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Data Security in an Era of Digital Transformation

As businesses expand their digital footprints and accelerate the deployment of new technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing, increasingly sophisticated cybercriminals are forcing them to step up their data and network security.

East Tennessee State University (ETSU) notes that business professionals with cybersecurity policy development and implementation skills will have an advantage in the competition for senior management and executive roles.

To prepare the next generation of organizational decision makers for those roles, ETSU offers an AACSB-accredited Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a Concentration in Cybersecurity Management online program. Its advanced degree curriculum combines core business studies with insights into network and information security to equip graduates with the expertise to align risk management policies with business objectives.

How Has Data Security Changed Over the Past Decade?

Data security has changed drastically within the last decade, and 2013 was a banner year for cybercriminals. Digital Guardian‘s timeline of data breaches for that year includes successful hacks against Adobe, the U.S. National Security Agency, the Department of Energy, Target and Living Social. Three billion Yahoo accounts were also hacked that year.

A decade later, the battle to protect data and networks continues as cybercriminals adopt more sophisticated technologies and tactics. Organizations are trying to keep pace while accelerating their digital transformations. The most significant problem facing security executives, senior managers and consultants today is not “if” an attack will occur but “when.” This is forcing them to shift cybersecurity strategies from predominately perimeter defenses to processes that contain and recover from breaches.

What Challenges Does Data Security Face to Keep Up With Digital Transformation?

The inevitability of breaches is expanding as the global economy accelerates its digital transformation. Aggregate investment in cloud computing, for instance, grew by 635% between 2010 and 2020 and is predicted to exceed $1 trillion in the next five years.

Similarly, enterprise adoption of AI/ML is skyrocketing. Over a million organizations and individuals were using ChatGPT within a week of its launch. More than half of Chinese companies have integrated AI into their digital operations, and the predicted annual rate of global adoption through 2030 is 37%.

Cloud Computing carries an assortment of security problems, including data loss and access. Given its internet access, there are concerns regarding unauthorized access. Further, data segregation is key to limiting access to authorized users. Data can be lost if there are inadequate backup and recovery processes. Additionally, there is a necessity of encryption for the life of the data, which highlights the importance of data security for all business partners, including vendors, to protect all stakeholders.

AI also presents a range of security issues despite its capacity to detect cyberthreats, including the potential for inaccurate algorithms to produce incorrect security alerts. Security resources must always keep up with cutting-edge technology, or it will leave companies vulnerable. As with any tech, there remain concerns of external forces manipulating AI systems to make them targets for attack. Beyond the systems themselves, data collection faces regulatory challenges regarding transparency, accountability and, of course, ethical concerns — particularly in the case of sensitive information.

“Cyberthreats are evolving so quickly that traditional prevention and detection isn’t enough to build cyber resilience. Instead of trying to react to every new attack tactic, organizations need to proactively prepare for breaches by implementing breach containment technologies,” Illumio warns.

Safeguarding Your Data: What Are Some Strategies for Data Security in the Digital Age?

Cloud security protection and risk mitigation comprise integrated strategies that require user authentication, authorization and continuous validation. They also involve protection platforms developed specifically to defend computing, storage and network systems, and other cloud-native components.

The complexity of securing AI requires collaboration among regulatory agencies, developers and business leaders. Security professionals must invest in AI security at pace with deployment to promote a security-first workplace culture, establish AI-specific security protocols and conduct security audits to optimize those processes regularly.

“The demand for cybersecurity and cloud security professionals who can safeguard these digital assets has soared,” the Cloud Security Alliance notes. “As a result, businesses are prioritizing cybersecurity and cloud security training to safeguard their digital assets and sensitive data.”

Courses in ETSU’s program, like Data Analysis and Cyber Risk Governance, emphasize critical topics in data security and digital decision making such as forecasting, business decisions, intellectual property, types of risk and more. Graduates of ETSU’s online MBA with a Concentration in Cybersecurity Management program possess the tools to answer the call for more business-savvy security professionals.

Learn more about Eastern Tennessee State University’s online Master of Business Administration with a Concentration in Cybersecurity Management program.

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