Cybersecurity should be a shield that protects the business, not a barrier that holds it back.

Sudhir Reddy, Executive Vice President & Group CIO, Capgemini

February 15, 2022

4 Min Read
Digital padlock
Source: Skorzewiak via Alamy Stock Photo

It's hard to believe that 10 years ago cybersecurity was not a top priority for CIOs. However, with the rapid evolution of technology — and of the threat landscape — CIOs have become hyper-focused on cybersecurity.

Why? Simply put, everything is digital. While technology innovations like the convergence of IT and OT (operational technology) offer many benefits and efficiencies, they also open the door to far greater risk. In the past, it wasn't easy to attack multiple factories or power plants simultaneously. Today, it can be done with the click of a button. Even though cyber education and awareness have improved, the stakes have never been higher, and the potential impacts of a cyberattack have never been more severe.

Now, as we look back on a busy year when high-profile breaches swept the headlines, it's time for CIOs to make cybersecurity intrinsic, effective, and invisible.

Many companies, including Capgemini, are moving from perimeter, border-based environments to a borderless environment. When all employees are working within offices, security teams have a clearly defined zone to protect. In a hybrid or remote working environment, employees can work from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. Organizations need to quickly address these scenarios and ensure that their remote and hybrid teams are working securely. However, they can't sacrifice "ease of work" in the process.

CIOs have a balance to strike: Security should be robust, but instead of being complicated or restrictive, it should be elegant and simple. How do CIOs achieve that "invisible" cybersecurity posture? It requires the right teams, superior design, and cutting-edge technology, processes, and automation.

Expertise and Design: Putting the Right Talent and Security Architecture to Work for You
Organizations hoping to achieve invisible cybersecurity must first focus on talent and technical expertise. Security can no longer be handled only through awareness, policy, and controls. It must be baked into everything IT does as a fundamental design element. The IT landscape should be assessed for weaknesses, and an action plan should then be put in place to mitigate risk through short-term actions.

Long term, organizations need to design a landscape that is more compartmentalized and resilient, by implementing strategies like zero trust and microsegmentation. For this, companies need the right expertise. Given cybersecurity workforce shortages, organizations may need to identify and onboard an IT partner with strong cyber capabilities and offerings.

Technology and Automation: Leveraging Tools to Catch Cyber Threats in a Sea of Alerts
The ever-expanding number of digital transactions and interactions is generating an ever-expanding number of alerts, and a borderless environment can significantly increase the number of alerts. It can be difficult, to say the least, for many organizations to keep up.

To solve this problem, security teams need to leverage tools with capabilities like artificial intelligence (AI) that proactively check threat intelligence databases. These tools can help security teams prioritize which alerts need attention based on anomalies, improving visibility, and reducing wasted time. Cybersecurity teams can also automate security checks on endpoint devices with security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) frameworks, immediately disabling connectivity if a machine is found to be compromised. With support from technology that can navigate, locate, and block high-priority threats, security teams can take a more analytical and insight-based approach.

Sense and React: With Scenario Planning, Real-Time Incident Response Can Be Executed, at Scale
When a cybersecurity breach occurs, it is critical to react quickly and make the right decisions. Cybersecurity teams that do their due diligence with the right level of scenario planning are prepared for these moments — remaining calm and activating applicable playbooks. In real time, teams can respond to an incident, remediate it, and minimize the damage. This is true even for large enterprises, although they may also require a plan that can be rapidly scaled depending on the severity of an attack or infiltration. While a breach has the potential to shut down systems and wreak havoc across an organization, security teams that put the right processes, controls, and monitoring in place will be better positioned to restrict attacks and resolve issues with minimal impact to business operations.

Making cybersecurity invisible doesn't mean cutting back on protections and defenses. It's about evaluating the most tactical, strategic ways to set up the company's security posture. With the right talent championing a culture of cyber hygiene, a thorough process of planning for all scenarios, and technology investments that provide clear, high-value insights to block potential threats, cybersecurity won't be a barrier that holds the business back. Rather, cybersecurity will be a simple and elegant shield that keeps it safe.

About the Author(s)

Sudhir Reddy

Executive Vice President & Group CIO, Capgemini

Sudhir Reddy is Executive Vice President and Group CIO at Capgemini. He has nearly 30 years of experience in IT, with an understanding of how to create and execute IT strategy that's aligned to business goals. His areas of expertise include strategy, security,applications, infrastructure, operations, and support. Sudhir is passionate about creating high-performance teams with a focus on meaningful outcomes for business.

Keep up with the latest cybersecurity threats, newly discovered vulnerabilities, data breach information, and emerging trends. Delivered daily or weekly right to your email inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights