Secure Digital Transformation for Dubai Innovation Month

By J Connolly

UAE Innovation Month kicks off in two weeks and as part of the event, organisations will be asking themselves how they can take advantage of new technologies such as the Internet of Things, Blockchain, Cloud and Mobile to offer better services and solutions to their customers.

Digital is already a big part of the UAE economy, but in order to continue innovating and creating digital services, enterprises also need to be confident that their solutions are secure. As recent high-profile hacks have shown, embarking on digital transformation without giving security due consideration is a dangerous game, and can leave new services vulnerable to attack.

Security concerns have already hindered digital adoption in the UAE: some 77% of firms have reduced their public cloud usage due to security and companies will be equally reluctant to adopt other innovations if risks outweigh the rewards.

To ensure that security is a driver, and not a road-block of progress, it is essential that information security specialists and professionals find new ways to allow innovation to thrive while keeping customers and employees safe. Here are 3 ways organisations can adapt to technological change in a secure way:

Create better connections between Information Security and IT

Digital transformation offers great agility, allowing new products and solutions to deployed in weeks rather than years. Trying to keep up with software security in this environment easily becomes a Sisyphean task. Instead, security and IT need to collaborate and communicate so that everyone from software developers to system admins are working together to make sure new applications are as secure as possible. 

Embed security at the first stage of any venture

At present, there are an estimated 100,000 IoT devices that are part of the Mirai botnet, many of which cannot be patched. This is the result of digital transformation where security has been an afterthought. To avoid this, organisations embarking on any new technological venture need to consider the risks, security implications, and best protections of any new digital solution at the first stage of adoption.

Getting the most out of vendors

Whether looking at cloud migration, the potential uses of blockchain or flexible working solutions, chances are your organisation is going to be working with service providers. To ensure your organisation is getting the best protection, consider creating key metrics to assess the security credentials of service providers and creating different processes and frameworks to protect your most vital information assets.