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Digital Transformation is Not Enough - Taking a Security Approach to DX

82% of responders claimed that they’ve experienced at least one data breach due to digital transformation.

The concept of “digital transformation” has gained immense traction in recent years. Simply put, it is the process of leveraging the latest technological products and services to transform business operations and ultimately improve and/or scale up your business. In some ways, this is not a novel concept. As far back as the 80s, organizations were undergoing digital transformation, for example, when shifting from mainframe to PC computing. In its most modern form, digital transformation is largely driven by cloud technology and services, as well as other third-platform technologies such as data analytics, IoT, and mobile apps. Most businesses turn to digital transformation for three broad goals: agility, for catering to customer needs and meeting market demands; flexibility, for accommodating evolving workforce needs; and scalability, for growing the business. Especially in recent years, the business landscape has transformed significantly, driven greatly by the pandemic. Most organizations have had to make the switch to adopting advanced technologies at least in some form, and the demand for SaaS applications and modern communication tools has grown rapidly to facilitate work-from-home setups and support remote and hybrid models of work. The IDC Worldwide Digital Transformation Spending Guide predicts that spends on digital transformation will see a compound annual growth rate of 16.4% over the 2021-25 period, “as organizations pursue a holistic digital strategy for people, processes, technology, data, and governance.”

“Today, survival of the fittest is not linked to size or strength but to the ability to change — to move quickly, adapt, seize opportunities, and be agile. Transformation is driving manufacturers to rethink their technology strategy and that includes the incorporation of innovation accelerators such as the Internet of Things (IoT).”

—IDC, Building Your Digital Transformation

Digital Transformation & Cybersecurity

The acceleration in the rate of digital transformation and cloud adoption has significantly increased transmission speeds, storage capacity, and mobile functionality for businesses, and enabled the integration of new and disruptive operational models. However, the enormity of this shift comes with a unique set of risks and challenges. A digital transformation initiative for any organization necessitates a total rethinking of corporate culture, customer experiences, and business processes. Without the alignment of these aspects, digital transformation can end up doing more harm than good, derailing operations and affecting business goals.

In particular, digital transformation can increase the risk of cyber-attacks and data breaches exponentially, without proper roadmaps and tools. In a Ponemon study, 82% of responders claimed that they’ve experienced at least one data breach due to digital transformation, and 55% of them believe that this was perpetrated by a third party.  With remote and hybrid workplaces fast becoming the norm, the attack surface of organizations is not only increasing but also becoming more and more complex. Critical data is now spread across multiple cloud environments and services, resulting in significantly more exposure to attack vectors. If this itself wasn’t a challenge enough for IT teams, there’s also the issue of third–party risk: think all the vendors an organization has to liaise with. For any successful digital transformation, third parties such as SaaS providers and cloud service providers are crucial. At the same time, this creates an added layer of vulnerability. When a business has to share confidential data with third parties, the security of that data relies directly on the security levels of the third party. Yet, about 58% of respondents in a Ponemon report stated that they lack a third-party cybersecurity risk management program despite the increased risk.

Thus, while the benefits of digitalization cannot be debated, for organizations to reap the maximum benefits, while keeping the risks to a minimum, there has to be a substantial focus on security, with cyber resilience incorporated into the process from the get-go. In fact, robust cybersecurity tools can enhance the digital transformation process in a landscape increasingly dominated by virtual-first work models and threatened by sophisticated and devastating cyber threats.

How Do You “Secure” Your Digital Transformation?

According to the CIO Magazine, digital transformation is a necessary disruption, as it empowers organizations to operate more efficiently, intelligently, and rapidly while fundamentally changing how they “deliver value” to customers. But when it comes to “securing” this disruption, clarity is often lacking since the digital landscape is constantly shifting. Ultimately, the right balance relies on closely aligning a robust cybersecurity strategy with digital transformation goals.

Many security vendors currently base their offerings on the use of firewalls or provide “point products” that comprise the gateway security stack. Unfortunately, this does not quite cater to the current requirements, with security no longer tied to trusted networks and hardware not anchored to data centers. At the same time, most organizations lack in-house expertise and tools to balance security and innovation. In fact, the skills gap is currently a major issue in the cybersecurity space. Thus, partnering with an experienced managed security services company is one of the best ways to manage threat detection, prevention, and response during a digital transformation endeavour. The thing to look out for is the capabilities and credibility of the security vendor before signing on.

How Can Evren Help?

Evren is an enterprise desktop OS that is purpose-built for enterprises intending to go digital — enabling seamless central and remote management and integrated with comprehensive endpoint security. Plus, its simple and quick installation feature allows for easy and secure deployment of any device in 30 minutes, and once installed, it regularly updates itself to keep the system protected against existing and emerging security threats at all times.

Let’s dive into the essential aspects of striking a balance between security and transformation, and see how Evren can help you get through each step successfully.

Identifying & Assessing Security Risks. Risk recognition is critical. Certain risks, such as “shadow IT” and “unsecured cloud,” typically go unnoticed outside of the security team. It is also important to contextualise these risks for your business. Only once you know where your organization stands from a security perspective, can you mitigate future risks. Only once you are aware of the existing vulnerabilities, can you start fixing these gaps and planning a robust incident response plan.

Evren’s team of security experts offer a comprehensive security audit as a starting point to organizations intending to make a switch. By helping you identify the overt and covert vulnerabilities in your existing security posture, Evren helps you make an informed decision based on your actual needs.

Creating a Security Strategy. When devising a security strategy, ensure that practices like basic security hygiene are built-in. More complex security procedures, like vendor management, can always be incorporated and adjusted as you go, since those may slow down the DX process.

A consultation with Evren is more than simply understanding your risks and the product. Our experts work with you in building a security roadmap that is tailored to your organization, guiding you on the best features and components as well as best practices, freeing you to focus on the business side of the transformation.

Investing in the Right Technology and Skills. Protecting a business from attackers and threats requires an investment in technology and skills. The tools and solutions you implement to protect your organization should align with your business and security strategies, and remain relevant into the future.  

Evren’s comprehensive endpoint security and built-in features are designed to reduce attack surfaces, and eliminate end-user negligence, protect against current and future cyber threats.

Some key ways in which Evren enables a secure digital transformation are:

Secure Data Storage: The Evren OS operates on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform, and all data is stored encrypted at rest and continuously backed up securely. The AWS data centers employ a set of advanced physical, network, and software security measures to ensure integrity and safety of customers’ data. All data transferred between Evren servers on AWS and other facilities is secured via SSL endpoints using the HTTPS protocol. Multi-factor authentication is enforced for all critical services used by Evren, reducing the risk of unauthorized access. Finally, Evren does not store any sensitive customer or end-user data, and all user data across systems can be deleted upon request.

Encrypted Data Transfer: Evren uses a secure channel using 256-bit SSL encryption, for secure internet connections for all the traffic between desktop clients, mobile devices, and Evren servers. All SSL termination points are hardened to provide the highest levels of security. The OS uses “Let’s Encrypt” certificates to ensure secure and short-lived certificates that are automatically renewed on a quarterly basis.

Automatic Patch Management: Evren leverages managed services to take care of all updates and security fixes automatically and in the most timely fashion possible. It has an internal Vulnerability Management Policy to ensure even un-managed systems are kept up-to-date and free of known vulnerabilities.

Robust Incident Response Plan: Evren has an internal Data Breach Response Policy and an Incident Response Plan to ensure timely action in the unlikely event of a breach.

Additionally, Evren comes equipped with powerful in-built security features, including:

1. Full Disk Encryption to protect the entire volume and all files on the drive against unauthorized access.

2. Privilege Access Management, wherein end-users do not have admin privileges.

3. URL Filtering, which allows admins to block and allow URLs so that end-users can only visit certain websites.    

4. Application Sandboxing is a crucial feature that keeps different apps/software on the company devices isolated from each other to limit risk and impact in the event of a breach.    

5. Log Management, using which admins can set a location (their SIEM or log buckets) where all the device logs are shipped.

6. Asset & Certificate Management, which allows central tracking of all devices, with detailed information on the apps, patches, and configuration on each device; as well as the deployment and removal of device certificates with ease.

7. Remote Device Management, through which USB and Bluetooth devices can be remotely and centrally managed—enabled/disabled through the simple toggle of a button.

When done right, a secure digital transformation can not only prevent hindrances in the overhauling process but also improve the impact of the transformation — by accelerating project timelines and making processes faster and stable.

Get in touch with us to see how Evren can help you securely transform your business and make it future-ready.