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Taking a holistic approach to digital immunity

Image: Adobe Stock/ TimeStopper

For European businesses, the adoption of digital technology has become a key differentiator providing them with a competitive advantage. 

As more critical applications move to the cloud, businesses face additional challenges in safeguarding sensitive data and resources that have moved beyond the protection of their internal firewalls and private data centres. Enterprises must take a holistic approach to ensure their application and network environments are fully secure.

To maintain a competitive edge in an increasingly digital world, organisations need the necessary skills and technology and should consider collaborating with managed services providers who have the expertise and resources to securely implement these changes. By taking these measures, companies can be assured their sensitive data and assets are protected, enabling them to thrive in a digital landscape.

The difficulties of digitalisation

Businesses today recognise the importance of ‘going digital’ to remain competitive in their respective markets. Digitisation helps organisations streamline their operations and create new revenue streams. However, as companies continue to digitise, they face an increasing risk from cyber threats, including those that exploit cloud-based applications and IoT devices. It is vital organisations develop a robust digital immune system to protect their applications and services from any anomalies that may arise due to software bugs or security issues.

A strong digital immune system includes implementing measures that make applications more resilient, allowing them to recover quickly from failures. By building a robust digital immune system, organisations can significantly reduce downtime by up to 80% in the next two years, according to Gartner.

The network is the front line of an organisation’s digital health. Cybersecurity professionals play a crucial role in keeping the company’s digital immune system resilient. Implementing these measures can often come at a significant cost which may leave a sizeable dent in IT budgets. It is essential to look for cost-effective solutions that can help keep the digital immune system strong without compromising on quality or security. Organisations may consider outsourcing their network security operations to managed security service providers that can optimise their network security processes while reducing the total cost of ownership.

Place security at the forefront of all digital businesses

The risks of digital transformation are never too far from the headlines. For example, the recent ESXiArgs ransomware attack targeted cloud vulnerabilities, causing significant disruptions to nearly 5,000 companies across Europe and the US. With IT environments becoming increasingly complex, security needs to be integrated right at the heart of the network, closing any gaps in protection organisations may be blind to. By doing so, companies can minimise the risks of cyber threats and protect their digital assets.

Research shows that many organisations are not taking this lesson seriously. A global study by IDC commissioned by GTT found over 95% of enterprises have either deployed software-defined wide area networks (SD-WANs) or plan to do so within the next two years. However, the study also revealed that nearly half of enterprises (42%) either don’t have security integrated with SD-WAN or have no specific SD-WAN security at all. These enterprises may unknowingly have vulnerabilities in their corporate networks that malicious actors can easily exploit.

To mitigate these risks, companies need to integrate their networks with their security stack to protect users at the point of connection. This approach ensures security measures are implemented throughout the network and helps prevent cyber threats from gaining a foothold. The IDC global study also found over 80% of respondents worldwide have either made Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) a priority (39%) or recognised its benefits and are already incorporating it into company initiatives (42%). SASE solutions integrate security with SD-WAN to deliver global, reliable, end-to-end protection in a single cloud-based service model.

Digital transformation is happening at such a fast pace that network security leaders may find it challenging to keep up, especially given shrinking budgets and a limited talent pool. Yet, they still must adopt a proactive approach to security and invest in the right tools and technologies to protect their businesses from cyber threats. This approach may include outsourcing security operations to managed service providers who specialise in network security and hiring skilled cybersecurity professionals to build a robust security posture.

Ultimately, organisations must regularly assess their security posture and be prepared to adapt quickly to stay ahead of changes in the threat landscape.

Enhancing an organisation’s digital security

Businesses are undergoing a period of transformation. Work is no longer limited to a particular location and can occur from anywhere. However, this also means that every point of connection to the company’s network presents a potential security vulnerability.

By working with the right managed service provider, businesses can improve their digital resilience. These providers have established relationships with top security technology partners enabling them to create customised solutions at a reasonable cost.

Additionally, they offer the expertise of certified professional services specialists who can design secure solutions that can adapt rapidly to changing business goals, innovations, and operations. These partnerships can be crucial for companies seeking to effectively combine their networks with their security infrastructure, guaranteeing the security of their digital assets in today’s constantly evolving threat landscape.

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