By now, you’ve probably heard about both the benefits and pitfalls of the present wave of digital transformation (DX) technologies. Explosive growth in mobility, multi-cloud services, and the Internet of Things (IoT) unlocks exciting new business capabilities. But DX simultaneously exposes new security risks at a time when threats are growing in velocity, variety, and volume with each passing day.
DX is nothing new, but its impact is unique because of the circumstances surrounding security.
DX implies implementing digital technologies—but it’s not just that. For Communications Service Providers (CSPs), it’s also about cultivating a digital business model that spans all areas of your organization. This goes from digitally enabling employees and fostering the culture change, to evolving processes and systems, to transforming the products and services that you develop and deliver.
Because digital technologies are widely available to everyone, this flattens the competitive advantage. How an enterprise and a CSP manages their DX implementation becomes the defining factor of a successful transformation.
There are three factors to emphasize with your customers:
How do I use them? - The tools must be integrated and coordinated correctly. Technologies should not be used as silos, but as an integrated chain to empower innovation, flexibility and profitability.
Convergence - These technologies are starting to impact one another, which creates growth in business via new markets. For example, IoT technology enhanced by artificial intelligence (AI) is empowers “smart cities” solutions. This convergence is what creates benefits.
The double-edged sword – There’s a flipside to this data-rich paradise. The same technologies and tools that enable business growth are also available to criminals. New innovations and technologies create new vulnerabilities—which must be addressed to reap the intended benefits.
Data is the black gold of the new economy. Forrester and Harvard Business Review have both cited cybersecurity as one of the top obstacles to digital transformation. The security game has permanently changed—it’s no longer about locking down network perimeters. Security of information must be addressed in lock-step with DX going forward. Modern network defenses must safeguard data across the extended network of the organization. It must protect data across systems, devices, and cloud—including emerging technologies that are not yet in the network. In times of rapid change, effective security must anticipate what’s to come in the foreseeable future.
Customers should consider security of equal importance to any other core technology that enables DX (i.e., cloud, IoT, automation). It’s a fundamental element of digital environments because it must be found at every point of interaction with data—regardless of who, how, or where.
At Fortinet, we talk about this parallel evolution as security transformation (SX), or the integration of security into all areas of digital technology resulting in fundamental changes to how security is architected, deployed, and operated. To defend their DX-enabled organizations and their own DX-powered infrastructure and services, CSPs must build a security infrastructure that is bigger than the sum of its parts.
The convergence and integration of digital technologies creates risk exposure by many of the solution’s sub-elements—of which the CSP departments and customers have little control over. To limit risk to an acceptable level, it becomes imperative to manage and deploy a consistent and common security methodology across the entire domain.
Our vision for SX is implemented through the Fortinet Security Fabric architecture—and this can help CSPs succeed in their own DX efforts and with those of their customers.
For MSSPs, the Fortinet Security Fabric helps meet enterprise customer needs today and in the future. It enables the delivery of an innovative managed security solution for the DX era with increased value. That helps MSSPs generate additional revenue while increasing customer retention.
For Carriers and Mobile Operators, the Fortinet Security Fabric lets you deliver value-added service on top of existing infrastructure and services. The evolution towards 5G and its unique use cases and business opportunities is a fertile soil for embedded end-to-end security services covering technologies such as IoT, LPWA, and Mobile Edge Computing. Its broad set of security services give CSPs the ability to differentiate their offerings while diversifying revenue streams.
The Security Fabric also simplifies their end-to-end operations and helps reduce costs. Its unique capabilities for securing DX-enabled organizations will help build trust and reliance with ongoing customer relationships.