Data Protection and Digital Transformation December 15, 2017 Thales More About This Author > Until recently, it was nothing more than a buzzword bandied around across various industries. Now though, businesses everywhere are undergoing various forms of digital transformation as they look for ways to better interact with their end customers, whether consumer or corporate. Organisations are finding themselves under increasing pressure from their boards, all keen on moving their businesses forward technologically, to deliver the solutions and services they need to remain competitive in an increasingly digital world. As a result, Gartner’s 2017 CIO Agenda Survey revealed that around 18 percent of a CIO’s budget is currently spent on supporting digital business operations; a figure expected to rise to 28 percent by 2018. But, while digital transformation clearly has its advantages in helping organisations to perform more efficiently and compete with their peers, it results in the creation of a considerable amount of data which, to be of any value, must be trusted and reliable. This data is not necessarily secure, however, a fact that represents the single greatest threat to an organisation’s digital transformation efforts. To prevent their critical information being lost to the type of breaches we’ve seen in the news over the past couple of years, businesses must make it a priority to find ways of protecting that data. It must be kept secure throughout its lifecycle; from the time it’s created, to the time it’s used, through to the time it’s archived. Governments across the world are playing their part in this, issuing compliance regulations such as the EU GDPR, the Australia Privacy Amendment, and the POPI in South Africa. As a result, international businesses, operating across different regions, will be faced with a patchwork of compliance challenges. One thing these mandates have in common though is the need for businesses to protect their data and make sure it isn’t leaked or breached. Indeed, our 2017 Data Threat Report revealed that more than two in five organisations cited meeting compliance requirements as being a key driver for their security spending. Regulation is a critical first step, of course, but in issuing a mandate, governments are only stating perimeters for what and is not acceptable, and defining what customers can expect in the way of protection. It’s up to individual organisations to figure out just how they navigate these complex rules and implement the necessary processes to become compliant. If an organisation’s sensitive data was held within one data centre or one server, it would be relatively straightforward to encrypt it all. But one of the main challenges most organisations face is that they aren’t actually aware of where their sensitive data resides; it could be held at a private datacentre within their HQ, in a remote office site, in one public cloud or other. The format in which that data is stored will also vary. It’s for this reason then, that most businesses are looking at encryption as a strategy. Thales eSecurity offers a set of state-of-the-art technologies that use advanced encryption techniques to protect an organisation’s data throughout its lifecycle. These technologies provide businesses with a cost-effective encryption strategy, enabling them to encrypt everything and undergo a process of digital transformation, while being confident in the knowledge that they are compliant with a fundamental aspect of government regulation, wherever they operate. With a number of government mandates due to come in to force in early 2018, it’s time to consider the benefits of an ‘encrypt everything’ approach to ensuring that your business is fit for compliance.