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Early Security Integration Critical to Digital Transformation

Early Security Integration Critical to Digital Transformation Homeland Security TodayOrganizations are making a substantial investment in digital technologies—including Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, and cloud applications and infrastructures—but there remains a significant deficit in how they are actually implementing and securing these technologies, according to a new survey by Dell Security.

Dell Security’s report, “Digital Transformation Security Survey: A Survey of IT and Security Professionals,” polled 631 IT security decision makers working at companies with more than 1,000 employees across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and the Nordic countries, as well as Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

The survey’s findings revealed a disconcerting disconnect between investment and implementation, which can be attributed to a number of challenges, particularly security, which the respondents cited as a major barrier to digital transformation.

Andy Vallila, General Manager for Dell Security’s business in the Americas, told Homeland Security Today that, “While 97 percent of survey respondents say they are investing in digital transformation, only 18 percent say security has been involved in all of these initiatives from the start.”

The survey findings noted that 89 percent of respondents believe their industry is at least halfway through their digital advancement transformation. Yet, only 50 percent of respondents were able to identify that such changes were occurring within their organization.

This may be due to an absence of resources, concerns over possible security vulnerabilities, need for security and productivity to be better balanced, and lack of control over personnel.

76 percent of the survey respondents believe security advancements are often brought in too late, opening the door to technological and human error, breaches, and communication breakdowns.

Security measures integrated at the beginning of an organization’s technology overhaul could provide great benefits including enhancing network security, changing personnel mindsets, and providing stronger authorization and authentication standards.

However, there is still time to make changes and implement security at a later time. Integrating security late is still better than not implementing it at all. Calling for security teams to be active early on in a project’s development could lead to greater overall success of the initiatives, according to 85 percent of those who completed the survey.

Nearly 49 percent, however, believe including the security team early on slows down their work and blocks projects. “This stark gap highlights valuable takeaways for federal agencies that are also embarking on a digital transformation journey," said Vallila. 

With more resources, security teams feel they can do a better job in integrating security measures, without slowing down workflows. Implementation of security measures is easier early on in a project. Though there is a current disconnect between planning and implementation, there is still time to address organizational needs throughout implementation. 

Key technologies are being adopted, witha definitive path forward, and opportunities for digital growth and investment. As employees become more accustomed to security measures being helpful instead of a hindrance, digital technology investments will continue to grow.

“Holistic cybersecurity must be integrated earlier in digital technology projects. By adopting a mindset of enablement and rapid time-to-value over customization and by working with the business and not against it, security can begin to be perceived as a department of ‘yes’ as opposed to a department of ‘no,’ said Vallila.

“In addition, identity and access management should be considered a buildingblock for digital transformation and must be a business enabler for the entire organization as it transforms digitally,” Vallila added.

Homeland Security Todayhttp://www.hstoday.us
The Government Technology & Services Coalition's Homeland Security Today (HSToday) is the premier news and information resource for the homeland security community, dedicated to elevating the discussions and insights that can support a safe and secure nation. A non-profit magazine and media platform, HSToday provides readers with the whole story, placing facts and comments in context to inform debate and drive realistic solutions to some of the nation’s most vexing security challenges.

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