Security is Key to Business Transformation, Say IT Chiefs

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Nearly a quarter (22%) of IT leaders believe cybersecurity is an essential foundation for digital transformation, according to new Telstra research.

The telco giant polled 300 UK IT and security decision-makers in organizations of 500-5000 employees, in order to better understand their strategic challenges.

Security vendors have long argued that digital transformation projects launched without security-by-design principles in mind are built on sand, as a breach could quickly derail progress and erode any of the hoped-for business benefits.

The research appears to reveal that this message is filtering through to the IT department.

Security trumped business processes (17%), employee commitment (16%), leadership buy-in (14%) and external investment and funding (13%) as the most important factor in business transformation.

Over two-fifths (41%) of respondents also identified security as an enabler of innovation in their organization.

However, they acknowledged that security technology alone will not be enough to effectively manage cyber risk, with people and culture also cited as important.

Promisingly, 83% of respondents said they had an “open security culture” – i.e. one “that values open dialogue and collaboration within a flat team structure, which avoids blame culture and encourages a transparent incident reporting process.”

Many also claimed their security culture was “highly proactive” (70%), “collaborative” (69%), “transparent” (68%) and “inclusive” (67%).

Roughly half of those surveyed had suffered a historic data breach. Of those who had not, the most common characteristic used to describe their culture was “collaborative.”

While human error was cited as a key factor impacting cyber-resilience, IT leaders also pointed to major sporting events (36%), public holidays (35%) and even nice weather (31%) as potentially causing lapses in cybersecurity.

“Most decision-makers recognise the importance of security in enabling innovation. It is therefore essential that security becomes engrained into the organizations’ DNA as they continue their digital transformation journeys,” argued Rob Robinson, head of Telstra Purple EMEA.

“By focusing on people and actively creating a collaborative, proactive, transparent and inclusive culture, organizations can empower employees to deliver value for the organization through flexible, adaptable and innovative business transformation.”

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