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Updated by Charles Bystock on 01/11/2023

IT sourcing advisors

Cyber-crime is a real threat to any business competing in the digital space, with over 1.5 million cyber-attacks occurring each year. That number equates to roughly 4,000 cyber-attacks every day, 170 attacks every hour, or nearly 3 attacks every minute. According to a Symantec report, it has been estimated that the cost of cyber-crime in the United States is roughly $1,000,000,000,000 per year. And as if that weren’t enough, last year we saw the greatest number of cyberattacks recorded around the world to date, with a total of 304 million samples. Meaning, more than a quarter of all malware samples ever recorded were produced in 2015 alone.

These threats are not just a concern for small business with few security resources, however. In the past 2-years we’ve seen some of the largest, most security-inclined corporations learn first-hand just how real security threats are in today’s digital age.

Target: In 2014, Target reported that 70 million customers were affected by a data breach that occurred over Black Friday weekend. The information stolen included customer names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses, credit and/or debit card information, the card’s expiration date, as well as the card verification code

JC Penny: Personal information for about 650,000 customers of JC Penny was compromised after a computer tape went missing. GE Money, which handles credit card operations for JC Penny, and at least 100 other retailers, reported that the missing information included Social Security numbers for about 150,000 people.

Home Depot: In September of 2014, the home Depot reported that hackers had used malware to break into the company’s system, ultimately exposing over 56 million customer’s debit and credit card information.

The Role of Security in Digital Transformation

According to the Forbes article, “Big Data: 20 Mind-Boggling Facts Everyone Must Read”, more data has been created in the past two years than in the entire previous history of the human race, and quite simply, more data means a greater risk of cyber-attacks and malware threats, which equates to a greater need for security.

However, in the past, cybersecurity teams have been viewed as the ‘no’ team that continually brings strategic initiatives to a screeching halt. So, although the vast majority of departments and teams within an organization understand and appreciate the critical role security plays in protecting their business assets, many continue to exclude them from the evaluation and decision-making process out of fear of being rejected.

While this was always a flawed approach, it is even more so in today’s digital business landscape. With the vast amount of consumer data now available, it is critical for businesses to embed security across all networks, applications, and access points in an effort to improve detection capabilities, minimize data breach risks, and protect their customers against such attacks. In fact, according to the article, “Security teams consulted too late on digital transformation”, 85 percent of businesses agree that the security function can actually serve as an enabler for digital transformation initiatives if they could overcome the negative ‘roadblock’ perception of security.

As the pressure to become more agile and efficient grows, and modern enterprises continue on their path to digital transformation, the need for organizations to invest in robust and well-aligned security functions will also rise. Only through a collaborative and integrated approach that leverages the security team’s strategic input and aligns security with all business objectives, can organizations have the confidence to remain in control of new and emerging threats, and stay one step ahead of cybercriminals.

Interested in learning how IT sourcing advisors, like Windsor Group, can help to transform your enterprise’s security capabilities while reducing IT costs? Check out our whitepaper, “Benchmarking Your Internal IT Costs”.