Dr. Samuel Mbonu is the Group CIO of Tangerine Africa, President of (ISC)2 Nigeria Chapter and a sought-after keynote cybersecurity speaker.
According to the Oxford Dictionary, innovation is the “introduction of new things, ideas or ways of doing something,” and disruption is a “situation in which it is difficult for something to continue in the normal way.”
With the charade of new technologies and scientific breakthroughs on many fronts, technological advancement has become one of the most exciting things happening to businesses in today’s world, as it has a transformative impact on society in various ways.
With the dynamic attributes and unpredicted traits of technology, its disruption is happening across industries while changing the landscape of business models and operations. From how we do business to how we socialize and travel to how we communicate, we depend on computer systems to drive these processes.
How Innovation And Disruption Are Impacting Cybersecurity
Today, innovation within cybersecurity is significantly improving how technology can be used securely and enhancing the mode by which increasingly complex attacks are protected from causing damage to organizational assets. While cybersecurity represents an innovative approach in every sector of today’s digital economy, innovative technologies enable organizations to implement and provide secure control mechanisms to businesses.
Artificial intelligence (AI), for example, has several disruptive factors that address the dynamism of threats and attacks while also adding value to organizations and individuals. AI has proven to be a major disruptor in cybersecurity because cybercriminals are taking advantage of the benefits of AI in perpetrating malicious intent. Today, there are AI-enabled malware and deep fakes that leverage AI for identity thefts.
On the flip side, the advantages of AI technologies in cybersecurity defense mechanisms have been very useful in ensuring the accuracy and speed of detection of cybersecurity threats alongside mitigation. The evolution of the security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) system has helped the security operations center (SOC) to a large extent.
The rapidly evolving threat combined with exponentially accelerating and converging technologies presents a new cybersecurity paradigm, and innovation plays a critical role in this paradigm shift as organizations must deploy new and innovative technologies, such as AI or even quantum computing. It is essential for cybersecurity professionals to consider innovative methods even as we begin to adopt disruptive technologies to ensure that security is integrated from the beginning to the end of any business process.
What To Know Before Adopting New Cybersecurity Technologies
This growing need to adopt new, innovative technologies aims to protect organizational assets from evolving threats and attacks. Cybersecurity plays a significant role in addressing these concerns because its applications present initiatives for a secure environment, which in turn affect industry functionalities, resulting in a mental shift where individuals and organizations must quickly adopt its capabilities. Failure to prioritize cybersecurity can be extremely detrimental to an economy, and it will almost certainly become a major issue for others as the economy digitalizes.
While it is good to implement new technologies, it is more important to ensure that any technology (especially ones that are trending) is fit for purpose and will be adopted and useful for the enterprise after implementation. Some of the pitfalls that may result in adopting technologies unfit for your company include:
1. Improper reality checks and gap assessments to identify if the business has matured enough for the “trendy” technology. Noting that competitors have implemented a certain technology shouldn’t be a reason for the implementation of that technology.
2. Believing that the implementation of the new technology is only the business of the head of the technology team or the chief information security officer.
3. Inadequate stakeholders mapping and management, especially since the other important part of the ecosystem is the people (including the project owner) and the existing processes that would be impacted by the change.
In contrast, here are some important things to consider to ensure that innovative technology is a good fit for your business.
1. Adequate enterprise readiness check and proper gap assessment prior to the selection and implementation of the new technology. The readiness and gap assessment should include the entire ecosystem vis-à-vis technology to the process and the people as well.
2. Proper stakeholders’ engagement and assignment of roles and responsibilities across the entire enterprise, including third-party suppliers, etc. This should be well documented, communicated and agreed upon amongst all relevant parties.
3. Adopt a top-down approach where management buy-in and commitment are guaranteed.
As our day-to-day activities rely heavily on technology, cybersecurity has become mission-critical to how businesses and organizations operate worldwide as evolving attacks threaten the benefits of cybersecurity. This also strengthens its viewpoint as a technological disruption because it introduces a new approach for individuals, organizations or both to protect organizational assets.
The adoption of these technologies is good, but their adaptation is more valuable and rewarding for any enterprise. So, it is important that before making such investments, a reality check is performed to ensure that the proposed innovations and technologies are fit for purpose.