Balancing innovation and security

Is the tension between security and innovation inevitable, or can we enjoy the best of both worlds?

29 April 2022

Sanjay Krishen, Intel

Organisations need to innovate. They also need to be secure against the many old and new threats on the prowl every day. There’s often tension created between the two areas, and companies tend to lean towards one or the other. Often, they choose innovation because it’s an obvious business enabler. But there isn’t really a choice, says Dr Haitham Rashwan, IT security expert at Dell Technologies. “Can we do digital transformation without security? No, because there’s no business continuity. Many organisations are investing a lot of money in creating big portals or websites that customers and citizens can use to access their data and apply for services. If there’s no security in place, a ransomware or denial of service attack or something could happen, which causes innovation to not continue. I’ve seen many organisations that aren’t focused on security. They try to focus only on innovation, but don’t add security. This creates a lot of problems.”

Security is undoubtedly a major issue. According to Dell Technologies’ latest Global Data Protection Index, 72% of surveyed South African companies are concerned their existing data protection measures may not cope with cybersecurity threats. These anxieties are based on reality: 20% of South African respondents reported data loss in a year, and nearly half (44%) experienced unplanned system downtime.

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