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Organisations place a great deal of attention on their digital transformation, especially in response to the global pandemic. However, it’s important to remember that the other side of the coin is always present; just as businesses are digitally transforming, cybercriminals are also sharpening their weapons and finding new ways to attack. It’s therefore important to ensure businesses have the right security controls in place to mitigate the risk of a successful attack.  

Sources suggest that a new cyberattack occurs every 39 seconds, and hackers breached more than 20 million records in March 2021 alone. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) estimates that more than 4,000 ransomware attacks happen every day around the world.1 These concerning figures demonstrate the urgent need for businesses to protect themselves from attacks.  

Ongoing transformation and fast exploits require a sophisticated response

Organisations that have transformed throughout the year may have left themselves open to the risk of a cyberattack by failing to ensure that security controls are still appropriate and are in place to cover the entire IT environment. This can create both immediate and ongoing security issues that must be addressed before they are exploited by malicious actors. And, since these cybercriminals are acting faster than ever to exploit weaknesses, the need to avoid any such gaps is more important than ever.  

Even after a transformation is deemed complete, IT environments continue to evolve, with or without the explicit permission of the IT team. For example, business users often look for quick fixes and immediate workarounds by using their corporate credit cards to sign up to apps and services that aren’t vetted or managed by the IT department. This array of unauthorised technology is commonly known as shadow IT because it can be hard to gain visibility into it and, therefore, to secure it. Shadow IT presents a significant risk to companies, especially those operating at speed, because they open up potential new attack vectors that the IT team doesn’t know about and, therefore, can’t secure.  

The key to combatting the complexity caused by shadow IT and a generally evolving IT landscape is to apply ongoing governance that can expose the potential risks that may emerge as digital environments continue to evolve.  

Ongoing, unified network governance is essential

Many organisations deploy IT security tools as an important first step in protecting the organisation from attacks. However, this is only the first step. If these tools aren’t aligned with a governance model, and if they’re not continually reassessed against that model, then they can quickly become out of date and fail to protect the business.  

A strategic network governance policy will identify risk areas both on-premises and in the cloud, then determine how to address those risks through security controls. Zero trust should form a key part of these controls and a strong zero trust environment requires governance that detects control breakdowns in real time so this can be addressed.  

Trying to manage network compliance manually takes a significant amount of time and resources. Manual audits can only happen at intervals and the risk of missing non-compliant controls is high. Businesses need to use an automated network security policy management solution that leverages a unified network governance model to review security controls, provide information on whether they comply with the strategy, and take corrective action as needed. Because the solution is constantly scanning security controls across the on-premises and cloud environments, it can provide alerts in real time when controls are out of policy.  

To find out how you can apply ongoing, consistent, unified network governance across your network to reduce the risk of cyberattacks, contact the ditno team today.