Digital transformation brings new security challenges

Digital transformation means using new ways of working and new technology to get ahead
Jonny Skidmore

IN a digital economy, where businesses interact with customers on a greater scale and with greater efficiency than ever before, trust attracts customers.

But these same capabilities also amplify mistakes and make exposure to business risk more systemic. That could mean losing customers, market share, and value.

Digital risk and opportunity are two sides of the same coin. To gain the trust of customers and regulators in the digital economy, businesses must have strong security at each stage of the customer journey. Without it they’re unable to take full advantage of opportunities to serve customers more effectively and grow their business

Digital transformation means using new ways of working and new technology to get ahead. But this brings new security challenges.


Cloud is the platform of choice for digital transformation, especially for organisations that are more mature in their digital practices. But three key concerns still remain around cloud - lack of security control, regulatory/compliance issues and lack of cloud usage visibility.

As the digital world continues to grow, critical and personal data has become more widely distributed and at risk to threats. Moving to the cloud means that visibility and management of security need to be coordinated with a wider set of parties and working cultures.


New security threats appear daily and malware is growing at an unprecedented rate. Threat intelligence is key to understanding the growing attack surface but crucially, if it is to be effective, it must be both actionable and acted upon. Having the right people with the right tools and expertise for a real-time response is vital.


As more personal data travels across cloud infrastructures and potentially insecure mobile devices, legal frameworks and regulations are rapidly being put in place to protect customer data from exposure. Organisations must constantly re-evaluate their existing security processes and controls to ensure they meet new compliance requirements.


New regulation encourages organisations to build security in by “design”. However, business strategy doesn’t always align with security strategy, causing potential gaps and vulnerabilities.

CIO’s don’t always know exactly what makes up the corporate IT estate and end up spending more time maintaining existing systems than searching for new solutions. Many are hindered by legacy IT with associated historical vulnerabilities. So how we can help?

:: Protect what matters most. In other words protect your data regardless of where it is travelling.

:: Harness big data. Security, network, and user devices now produce vast quantities of data. The modern challenge is to rapidly make sense of that data; in real-time, to detect and prevent internal and external threats.

:: Comply with regulation. You need to look at your entire security landscape, because it underpins your efforts to comply and protect data.

With operations in over 180 countries supporting some of the world’s largest companies, nation states and critical national infrastructures, BT has a unique perspective on cyber-crime.

From our 14 global security operations centres, our 2,500 security professionals are constantly watching, learning, predicting and responding to the latest threats to protect our customers and BT.

:: Jonny Skidmore is enterprise architect at BT Business NI

For further news and insights, join the BT Business & Public Sector Network in Northern Ireland LinkedIn group.  

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access