The tech and cybersecurity landscapes have shifted dramatically in just a few months in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As I discussed in my previous posts, the impact on IT and security teams has been significant, and the opportunities for attackers are significant. Much of the conversation has centered around the human challenge of these times, but response to the crisis is also a driving force in accelerating cloud transformation for many organizations.

COVID-19 Impact on Business

The impact on business and the cloud transformation effort are driven by the human factor as well. There are essentially two major factors companies have to address when it comes to managing business through the pandemic—there is a potential for significant impact on revenue, and the attack surface that needs to be protected has changed drastically.

As businesses pivot to find ways to keep employees safe and healthy, while also maintaining performance and productivity, the cost of doing business is under a microscope. A longer-term view on the current crisis necessitates cost savings. Cloud or digital transformation—SaaS (software-as-a-service) applications, digital consumption of services, online communication and collaboration—in general is vital for keeping customers and for staying competitive. It enables organizations to sustain productivity with a completely remote, work-from-home workforce, while also cutting operational costs.

It makes sense for organizations to take advantage of the cost and productivity benefits of cloud transformation. Many companies had already started the cloud transformation journey, and most others at least had plans in place to get started. The COVID-19 pandemic provided the incentive to accelerate those efforts. It is essential that organizations not lose sight of security and compliance as they race to embrace cloud transformation.

The Shift to Managed Detection and Response

The pandemic is a significant challenge for almost every organization—regardless of region, size, or industry. As noted above, the economy has taken a hit and businesses are facing an uncertain world. Budgets and expenses must be scrutinized, and the assumption is something must give or suffer. Unfortunately, security is often one of the first things to be sacrificed in the name of cost cutting and productivity.

Cutting back on cybersecurity has consequences. Not only does it expose you to unnecessary risk and increase the potential for a costly cyber attack, it also makes your organization less attractive to investors. In an uncertain economic environment, being able to demonstrate robust security to the market and investors is vital.

So, now is not the time to reduce your security posture. The overnight shift to a work-from-home model with employees connecting to sensitive applications and data from their home networks and personal computers has expanded the attack surface, and attackers have ramped up efforts with increase phishing and ransomware attacks to exploit the chaos.

Few—if any—organizations have the security resources necessary to adapt to the new environment and adequately protect against cyber attacks—especially as companies look at ways to cut costs rather than investing more in cybersecurity. Working with a trusted partner and outsourcing cybersecurity can help you achieve costs savings and address the larger and more complex attack surface.

The ability for organizations to focus resources on transformation goals that are purely aligned to the business goals and increasing business revenue was always important. With the COVID-19 pandemic, it is even more crucial. It is possible, however, to maintain protection and reduce the time and cost of delivering security at the same time with managed detection and response (MDR). An MDR provider can reduce the likelihood or impact of successful attacks, and monitor your network, applications, and data 24/7 so you can focus on productivity and competition.

Secure Your Cloud Transformation Journey

Digital and cloud transformation have become intrinsically linked for many organizations and can unlock tremendous benefits. With many at different points along their journey to both, you need to make sure you understand every step of the journey to do it effectively. It can be the difference between simply going through the motions of a migration vs successfully undergoing true transformation.

When it comes to the cloud, approach the state of your transformation as if you were preparing for a race – each stage of transformation like each stage of a race requires strategy, technique, and approach designed to set you up to win.

At Alert Logic we’re very aware of our customer’s needs and how security can be an enabler for a more robust, secure and smoother cloud transformation journey.

[Related Reading: What Is Cloud Transformation?]

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