Digital Security Strategy’s guiding concepts

Energy Northwest and WizNucleus to Build Next-Generation Cyber Security Assessment Application – WizNucleus

Digital transformation represents the greatest opportunity for the enterprise in the 21st century. CEOs across the globe have digital innovation on their agenda as they seek to deliver innovative new business models, create new digital customer experiences, and optimize and automate their processes to enhance business performance.

BUT…digital technologies and the rapid pace of change in a digital world also threaten the enterprise through a growing cyberthreat landscape with a widening attack surface that exploits the very same digital technologies being used to transform the business.

To prevent cyberattacks from derailing your digital initiatives, we need to build security into the very fabric of the digital enterprise. Delivering secure digital transformation is about building security into the digital core platform which is the foundation for how we transform the business…put simply, we must become “Secure to the Core” and have a consistent framework for digital security transformation.

Deploying the right Cyber Defense

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One of the key imperatives for secure digital transformation is the ability to monitor every aspect of technology (both IT and OT) across the business. In short, we need to Monitor Everything.

The modern enterprise requires a plethora of security tools to secure their infrastructure and endpoints (networks, firewalls, servers, storage, devices, applications, data, etc). These tools generate an enormous volume of data each day, making it almost impossible to identify and respond to true cyberthreats in a timely manner.

Intelligent Security Operations can detect threats quickly, respond to attacks rapidly, and defend the enterprise from security breaches by applying intelligence and automation to handle the enormous volume of incidents we see across the globe.

To ensure a secure core, Anteelo’s approach is to provide next-generation digital services with a high degree of automation through a Security Platform that applies lean process, deep analytics and intelligent automation to the security information and event management (SIEM) process.

We often describe the underlying technologies within this platform as SOAR (security, orchestration, automation and response).

Cybersecurity Analytics, Intelligence, Response and Orchestration

IDC, meanwhile, describes these cybersecurity technologies as AIRO (Analytics, Incident, Response, and Orchestration). The AIRO technologies trace what is required in the Security Operations Center (SOC) to protect the enterprise network through to threat detection and formal remediation.

Whether your approach is “SOAR” or “AIRO,” either way we must apply automation and orchestration to cyber defences in order to keep up with the sheer volume of data and incidents generated across a wide array of infrastructure and endpoints.

Firms Need to be "Secure to the Core" Before Digital Transformation

In addition to monitoring everything with SOAR (or AIRO), we also believe in two more critical imperatives that are needed to secure the enterprise: Verify Everything and Encrypt Everything.

Verify Everything is about adopting a zero-trust approach to digital identity and access management. Enterprises engaged in digital transformation need a new approach if they are going to thrive in the digital world. The principle for security is no longer about the “where” it’s about the “who.” Success requires a comprehensive focus on digital identity management. Identity and access management can effectively establish a logical perimeter that enables digital transformation. The right identity and access management solutions prevent unauthorized access to enterprise information using multiple authentication methods with user access management and provisioning.

Privacy by Design

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Encrypt Everything is about minimizing the risk of unauthorized or unlawful processing of business-critical data and avoiding accidental loss and destruction or damage to data. All sensitive data requires encryption and/or tokenization using trust services (PKI, certificate and key management), encryption solutions, and rights management. The right data protection and privacy solutions encrypt sensitive data and prevents data loss from malicious cyberattacks.

So, to enable your digital transformation journey, remember these three key security principles: Monitor Everything (with cyber defense solutions), Verify Everything (with digital identity solutions) and Encrypt Everything (with data protection solutions).

Moving toward a unified Digital Security Transformation Framework

Security a Challenge in Digital Transformation - Security Boulevard

Organizations pursuing digital transformation initiatives are typically doing so to achieve a variety of possible business outcomes ranging from improved customer experience to improved operational efficiency. As enterprises plan their digital journeys, they are increasingly moving to a more distributed IT environment where corporate applications reside on premises as well as in public cloud environments, and access to these applications is provided on an anytime, anywhere basis to a variety of endpoint devices.

In this type of environment, there are a number of technology-related issues that will drive enterprises to think about new security risks such as the adoption of new technology, IT architectural migration, and the implementation of new operational processes. While these issues typically drive the front end of a digital transformation plan, security is often viewed as an obstacle to a digital transformation initiative or is an afterthought and only considered after the plan and design of the digital transformation initiative is finalized.

Security as an obstacle to innovation

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Technology issues like cloud migration, the proliferation of endpoint devices (or “things”) attached to the network, and the adoption of new technologies like AI and IoT can potentially create new vulnerabilities for attackers to exploit. For some organizations, the thought of digital transformation creating a need for incremental security spend above what is currently being spent can slow the pace of digital transformation or stop it entirely.

The reality is that digital transformation is driven by business objectives and the development of a digital transformation strategy must include security requirements at the outset to minimize potential technology and business risks that cybersecurity represents to an organization. What is needed is a better understanding of the business risks associated with a digital transformation plan and the potential impact to the business if those risks ever materialize.

Attempting to “bolt on” a security strategy after the digital transformation plan is in place can put an organization at significant risk once the transformation plan is implemented by not having the proper controls, processes and technologies in place. Every component of a transformation initiative brings inherent risk, and organizations must rethink their overall security posture and the effectiveness of the current security controls they have in place.

Therefore, in the shift from an organization’s current state of IT operations to their future state, IDC believes that a framework for security that includes the combination of a comprehensive security strategy in conjunction with a digital transformation strategy would provide a guide to help organizations understand where potential risks exist and how best to address the risks inherent in their digital transformation journeys. This approach brings security concerns and technical risk in better alignment to business objectives.

Accelerating the path to digital transformation securely

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Reference architectures are commonly used as a template for highlighting the various components of an architecture, their functions, and the interdependencies of the functions provided through a set of interfaces. The objective of the reference architecture is to provide a level of commonality for consistent implementation and reuse. This helps to accelerate the delivery of a technology solution while ensuring consistent implementation.

When considering the architectural changes taking place in enterprise IT environments as organizations execute on their digital transformation strategies, the use of a security reference architecture can help bring business objectives and security concerns in alignment, while also accelerating the path to digital transformation in a secure manner.

Given the challenges businesses face today keeping pace with the ever-changing security threat landscape and the demands for IT to be an enabler to digital transformation, a consistent approach to implementing security at the strategy, operational and technical level is a business imperative. The use of a holistic framework that provides a consistent methodology, uses a common language and provides a step-by-step guide for embedding security into any digital initiative will help organizations streamline transformation and accelerate the time to realize real business value.

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