Start your transformation with a security mindset

Your banking institution is still planning its digital modernization, but how wisely have you integrated security and compliance practices into your roadmap?

Shifts in the banking industry landscape, occurring at an ever-increasing pace, have highlighted the need for resiliency and automation in digital transformation, especially in challenging times when business continuity is paramount.

Successful digital transformation takes a village—from the IT partners and internal staff who help implement the tools to executives communicating the efforts to the team members interfacing with the new technology each day.

While migrating to new systems and following new protocols is hard enough, there’s another vital part of digital transformation strategy that often gets overlooked: security. While setting up infrastructure and training employees is typically the main focus, securing these new and exciting projects can sometimes take a back seat.

This is a mistake that enterprise organizations simply can’t afford to make. There’s a lot at stake if you’re opening up your business digitally without properly protecting it. Here are four ways to make security a prime part of your digital transformation strategy.

Take a proactive security stance

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

Start with a consistent enterprise automation strategy. Automation can help reduce human errors and can improve speed and consistency in your auditing tasks. It can make time-consuming, manual tasks repeatable by allowing for reusable workflows for consistent results.

Automation can help integrate security requirements into processes, application 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 do audits

Traditional security implementations struggle because legacy architectures are designed for specific compliance and governance initiatives, which can pose problems when organizations modernize their operations. To keep up with the pace of technology and new regulations, organizations walk a fine line between access and compliance.

Although it may seem labor-intensive, smart enterprises will take stock of who is accessing what information and continually audit themselves to balance ease of work and safeguarding privileged information. By putting systems in place to monitor this type of activity, you can ensure people are able to remain productive while your data stays safe.

Prioritize executive communication on security and compliance

Like digital transformation, security and compliance are a team effort that requires collaboration across an entire organization.

Clear executive communication about the benefits of digital transformation and why new—albeit sometimes cumbersome—security and governance measures are necessary also helps teams understand the importance of these changes. Rather than scaring employees into submission, explain the benefits a better security stance can bring, like the ability to streamline processes and compete more efficiently in the market.

Set users up for success

Buy-in at the C-level is an important part of overall organizational acceptance, but ultimately, the people who use new tools and technology are the most important component to securing your digital transformation efforts. Learning a new system is just another item to check off a to-do list. Add an extra layer of verification to that, and you’re indirectly impeding people’s primary goal: getting their jobs done.

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 effective, but one of the barriers to MFA adoption is that it lacks ease of use. So, find ways to simplify the process. Perhaps it would be easier for users to receive a PIN from their mobile device than to remember a security question or carry around a physical token. Consider simple but impactful ways to lessen the burden of change and people will be more receptive to it.

Digital transformation inevitably involves growing pains, but that pain can be amplified if you’re not taking measures to safeguard 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.