As rapidly as security teams are closing doors to attackers, businesses are opening others through initiatives in the cloud, the internet of things (IoT) and operational technology (OT), robotic process automation and more. These moves are exposing the inner workings of digital transformation to the cyber criminal underground, creating new security risks through increased complexity and expansion of the attack surface.

All too often, I’ve seen the security organization depicted as an obstacle to digital transformation — an intractable villain opposed to change initiatives. However, I view security as an enabler of change and a real hero to the enterprise. With the right security architecture, systems and staff in place, security organizations can protect these new technologies and business models — and respond to constantly changing threats. Here’s how organizations can make security teams the heroes of digital change:

Improve the security posture of your digital core

As they should be, IT security professionals and decision makers are most concerned about malware, spear phishing and ransomware. In fact, more than 50 percent of organizations have been victimized by ransomware, with 45 percent paying the ransom to recover their data, while 19 percent refused to pay and lost their data, according to a CyberEdge Group survey.

That’s why deploying a security platform within your digital core is imperative. The security platform enables resilient systems that not only withstand cyberattacks, but also carry out mission-critical business operations after an attack.

Build security into the software development life cycle

While DevOps is accelerating time to market with innovative software, sometimes insecure code becomes a byproduct of faster development cycles. That’s just one way that the advent of DevOps has created new challenges around security processes. In many cases, security vulnerabilities found in testing or production can result in major delays and rework.

To overcome this challenge, enterprises can integrate security and risk management throughout the development life cycle, with a comprehensive DevSecOps model for secure digital transformation.

Gain deeper insight into threats 

A variety of excellent security monitoring tools is available today, but the common complaint I hear from security practitioners is that there’s too much data to analyze. For many, advanced security analytics can help, “cutting through the noise” of security-related data. And when deep analytics solutions also leverage machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI), they can efficiently process data, uncover threats and reduce the frequency of false positives.

Automate incident response and other security workflows

Security organizations everywhere are facing a prolonged skills shortage. One way to overcome the lack of security talent is with security orchestration, automation and response (SOAR) solutions.

These capabilities, integrated into a digital core security platform, can automate security tasks, processes and workflows to improve response time, accuracy and standardization — helping your staff do more with the talent you have.

Address industry-specific security and compliance requirements 

In addition to the cyber threat challenges and concerns that every industry faces, each sector has unique issues and compliance requirements to address. To build an effective program, it takes deep industry knowledge and industry-specific solutions to protect retailers from card-skimming schemes and defense contractors from nation-state attacks.

An advanced security platform enables secure delivery of industry-specific platforms and solutions such as a digital health platform and the connected transportation platform. These platforms bring together microservices that enable new experiences across a connected ecosystem of partners, with security built into the platform and services.

Regardless of the industry sector, integrating security into your digital transformation will help you achieve your goals faster and with less risk, turning your security team into the heroes of your enterprise.