Andy Hague


The digital transformation tsunami

Whatever business you’re in and however far along in its cyber journey your business is, you’ll have one thing in common with almost every other company out there: you want to harness the power of new digital technologies.

I’m talking about digital transformation – a movement that started as a ripple, then a wave and is now a full-scale tsunami, fuelled by the unstoppable surge of new and emerging digital technologies.

The rate at which these new technologies are being developed, their power, speed and capabilities, are all increasing exponentially. Conversely, the cost of procuring digital technologies is going down, making them more affordable to all. With these factors in place, who wouldn’t want to take advantage of new digital technologies to move their business forward?

Indeed, digital transformation is now a necessary strategy for building powerful organisational muscle: muscle with the potential to spring a business forward and beat the competition. But it comes at a cost…

The cost of connectivity

The precise attribute that makes digital technology so powerful is also its Achilles heel. I’m talking here about connectivity. Digital technologies connect a business not only internally, but to the outside world and all its stakeholders. These can be suppliers, customers, the general public and potentially people with malicious intent.

Digitisation raises risk, creating lots of potential doors for those with malicious intent to try to get in.  And if someone does succeed in breaching your network, this greater connectivity makes it easier for them to move stealthily and laterally into other areas of your IT infrastructure, and even onto another organisation’s network that you’re connected with.

In the same vein, if one of your suppliers isn’t sufficiently rigorous with their security, what’s to stop someone hacking into your systems via your supplier or customer’s network?

It’s a fact of life that all organisations are under constant threat of attack, hundreds or even thousands of times a day.  Your technology and defences might be continually evolving but the ingenuity and tools available to ‘bad actors’ are constantly evolving too.

Cyber-provider confusion

Your own cyber journey has most likely not been a linear one. You’ve no doubt responded to threats and opportunities as they’ve arisen, and as your business has evolved. This is natural, but it does mean that your business – like most others – is in the unenviable position of trying to manage a vast array of relationships with different IT providers.

You may be juggling relationships with software developers, configuration technicians, electricians, public and private cloud providers, networks specialists, compliance specialists, strategy consultants, business continuity experts, penetration testers and a whole host of other IT providers, each trying to help you, but each with their own agendas and goals they want to reach. This is a very common scenario. It’s also highly inefficient, costly and even detrimental to your company’s performance and growth. Let me explain why.

Why less is more with IT providers

First of all, when you have multiple IT providers you have to spend time and resources on procurement, and we all know what that is like. Crystallising your internal requirements, writing requests for tender, researching prospective suppliers, getting to grips with their credentials and previous track record, the arduous bidding process – often involving multiple meetings, phone calls and emails – all make procurement a disruption that is best avoided if possible.

Once each new IT provider is on board, there’s the time taken to learn about your business, your objectives, your needs, strengths and weaknesses – (and they’ll need a thorough understanding of these things if they’re going to do a good job for you). Transferring that knowledge to different IT providers eats as much into your people’s time as it does their time – which you’re now also paying for.

Multiply this by the number of IT providers you’re currently using, and you can see it’s not the most efficient way of reaching your technology and business goals. It simply drains too much of your business’s time, energy and resources to manage these different relationships, not to mention managing the relationships between these different providers. 

You’ll also be paying for effort to be duplicated. After all, each provider will only be dealing with a limited slice of your business. With an incomplete view of the whole picture, there will be inevitable overlap in different providers’ activities.

This scenario never quite works. I equate this process to buying a three piece suit. If you buy your waistcoat, trousers, and jacket from three different providers, no matter how good those different providers are, nothing will ever quite fit together properly.  You’ll always get the best outcome if you buy all the parts from the same place.

Accountability, too, is nigh on impossible when juggling multiple IT suppliers. There’s just never a final identifiable place for the buck to stop, and in event of a problem everyone will just point the finger at someone else.

When your IT needs are being met by many providers, all too often, you’re just a number.  There’s no depth to the relationship or appreciation of your objectives, and no motivation to gain that understanding as they’re likely to be proffering a standard, one-size-fits-all, off-the-shelf solution. As your chain of IT providers lengthens, just like with a real chain, with every new link you add, you’re introducing weaknesses that can ultimately lead to this chain breaking.

Cybersecurity really can be an enabler

Every business wants optimum cybersecurity, without that security stifling performance and slowing them down. Yet most organisations are walking a precarious tightrope, trying to defend themselves against a barrage of increasingly sophisticated cyber threats, without putting so many security restrictions in place that performance is hamstrung.

In response to this, a new breed of cybersecurity organisation is emerging, with a much more holistic view of the interplay between cybersecurity, business strategy and growth.

Cyberfort provides expert cyber advice and strategy, alongside a comprehensive range of cybersecurity products and services to help businesses maximise growth while solving cybersecurity challenges. We help businesses of all sizes understand that the threats they face are indeed very real, but tackling them needn’t be an impediment to growth and performance.

Countering the financial motivation of cybercriminals requires an expert partner with the capability to see the big picture of your organisation, and has the expertise to advise on the potential risks you face, help detect these threats, and defend you against cyber threats, while also ensuring optimised business operations on every level. Acting as a single trusted cyber security partner we can effectively solve our clients’ unique challenges and maximise the value from their cyber investments.

In a nutshell, we help organisations approach cybersecurity as an opportunity to unlock new revenue streams and add value, allowing you to focus on growth and innovation in a secure and sustainable manner.

Cybersecurity done right really can be an enabler, and with one single trusted provider helping you understand the risks you face in this digital age, you can make informed decision and achieve steady business growth.

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