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Security a digital transformation barrier

Zscaler has found that user concerns around security are closely connected with digital transformation moves to open up more data to employees

One of the key tenants of digital transformation is the idea that data flows more smoothly across and is accessible by employees from multiple locations.

Those firms that have taken steps to put the structure in place to make that situation a reality are a growing number but there is resistance from some customers to join them because of doubts around security.

Cloud security player Zscaler has issued its Digital Transformation Report 2019 and found that fears over data integrity are paramount in the UK. There were issues with connecting remotely, using unsecured networks and unmanaged devices.

The channel will recognise that a lot of those concerns are the same that emerged when the discussion about moving to the cloud first emerged a few years ago. At that point the focus was on protecting the application using data from the corporate network. Added to that there are now issues with remote access and user identification.

“Digital transformation is a powerful business enabler with many potential benefits—from added flexibility for employees to cost and efficiency savings —and it must be a process involving input from all aspects of the business, not just IT,” said Stan Lowe, Global CISO at Zscaler.

“With applications moving to the cloud, and users connecting from everywhere, the perimeter is long gone. It’s therefore time to decouple security from the network and use policies that are enforced anywhere applications reside and everywhere users connect. Ultimately, as applications move to the cloud, security needs to move there too," he added.

The Zscaler survey also found that although the delivery of digital transformation was largely an IT department concern it was being driven by other senior managers in the business keen to take advantage of the latest developments in the tech world.

“Moving applications to the cloud needs to be considered in-line with new network infrastructure and security requirements. The new imperative is direct-to-Internet access with security policies that protect users, regardless of their location or chosen device," said Lowe.

The channel will have an educational role to play around increasing the focus on security at the same time as digital transformation projects launch.

The recently published 2019 Global Threat Intelligence Report (GTIR) from NTT Security found that in the financial vertical there had not been enough thought given to securing data.

“Finance is yet again on the top spot when it comes to targeted attacks, which surely is enough evidence to convince the board that cybersecurity is a must-have investment. Sadly, many financial organisations are moving forward with digital transformation but without security built-in," said Kai Grunwitz, SVP NTT Security EMEA.

"While legacy methods and tools are still quite effective at providing a solid foundation for mitigation, new attack methods are constantly being developed by malicious actors. Security leaders should ensure basic controls remain effective, but they must also embrace innovative solutions if they provide a good fit and true value," he added.

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