KPIs such as speed to market or digital transformation successes.
Challenges and Barriers to Cybersecurity Transformation
- Resistance to change. Implementing cybersecurity transformation is a major strategic undertaking. It involves a commitment to new security technologies and, in many cases, changing the corporate culture.
- A shortage of cybersecurity talent and expertise. Given the industry-wide shortage of cybersecurity talent, business and IT leaders might believe they don’t have the skills in-house to successfully effect cybersecurity transformation. Cybersecurity technology vendors and consultants can be helpful, but there may be additional costs involved.
- The complexity of implementing new technologies. Organizations employ hundreds of cloud tools in the average workplace. Implementing new cybersecurity tools can potentially reveal integration difficulties when those tools aren’t compatible.
- Financial constraints and budget limitations. Cybersecurity transformation may require investments in new security technologies and training, both for SOC teams and general security awareness training across the organization. Unless management can be shown clear benefits in areas such as risk management or digital transformation, they may be hesitant to approve additional spending without a clear cybersecurity strategy and roadmap.
Future Trends in Cybersecurity Transformation
Cybersecurity is a perpetually moving target. As new vulnerabilities emerge—hybrid work, IoT and AI—adversaries adapt their tools and methods to exploit gaps.
Cybersecurity transformation provides a technological and cultural foundation for organizations to be faster, more efficient and more confident in adjusting to this constantly changing threat market.
With cybersecurity transformation, organizations are better prepared to deal with both current challenges and future trends as they emerge and develop. These include:
- The growth of multi-cloud environments
- Hybrid and remote work
- Expanded and more tightly integrated digital supply chains
- IoT security
- Identity and access management (IAM)
- Artificial intelligence, including emerging tools such as ChatGTP and large language models (LLMs)
As advances in security technologies come to market, organizations that have undertaken successful cybersecurity transformation initiatives are well positioned to seamlessly incorporate innovations into the cybersecurity environments.
This has significant, positive implications for the business. Cybersecurity transformation facilitates a Zero Trust framework and leverages secure-by-design principles to embed cybersecurity strategy within the overall business strategy.
Business leaders can make decisions based on what they think is right for the organization, with the knowledge and confidence that cybersecurity risk management, regulatory compliance, security governance and other factors have already been factored into the process.
Cybersecurity transformation makes organizations more responsive to the needs of customers and employees and more innovative in developing new products, thus transforming cybersecurity from a potential limitation into a business enabler.