Dell Technologies: security in digital transformation
In a fast-changing world, the imperative for digital transformation has never been clearer. Effecting that change while managing digital risk and prioritising security requires expert assistance. “Our intention is to be a strategic partner to our customers, an essential technology vendor and a one-stop shop for organisations as they undergo digital transformation,” says Arash Ghazanfari, CTO (UK), Dell Technologies.
“Events in 2020 have proven that every business has to become a technology business in order to survive the unique operating environment we find ourselves in. The need for digital transformation is stronger now than ever before. We’re finding that our customers have had to accelerate their digital transformation projects to take advantage of the emerging digital economy,” says Ghazanfari. “Our clients have recognised the need to leverage technology to create best-in-class experiences for their customers. Additionally, they need to empower a diverse, and in most cases distributed but connected workforce to collaborate on digital platforms with the ability to create value regardless of where they are. All of this means the amount of value you unlock from your data can directly contribute to your competitive differentiation. It is now more important than ever before to consider your cyber resiliency and enterprise security as a matter of board level priority.”
One of the major transformational megatrends is the adoption of cloud, an area in which Dell Technologies specialises as an essential infrastructure provider. “As organisations think about adopting cloud operating models, it's really important they understand the cost and operational implications of where they place their data,” says Liz Green, Cyber Security Specialist UK, Dell Technologies. “We help our clients to make sure they're mitigating risks and costs and are able to understand what workloads fit best in the cloud.” The cloud landscape entails many choices, but that needn’t be an issue as Ghazanfari explains. “Businesses are increasingly adopting a multicloud strategy and we help our customers by delivering a consistent software defined enterprise architecture, so that workloads can be deployed in the empowered edge, or in existing on-premises and distributed private cloud environments, or in the public cloud ecosystem. Our multicloud strategy delivers a consistent software-defined architecture underpinned by a consistent and platform-agnostic operating model helping IT departments deliver consistent value added services to their lines of businesses and achieve unparalleled flexibility, control and choice. We believe this is the most optimum approach to maintain the security of and keeping control over application and data supply-chains.”
The number of subsectors experiencing digital transformation has led to a security landscape that is something of a headache for companies. “The security market is highly fragmented and there are many point solution providers out there. Historically, businesses have also made tactical and reactive investments in cybersecurity,” says Ghazanfari. “The result is a proliferation of disjointed security controls that don't necessarily talk to each other - adversely impacting the security posture of the enterprise. The approach that we take within the Dell Technologies ecosystem of capabilities, with VMware technology being at the heart of it all, is to focus on delivering more foundational and proactive security measures by delivering security by design intrinsically within our pre-validated solutions. Building security controls intrinsically into our software defined capabilities reduces the need for bolt-on, threat centric and siloed approach to security.” Among the trends in the transformation of security is virtualisation. “We're seeing big transformations in network security, specifically in virtualising networks,” says Green. “Going from a physical to a software-defined network presents a lot of opportunities for greater levels of visibility and security. Micro-segmentation as an example, is a great way to prevent lateral progression of advanced threats, a common trait seen in modern destructive attack patterns.”
The fintech industry has kept up one of the fastest paces of transformation. “Programmability, extensibility and visibility have played a major role in the success of open banking. What’s going to make organisations even more successful down the line is how they secure data and how they make sure that their customers understand how their data is being used and how the data is secured. We're going to see a huge focus on security and resilience for the fintech industry, but also as a huge catalyst for change across every sector.”
All of this has only been accelerated by the pandemic, which has served to catalyse new approaches and new understanding of security, with Dell Technologies offering a Work Redefined pathway for the new normal. “We're seeing fundamental shifts in operations, and how we talk to customers and clients in all industries. As part of our Work Redefined programme, we focus on three key areas: productivity, trust, and safety,” says Green.
Bearing those tenets in mind allows businesses to thrive, as Ghazanfari explains. “It's about assessing the risk of adoption of new digital technologies and providing a consumer-like, persona-driven experience that effectively makes the complexities around delivering a digital workspace disappear and enables businesses to focus on delivering business value.” Having that increased awareness of risk can then lead to better outcomes. “Organisations didn't always have a comprehensive digital strategy. Now, it's essential that they do. With that comes a need to look at how risk is being mitigated and managed effectively, but this can actually be a really positive thing. The more that we assess and evaluate digital risks, the faster and better organisations can transform digitally.”
From this viewpoint, security acts as a catalyst for, rather than a barrier to, innovation. “In order to achieve that outcome, you need to have visibility of your threat landscape and your risk profile,” says Ghazanfari. “We can help our customers understand every aspect of their business architecture so that they have the end-to-end visibility that they need to maintain and manage risk, and then make calculated decisions around the steps that they need to take towards innovation. Fundamental to all of this is the recognition that we can’t secure the future in the same way we secured the past. Modern applications can have several cross platforms and complex lateral dependencies, a connected digital workspace can and will lead to the erosion of traditional perimeters and a distributed data consumption model. This requires a context centric and unified approach to security transformation.”
Dell Technologies will continue to help companies make the most of technology in more flexible ways, as Ghazanfari explains. “We are seeing many businesses value and embrace consumption models. We recognise our customers are looking at consolidating, simplifying and de-risking their vendor relationships. Our broad ecosystem and open approach, as well as our diverse and inclusive consumption models, has put us in a position to serve the needs of our customers and the unique challenges they face in 2020.”