Digital transformation and cybersecurity: how to protect your business in the new world


Digital transformation has become an essential component of modern business, enabling companies to increase efficiency, enhance customer experience, and maintain competitiveness in a rapidly changing world.

However, with increased digitalization come new threats – cybercrime is becoming more complex and sophisticated. In this article, experts from Avenga have explained what happens at the intersection of digital transformation and cybersecurity, offering strategies to protect businesses from cyber threats.

Understanding digital transformation

Digital transformation involves integrating digital technologies into all areas of a business, fundamentally changing how firms operate and create value for customers. A knowledgeable digital transformation consulting company can help businesses effectively implement these technologies and manage the change process.

Key components of digital transformation

To better understand digital transformation, let’s break down its key components.

Process automation

Implementing robots and software to automate repetitive tasks increases efficiency and reduces costs. For example, Siemens uses robots to automate manufacturing processes, significantly cutting assembly time and improving product quality.

Big data and analytics

Collecting and analyzing large volumes of data helps make informed business decisions and improve customer experience. Starbucks uses big data analytics to understand customer preferences and develop personalized offers, boosting sales and customer satisfaction.

Cloud technologies

Using cloud platforms for data storage and application deployment provides flexibility and scalability for businesses. Netflix moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud infrastructure, allowing the company to scale its services and improve streaming quality for millions of users worldwide.

Digital platforms

Creating and using digital platforms to interact with customers, partners, and employees. Uber developed a digital platform connecting drivers and passengers, making services more accessible and convenient.

Cyber threats in the age of digital transformation

As businesses become more dependent on digital technologies, the risk of cyber threats also increases. Companies face various types of attacks that can cause significant damage.

  1. Breaches. Unauthorized access to company systems and data. For example, in 2017, Equifax, one of the largest credit agencies in the U.S., was breached, exposing the personal data of 147 million people.
  2. Phishing. Fraudulent attempts to obtain confidential information through emails or other communication methods. In 2020, Twitter fell victim to a major phishing attack, where attackers gained access to high-profile accounts and used them for cryptocurrency scams.
  3. DDoS Attacks. Attacks aimed at overwhelming company servers, causing them to become unavailable. In 2016, DNS provider Dyn experienced a massive DDoS attack, rendering popular internet services like Twitter, Spotify, and Reddit inaccessible.
  4. Malware. Malicious software that can damage or steal data. In 2017, the WannaCry virus infected over 200,000 computers worldwide, causing significant harm to companies and organizations, including the UK’s National Health Service.

Strategies for protecting businesses in the digital era

To protect businesses during digital transformation, a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity is essential. The experts at Avenga shared several key strategies and demonstrated their effectiveness with real-world examples:

Risk assessment

The first step in protecting a business is assessing cyber risks associated with digital transformation. This helps identify vulnerabilities and develop measures to address them. After the NotPetya virus attack in 2017, Maersk, one of the largest container shipping companies, lost around $300 million. Subsequently, Maersk conducted a full IT risk assessment and upgraded its cybersecurity to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Employee training and awareness

Staff often become the primary target of cybercriminals. Training employees in cybersecurity basics helps reduce the risk of successful attacks. In 2019, Capital One experienced a data breach affecting over 100 million customers. One cause was inadequate employee training. Following the breach, Capital One began regular cybersecurity training for its staff.

Technological solutions

Using advanced technologies to ensure cybersecurity is a crucial part of a protection strategy. For instance, Google uses two-factor authentication (2FA) and an intrusion detection system to protect its data and systems. These measures significantly reduce the likelihood of successful attacks and provide a high level of security for users and employees.

Policies and procedures

Developing and implementing security policies helps structure the approach to cybersecurity and ensure necessary measures are taken at all company levels. After a data breach in 2018 affecting 50 million users, Facebook tightened its security policies, including stricter access controls and improved monitoring and incident response procedures.

Incident response plans

Having a clear incident response plan allows quick and effective handling of cyberattacks, minimizing damage. After the major data breach in 2017, Equifax developed and implemented a new incident response plan, including a dedicated rapid response team and regular cyberattack response drills.

Digital transformation offers numerous opportunities for businesses but also brings new risks. Understanding these threats and their impact on your company is the first step towards effective business protection. To stay ahead of cybercriminals, it is equally important to continuously analyze your needs and adapt strategies to your business’s unique characteristics.

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