Tackling digital immunity: adopting a holistic strategy

Digital technology adoption has become a key differentiator for European enterprises, giving them a competitive edge. With more critical applications moving to the cloud, businesses face increased challenges in protecting sensitive information and resources far beyond the traditional corporate walls. To protect application and network environments, organisations should embrace a much more comprehensive approach. 

By adopting the latest technologies and frameworks with the necessary skills at hand, businesses can be sure that their sensitive information and assets are safeguarded, allowing them to succeed in a digital landscape. 

The challenges 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 Internet of Things (IoT) devices. It is vital that organisations develop a robust digital immune system to manage, monitor and 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. In this way, organisations can significantly reduce downtime by up to 80% in the next two years, according to Gartner. 

Cybersecurity professionals play a crucial role in keeping the company’s digital immune system resilient. Implementing the measures to do so 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. 

With the corporate network well recognised as the front line of an organisation’s digital health, 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. In addition, it is worth considering new ways to initiate protection before internet traffic even hits the corporate perimeter. For example, taking DDoS solution services that are integrated with Tier 1 Internet Service Provider backbone offer the benefit of added threat intelligence capabilities through constant monitoring of the wider internet for emerging attack trends.

Putting security first  

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 to the edge of the network – and, where possible, go beyond – 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 and defence in depth strategy 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%). A SASE framework integrates Secure Service Edge (SSE) 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.

Improving an organisation’s digital resilience 

Businesses are going through a period of change. Work may now be done from any location and is no longer restricted to a certain space. This means that every point of access to the company’s network poses a potential security risk.

Businesses can increase their digital resilience by partnering with the best managed service provider. These providers can develop customised solutions at reasonable prices thanks to their ties with leading security technology partners. They also provide the knowledge of certified professional services experts that can design secure solutions that can quickly adapt to shifting business objectives, innovations, and operations. For businesses looking to properly integrate their networks with their security architecture and ensure the security of their digital assets in today’s constantly changing threat landscape, these partnerships can be crucial. 

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Tom Homer is President of GTT’s business in Europe. His team works to serve and grow their customer base across the continent by delivering on their customer experience strategy and sales execution.

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