Start your transformation with a safety mindset

Changes in the banking landscape, which are occurring at an increasingly rapid pace, have highlighted the need for resilience and automation in digital transformation, especially in these challenging times where business continuity is paramount.

Successful digital transformation takes an entire village, from IT partners and internal staff who help implement the tools to executives communicating the efforts to team members who interact with new technology every day.

While migrating to new systems and adhering to new protocols is hard enough, there is another critical element of digital transformation strategy that is often overlooked: security. While setting up the infrastructure and training employees is usually the primary focus, securing these exciting new projects can sometimes take a back seat.

This is a mistake companies simply cannot afford. There’s a lot at stake if you open your business digitally without properly protecting it. Here are four ways to make security an essential part of your digital transformation strategy.

Take a proactive attitude to safety

Taking a proactive attitude to security is the best way to seamlessly integrate security into your digital transformation vision and avoid headaches later.

Start with a cohesive business automation strategy. Automation can help reduce human error and can improve the speed and consistency of your audit tasks. It can make time-consuming manual tasks repeatable by enabling reusable workflows for consistent results.

Automation can help embed security requirements into processes, applications, and infrastructure from the start, from development to production. It’s important to have a consistent automation strategy across teams in your organization, one that can interconnect infrastructure operations, application development, and security operations.

Remove silos and audit

Traditional security implementations struggle because legacy architectures are designed for specific compliance and governance initiatives, which can pose challenges as organizations modernize their operations. To keep pace with technology and new regulations, organizations need to distinguish between access and compliance.

While it may seem labor-intensive, smart companies will take stock of who is accessing what information and continually audit themselves to balance ease of work with protecting privileged information. By having systems in place to monitor this type of activity, you can ensure that people can stay productive while your data stays safe.

Prioritize management communication on safety and compliance

Like digital transformation, security and compliance is a team effort that requires the collaboration of an entire organization.

Clear communication between leaders about the benefits of digital transformation and why new, albeit sometimes cumbersome, security and governance measures are needed also helps teams understand the importance of these changes. Rather than scaring employees into submission, explain the benefits that a better security posture can bring, such as the ability to streamline processes and compete more effectively in the marketplace.

Prepare users for success

C-Level buy-in is an important part of overall organizational acceptance, but ultimately, the people using new tools and technologies are the most important part of securing your digital transformation efforts. Learning a new system is just another check-off item on a to-do list. Add an extra layer of verification to that, and you indirectly hinder people’s main purpose: to do their job.

Consider MFA, which requires users to enter two or more pieces of evidence to prove they are who they say they are during the login process. It is extremely efficient, but one of the barriers to the adoption of MFA is that it lacks ease of use. So, find ways to simplify the process. It might be easier for users to receive a PIN from their mobile device than to remember a security question or carry a physical token. Consider simple but impactful ways to lighten the burden of change and people will be more receptive to it.

Digital transformation inevitably comes with growing pains, but those pains can be magnified if you don’t take steps to protect your efforts. By keeping these four practices in mind, you can ensure that security and compliance are part of your digital transformation journey.

John Willis is Senior Director, Global Transformation Office, at Red Hat.

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