Emerging and disruptive technologies, the race to the cloud, the need for personalized customer experience and emergencies like the COVID-19 pandemic present businesses with a host of never before seen challenges…and organizations need to adapt to these new norms. Digital transformation is the cornerstone of revisiting or even reinventing fundamental operations to help businesses thrive in this ever-changing, fluid environment.
The cloud and COVID-19 factor of digital transformation
We just released our 2020 Thales Data Threat Report- Latin America Edition (which has input from 201 Latin American executives from Brazil and Mexico) and it found that organizations in this region are approaching a cloud tipping point with nearly half (49%) of all data stored in the cloud, and 45% of it is considered sensitive. It was also revealed that although Latin American businesses have embraced digital transformation initiatives to date, they have a real opportunity to leapfrog the rest of the word in this area, especially due to pressures from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The report specifically shows that 27% of organization are either aggressively disrupting the markets they participate in or embedding digital capabilities that enable greater enterprise agility. This percentile is lower than the respective 43% of global organizations, however, this is also an opportunity for organizations to further promote transformative initiatives.
The COVID-19 pandemic seems to play a catalytic factor for accelerating digital transformation in LATAM. The scope and breadth of this health crisis have created a situation on a scale never seen before. Disaster recovery and business continuity plans were inadequate to accommodate operational requirements for remote working indefinitely in such short notice. Data collected by IDC demonstrates that 42% of businesses operating in Latin America are expecting an increase in investments in disruptive, cloud-based platforms and solutions to provide a seamless and secure remote working experience.
A changing security mindset
As most Latin American organizations are adopting multi-cloud environments, new vulnerabilities and risks evolve expanding their attack surface. The combination of multi-cloud environments and the amount of sensitive data stored in the cloud creates complexity, which is a barrier to data security.
However, 62% of Latin American security and IT professionals believe they are not at all vulnerable, yet more than half have been breached or experienced failed security audits. So the question becomes, how do organizations in this region appropriately protect against increased data risks?
Not investing in proper security safeguards has serious practical implications for the integrity and confidentiality of data stored in the cloud. In Latin America, the report revealed data security spending represents on average only 15% of organizations overall IT security budget and rates of data encryption and tokenization are low. In fact, 100% of Latin American respondents say at least some of their sensitive data in the cloud is not encrypted. Only 53% of sensitive data stored in cloud environments is protected by encryption and less than half – 42% – is protected by tokenization.
However, developments in data protection and privacy regulations, such as the Lei Geral de Proteção de Dados Pessoais (LGPD) in Brasil, are changing the mindset of these organizations. 37% of the surveyed Latin American organizations say that their interest in security solutions is focused on data security, which is higher than in other regions.
The COVID-19 pandemic has also contributed to the changing security mindset. Security technology and tools such as disaster recovery, multi-factor authentication and encryption will become even more relevant as businesses seek to secure remote access for employees, and as more data and workloads move to the cloud.
Smart solutions for a post-COVID-19 world
When it comes to cybersecurity in the post-COVID-19 era, there are three key questions Latin American organizations need to ask themselves:
- What are the foundational changes in my IT environment?
- How do these changes affect risk?
- What changes do I need to make to my cybersecurity posture and control environment?
As Latin American organizations face expanding and more complex data security challenges, they need smarter ways to approach data security. Organizations need to embrace shared security responsibilities by hardening and encrypting data in the cloud and adopting zero trust access mechanisms with adaptive access management to authenticate and validate users and devices accessing corporate applications and networks. These smart security efforts should be an enabler for fostering digital transformation initiatives.
Discover best practices and key findings in the 2020 Thales Data Threat Report – Latin America Edition.