According to the FBI, cybercrime has increased by 400% in 2020. In its annual risk index, the World Economic Forum stated that cyberattacks are one of the most significant risks posed to corporations. Advanced hacking capabilities and services for sale on the dark web compound the issue.

Ominously there has been a dramatic increase in island hopping attacks. These attacks occur when digital transformation efforts are commandeered by cybercriminals, so the infrastructure now pollutes the consumer. Cyber heists have escalated to hostage situations. Cybercrime syndicates are now hijacking the IT systems of major brands to target those who trust that environment. This reality poses a tremendous risk to consumers, much like in the physical world you would not like to be held hostage when visiting a bank.

More than ever, government, corporate leaders and consumers must become engaged in ensuring effective cybersecurity strategies are in place. Yet as investments in cybersecurity accelerate, breaches continue to occur at an alarming frequency, and more often than not these breaches have become destructive. 

Sustainable digital transformation will be achieved by architecting security in from inception, rather than bolting it on as an afterthought. Alas, how might a consumer evaluate the security of a company’s digital transformation? We would suggest that they begin to ask the tough questions regarding the five foundational elements of secure digital transformation:

  1. Governance – Is the Head of Cybersecurity a C-level position?
  2. Investment – Has 10% of IT budget been allocated to cybersecurity? 
  3. Process/Control – Are the security controls integrated and has the company complied with the NIST Cybersecurity Framework?
  4. Customers/Suppliers – Does the company provide consumers best practices on cybersecurity and do they mandate that their suppliers also follow best practice?
  5. Response – Has the company developed a comprehensive strategy for how to respond to incidents? 

The promise of digital transformation will foster great innovation in consumer products and services. Consumers need to understand that cybercrime has become the new normal. They need to be even more vigilant in terms of their service providers cybersecurity practices and also take responsibility for their own cybersecurity at work, at home and when travelling. Being a vigilant consumer in 2020 requires an individual to evaluate the five fundamentals of digital transformation before they place their digital lives at risk.

About the Authors

Tom Kellermann

Tom Kellermann is the Head of Cybersecurity Strategy for VMware Carbon Black. Previously, Tom held the position of Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Carbon Black. Prior to joining Carbon Black, Tom was the CEO and founder of Strategic Cyber Ventures. In 2020, he was appointed to the Cyber Investigations Advisory Board for the United States Secret Service.  On January 19, 2017, Tom was appointed the Wilson Center’s Global Fellow for Cyber Policy.

Tom previously held the positions of Chief Cybersecurity Officer for Trend Micro; Vice President of Security for Core Security and Deputy CISO for the World Bank Treasury. In 2008 Tom was appointed a commissioner on the Commission on Cyber Security for the 44th President of the United States. In 2003 he co-authored the Book “Electronic Safety and Soundness: Securing Finance in a New Age.”

Marc Delesalle

Marc Delesalle is the director of investments at SVK Crypto. Marc is an experienced senior executive with a demonstrated 35+ years history of working in management consulting and venture capital industries. He holds a MBA from The University of Texas at Austin and a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Ecole Polytechnique de Montreal.