Editor’s note: This is the final installment of our blog series on achieving greater cost optimization through Zero Trust Access Control. Previously we explored the impact a Zero Trust Access approach has on Budget, Bandwidth, Mobility and Patching.
In our final post, we discuss why it is essential for security to be positioned as a business asset instead of a cost center in order to optimize your digital transformation strategy.
By Michael Oldham
Digital transformation reached an inflection point over the past year. To meet the demands of the “New Normal” brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, enterprise organizations had to turbocharge adoption of new processes and product development far ahead of even the most ambitiously planned timelines for digital transformation.
While necessity has been the mother of invention for digital transformation programs due to the pandemic, the ramped-up pace also gave birth to significant security concerns. This became crystal clear as more remote workers and third-parties demanded access from remote locations and on their own devices in order to conduct business more efficiently and effectively. Hackers quickly took notice and targeted this exponentially expanded attack surface to launch ransomware, phishing, and data exfiltration attacks.
Ponemon, in its most recent Digital Transformation and Cyber Risk survey, reported that 82 percent of IT security and C-level respondents experienced at least one data breach that they attributed to their digital transformation strategy. Why such a high rate? Even without the rapid move to a Work From Home (WFH) enterprise ecosystem, digital transformation was well down the road to increasing reliance on third parties as organizations looked to improve business outcomes.
In fact, 58 percent of respondents told Ponemon that the primary change to their organizations from digital transformation was an increased migration to cloud services. Throw in the unsecured shadow IT apps and personal devices being used by your employees today, and that number is undoubtedly much, much higher.
Yet only an astounding 16 percent of those surveyed by Ponemon said their IT security and lines of business “are fully aligned with respect to achieving a secure digital transformation process.”
That’s a big problem. Too often, the powers that be still consider security as merely a cost center, instead of a strategic business asset. Security should be a foundation, not an afterthought, to any digital transformation strategy.
In today’s WFH world, your IT team knows that it’s no longer feasible to be the Department of “No” when it comes to enabling agile, flexible and quick deployment of resources. They have to constantly and consistently demonstrate a much more strategic Superpower of Yes perspective – to not only enable, but also accelerate and optimize your organization’s digital transformation strategy.
For far too long, security has been the boat anchor dragging down innovation. Most organizations still miss the chance to take full advantage of the opportunities that a more strategic approach to IT security offers. With the right strategy, though, your internal and external users can do more with less, get closer to your customers to provide a better experience, and ultimately provide a competitive advantage.
That strategic business asset perspective is what Zero Trust Access brings to the table for businesses today. Solutions such as Total Access Control (TAC) allow your organization to take advantage of a wave of opportunities for greater productivity and customer service through its core digital platforms – opportunities previously closed off because of legitimate security concerns.
A core tenet of digital transformation is to move power closer to the people who actually deliver value and service to the customer. With a Zero Trust Access approach, security becomes the business enabler that helps organizations to take those significant leaps forward while improving protection of your most critical resources.
A good example is in healthcare. Each day, visiting nurses used to have to go into the office to get their scheduled appointments and health records for patients that day. They visited the patient, documented their visit and treatment, and then returned to the office to rekey that information into the patient’s records on the computer.
That was a lot of wasted effort that impacted the ability of the nurses to provide quality patient care.
With TAC, a visiting nurse can now securely access all that patient and clinical information on a tablet remotely – the schedule, the patient record, the appointment system for follow-ups. The nurse enters all the appropriate information in real time directly to the corporate systems while onsite with the patient. Everything they need is at their fingertips.
When it comes to improving security, no information remains on the device where it could be compromised. If a device is lost or stolen it is now just a lost device rather than a disclosure event. And, any access attempts will be blocked should anyone other than the authorized user try to use that device.
Security sits at the core of TAC, without the customer, employee or partner even knowing it. The customer gets better care, the employee/partner is more productive, and the business is securely transformed to be more efficient and effective.
The Zero Trust Access approach of TAC simplifies everyday secure access to the resources, applications and data necessary for the success of any digital transformation strategy – and it can do that for any business, not just healthcare.
TAC makes the lives of your end users easier, opening new ways of doing business that previously either weren’t possible or were considered too big a security risk to implement. With its Zero Trust approach, it keeps bad actors out while allowing authorized users the access to resources they need. And it increases the speed at which organizations can adopt Digital Transformation initiatives.
Not only are you better able to optimize your IT investment across the enterprise with TAC, but it also provides a single view of all your resources –whether they are local or in the cloud. With a Zero Trust Access strategy at the core of your digital transformation efforts, you can grow the business much more quickly, all while making the lives of end users easier.
To discuss how to demonstrate to your leadership that security should not be seen just as a cost center, but as a valuable strategic business asset that reduces cost, improves productivity, and ultimately drives revenue and profit, contact PortSys at firstname.lastname@example.org.