If you fail at cybersecurity, you’ll fail at digital transformation


GBM Executive

Is your digital transformation journey stuck in digital deadlock?

Many organizations in the Gulf are already planning, or in the process of, a digital transformation. Yet around 60% of these same businesses are finding their transformation projects roadblocked by common obstacles – a trend known as digital deadlock[1]. The digital deadlock happens when companies lack agile and secure infrastructure, or keep data in inaccessible silos, or fail to modernize business processes.

Weak security is another common cause of digital deadlock. Digital transformation exposes data to greater security risks, and cyber criminals are keen to exploit its value through theft, fraud, ransomware and other cyber-attacks – particularly in the Middle East. It’s an issue that has been too often overlooked – until now. The Annual GBM Security Research which polled over 700 IT and security professionals in the region reveals the key security challenges blocking digital transformation in the Gulf. These research insights have been presented in the whitepaper as well as a recent series of Security Summit events across the region.

Security experts aren’t guiding transformation, but they should

This whitepaper is a business-critical read, whether your transformation is deadlocked, still in the planning stage, or you need to be aware of the latest cybersecurity trends.

You’ll learn, for example, why data security is the #1 most challenging domain within digital transformation, according to Gulf-based security professionals. A company’s data is its most valuable asset, and it is being created faster and in more forms than ever before. Implementing the right strategy to secure data in the digital business, particularly when it is stored in the cloud, is naturally a huge challenge and investment.

Yet few Gulf organizations (15.4%) are fully involving their security teams in key transformation decisions – a misguided approach, given the importance of data to the businesses in digital transformation. Security is critical to success, and the failure of Gulf organizations to recognize this is troubling. Businesses that learn from this by prioritizing security, and building modern security into their transformation plans, are more likely to break out of digital deadlock.



Currently most Gulf organizations are not giving security the attention it demands; 79% of Gulf organizations are still investing primarily in prevention of cyber-attacks, compared to only 9% investing in response and 8% in detection – despite the high frequency of damaging attacks in the region. When a data breach is inevitable, as global businesses are discovering, organizations must be able to detect and respond to attacks.

How cybersecurity impacts transformation

The white paper also examines the 6 technical pillars of cybersecurity – and more importantly, how they will impact the digital transformation journey.

  1. Data security is naturally a key consideration for the data-driven business. How can you develop the right strategy for protecting both user privacy and sensitive data?
  2. Application security is equally vital in a world of digital user experiences and software-defined data centers. How can you make sure applications are secure?
  3. Cloud security becomes critical for organizations who want to take advantage of cloud economics and migrate important workloads. How can you protect data and workloads that are no longer on-premises?
  4. Artificial intelligence (AI) has an increasingly large role to play in both security and wider business decisions. Cyber-criminals are already using AI – how will you respond?
  5. Identity and access governance (IAG) is fundamental for the digital business, in which everyday tools and data are digital. How can you take a modern approach to IAG that supports transformation?
  6. Infrastructure security is becoming a greater challenge as data centers become more diverse and distributed. What are the best practices Gulf organizations must adopt to protect the heart of the digital business?

The journey ahead

Only a strategic approach to data protection in a digital transformation initiative can limit the risks of digital business.

Digital transformation is an essential journey for Gulf-region businesses, but inattentiveness to security issues is making the road difficult for security professionals. Organizations need to put security and governance at the heart of their strategy, by involving security teams in decisions and drawing up a practical blueprint for how security will be implemented.

The GBM white paper goes deeper into these challenges, with insights from the professionals currently facing them. If your organization is digitally transforming and you need to ensure a successful transformation, you can talk directly to one of our security experts.

Download GBM’s 8th Security Whitepaper “ THE UNSPOKEN TRUTH“ now.



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