Securing Digital Transformation to Drive Business Innovation


By Mark Butler, CISO, Qualys

Digital transformation has become mainstream as businesses embrace cloud, mobile, IoT, containers, and other disruptive technologies to boost innovation and agility.

As organizations move beyond initial product digitization, they must transform development and operating models. This end-to-end focus lets CISOs collaborate and partner with business units to protect IT environments and customer data.

Digital transformation: A competitive requirement

CEOs realize digital business is no longer a speculative option, but essential for success. Boards demand digital strategies be defined and executed, recognizing digital investments drive profits.

Digitization spending will grow as organizations establish digital-only channels, restructure value chains and accelerate innovation.

InfoSec at a Crossroads

InfoSec teams must play an integral part managing the new platforms and tools digital transformations create:

  • IoT devices will continue to be deployed to boost revenue, while operational security remains secondary, despite persistent challenges
  • Security team platforms, tools and skills must be updated to manage cloud environments and satisfy  auditors' expectations
  • Dynamic cloud workloads will run critical business apps, replacing on-premises systems and giving customers convenient mobile access
  • Business functions will be always on / always available, provided via web services, APIs and mobile apps to customers, suppliers and employees, and accessed with personal and employer devices

New Paradigms

InfoSec leaders must engage business leaders and understand their digital transformation priorities and goals to provide instant security visibility as progress is made. 

Security leaders must accept these new paradigms:

  • New platforms: Security solutions must be transformed to ensure they can see, understand and report on new cloud-enabled solutions
  • Virtual workloads:  All security controls are not defined upfront nor on individual virtual hosts, but applied at a workload, virtual management or container layer
  • CI / CD (Continuous Integration / Delivery):  Software development and delivery is a continuous lifecycle and not managed within restrictive tollgate review processes
  • Shared accountability models are needed across business, security and technology leadership to build and run elastic cloud environments or IoT devices
  • Endpoint devices are no longer trusted and behavioral monitoring will allow quick visibility to developing attacks, replacing signature pattern matching.
  • Data Integrity attacks will continue to increase, surpassing data destruction or availability attacks, like ransomware and DDoS

The InfoSec opportunity

Digital transformation offers InfoSec teams a ripe opportunity to become business enablers along with business-side peers. Involvement from ideation stages will let us be a solid partner.

Revamping our security programs to natively build security into digital transformation efforts will provide complete, instant visibility into global IT assets (cloud, IoT, on-premises), integration with API or UI services, and help us enable DevOps, as our development and business partners pursue digital transformation.

If the CISO and entire InfoSec team embrace this partnership spirit - digital transformation initiatives will succeed, yielding disruptive products that are always on, easy to use, available everywhere – and secure.  It's a great time to be an InfoSec professional as we rise to the collective digital transformation challenge.

Qualys, Inc. (NASDAQ: QLYS) is a pioneer and leading provider of cloud-based security and compliance solutions with over 9,300 customers in more than 100 countries, including a majority of each of the Forbes Global 100 and Fortune 100. The Qualys Cloud Platform and integrated suite of solutions help organizations simplify security operations and lower the cost of compliance by delivering critical security intelligence on demand and automating the full spectrum of auditing, compliance and protection for IT systems and web applications. Founded in 1999, Qualys has established strategic partnerships with leading managed service providers and consulting organizations including Accenture, BT, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Deutsche Telekom, Fujitsu, HCL Technologies, HP Enterprise, IBM, Infosys, NTT, Optiv, SecureWorks, Tata Communications, Verizon and Wipro. The company is also a founding member of the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA). For more information, please visit

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