Going digital has become a competitive differentiator for European businesses. With more critical applications moving to the cloud, securing sensitive data and assets has become increasingly complex for companies as those assets have moved beyond the corporate firewall. To ensure application and network environments are properly protected, a holistic approach is needed.
Organizations should evaluate the relationship between security and their corporate networks, develop and acquire the right skills and technology, and consider working with managed services providers who have the expertise and reach to deliver transformation securely. By doing so, companies can ensure their sensitive data and assets are properly protected, allowing them to maintain their competitive edge in an increasingly digital world.
The challenges created by going digital
Businesses today recognize the importance of ‘going digital’ to remain competitive in their respective markets. Digitization helps organizations streamline their operations and create new revenue streams. However, as companies continue to digitize, they face an increasing risk from cyber threats, including those that exploit cloud-based applications and IoT devices. It is vital organizations 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, organizations can significantly reduce downtime by up to 80% in the next two years, according to Gartner.
The network is the front line of an organization’s digital health. Network security professionals play a crucial role in keeping the company’s digital immune system resilient. Though, 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. Organizations may consider outsourcing their network security operations to managed service providers that can optimize their network security processes while reducing costs.
Bring security to the front line of every digital business
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 organizations may be blind to. By doing so, companies can minimize the risks of cyber threats and protect their digital assets.
Research shows that many organizations 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 recognized 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 should 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 specialize in network security and hiring skilled cybersecurity professionals to build a robust security posture. Ultimately, organizations must regularly assess their security posture and be prepared to adapt quickly to stay ahead of changes in the threat landscape.
How managed services providers can boost an organization’s digital immunity
Businesses are currently experiencing a period of change. Work is no longer confined to a specific location and can occur anywhere employees can digitally connect to the resources and people they work with. Nonetheless, this also means every connection point is a potential vulnerability.
Working with the right managed service provider can deliver rapid digital resilience to businesses. These providers leverage their relationships with the best-of-breed security partners to ensure that solutions are tailored for each customer and at a good price. They can also provide professional services experts who develop secure solutions that can adapt quickly in line with business goals, innovations, and operations. These providers are essential for businesses looking to effectively integrate their network with their security stack, ensuring that their digital assets remain secure in today’s ever-changing threat landscape.
By Tom Homer, President, Europe Division at GTT