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Digital transformation is everywhere. But did you forget to transform your security program?

Published: Feb 04, 2019

It’s 2019, and we’re still waiting for the personal jet-packs and condominiums on Mars we were promised by Omni magazine 40 years ago. If really you want to see the future, look no further than your own organization. Relentless innovation and digital transformation—due to the internet of things (IoT), cloud migration, mobile computing, and big data and analytics—have ushered in a new era in how we do business. Companies can no longer remain competitive with a quaint, little client-server enterprise. 

Many organizations have cybersecurity strategies that are stuck in the past, despite advances in infrastructure management and networking. The fundamentals of cybersecurity—prepare, protect, detect and respond—are still valid. Yet, some corporate cybersecurity and cloud security programs aren’t keeping pace with the challenges and opportunities that come with digital transformation. 

How can you help your security plan and program take one giant leap, or at least a few small steps, into the future? Here’s some advice to fast-track your journey.

Explore and embrace virtualization.

There’s a reason the rest of the enterprise has embraced virtualization. Many security teams rely on appliance-based security tools to protect the enterprise. Meanwhile, everyone else in the information technology (IT) department is bragging about how they use virtualization to better manage costs by scaling computing resources with business ups and downs. Virtual network functions can enable security teams to implement controls just as quickly as the insufferably agile infrastructure team can stand up a production server in the cloud. That’s good news for security teams—especially when you consider how agile cybercriminals are, as evidenced by the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report and 2018 U.S. State of Cybercrime survey. Those reports showed that enterprises faced an average of 196 security events last year—nearly one event every business day. Is your enterprise ready for that pace?

Focus on breach probability, not just possibility.

Advances in industry-specific threat intelligence and even company-specific threat intelligence are allowing security leaders to stop trying to “do it all.” Basic controls are still needed in each and every traditional security domain. However, in this brave new world of security data analytics, you can better predict who your adversaries will be, which assets they will target, and which tools and techniques they will use. This enables you to better prioritize your security efforts so you can focus on mitigating the threats and risks that are most relevant to your organization. 

Not all controls have to be equally strong (or costly) when you know where your most exploitable weaknesses are. Increased visibility into your security posture enables real security agility.

Recognize that “holistic” is more than a buzzword.

Call them what you will—stovepipes, silos or islands—but the days of IT and non-IT business functions that run separately are long over. The most successful companies boast about tight integration between their security teams and network operations, business-line specific processes, enterprise risk management, marketing, legal, and other critical functions. Taking a holistic approach to security means you’re able to demonstrate how external threats (including the dark web), internal vulnerabilities and the company’s overall security culture affect the entire enterprise’s risk profile. 

With next-generation cybersecurity services, like the Verizon Risk Report (VRR) and the Verizon Threat Intelligence Platform Service, cybersecurity teams can offer actionable insight to supply chain risk managers, physical security teams, brand managers, finance executives and strategic decision-makers like the board. What’s more futuristic-sounding than having a 360-degree view of your security posture? You don’t even need clunky virtual reality goggles to enjoy the view; with the VRR, it’s all on a single pane of glass.


We may be light-years away from commuting to an office with a personal jet-pack or paying condo fees on Mars, but for security leaders and their teams, the future has arrived.

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