If you’re considering digital transformation, it may be tempting to jump right in, but first, there are certain strategic decisions you need to make.

We’ve discussed many of these considerations in our blogs over the years, but today, we’d like to talk about security. A security strategy is essential if you want to overcome digital transformation security challenges.

What are those challenges? That’s what we’re discussing today.

Digital Transformation Security Challenges That are Making Security Harder Than Ever

1. A Wider Attack Surface

Companies used to implement digital technologies only in certain areas. Now, they’re looking for ways to digitize almost every aspect of their operations.

They’re deploying various technologies, including:

• Artificial intelligence (AI) technology
• Cloud services
• Big data analytics
• Internet of Things (IoT) devices

These tools make operations smoother, but they also give hackers more ground to cover. 

A Failed Payroll System Implementation

Panorama’s Expert Witness team was retained to provide a forensic analysis and written report to the court regarding the failed implementation of a major software developer’s ERP/payroll system.

2. Increased Reliance on Third-Party Suppliers​

As organizations adopt new tools and technologies, they become increasingly reliant on the third-party suppliers that provide them, such as cloud vendors or SaaS providers.

If those vendors have an existing security threat, that vulnerability gets passed down to the organization. The same applies if the suppliers suffer a breach.

This means companies need to be even more diligent about the third parties they allow to access and become part of their supply chains.

3. Pressure to Quickly Implement Collaboration Tools

With digital tools, companies have new ways to communicate with colleagues and share data with customers. This includes online collaboration tools that are convenient, yet not always secure.

Not only are these tools difficult to manage, but they also increase the likelihood of a breach. It’s easy to misuse these platforms and accidentally expose your company’s confidential or sensitive information.

Though there are cybersecurity programs available to help companies protect their data, they aren’t always used. This is because many projects are rushed, and many have insufficient security budgets.

4. Lack of Funds​

As mentioned, security budgets are often thin in a digital transformation. Most of the funding goes toward the new system being implemented, which leaves little wiggle room for other expenses.

For companies to maintain their data integrity in an increasingly high-tech world, that mindset must shift. Executives and stakeholders should know the risks they’re incurring by minimizing their security budget. It’s important to educate them by explaining the cybersecurity risks that the new systems could introduce and the steps required to mitigate them.

5. Employee Lack of Understanding​

For data security programs to work, all employees must understand their importance, as well as how to use them.

Early in the project, you should invest in training so your entire workforce understands the steps they must take to stay secure. Examples of key topics to cover include:

• How to stay safe in the cloud
• How to use security controls effectively
• How to recognize the signs of a cyber attack

Once the systems are in place, conduct refresher training to address new concerns and encourage knowledge retention.

6. Distributed Workforce

Today, companies have a more widely distributed workforce than ever before. With less importance placed on in-person meetings, employees have the freedom to work from almost anywhere on the globe, as long as they have internet connectivity.

By nature, this makes a company more vulnerable. There are a greater number of connected devices and more points of entry. This is catalyzing the shift toward cloud-centric implementations, as well as more advanced security approaches.

7. Strategic Planning

Security should be top of mind in any digital transformation. This isn’t a concern that companies can just address as they go.

A written, documented process for strengthening security protocols is the only way companies can fortify their operations against the threat of attack. Unless there’s a clear-cut plan in place, it can be difficult to identify current pain points and opportunities.

Teams should brainstorm the security requirements they’ll need and evaluate how those measures fit into their greater digital strategy.

What’s Next?

It’s easy to get caught up in the fast pace of digital transformation. There are many new technologies to consider, and it’s exciting to think about how they could benefit your organization.

However, it’s important to be realistic. While digital tools have the capacity to make your organization faster, smarter, and more efficient, they can also open it up to some serious security risks.

Above are only a few of the digital transformation security challenges you need to consider. To get started on your digital transformation, contact us below for a free ERP consultation.

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