Companies across the world realize they are operating in digital ecosystems, constellations of players that are erasing once-sacrosanct boundaries of age-old industries. They are relying on these ecosystems to both sell products and services and to buy them—and the transactions are with not only traditional allies but also potential competitors.
But, what too firms many aren’t aware of is the rising risk of cyber attacks when they digitally connect their systems and data to those of other companies. While the answer is not to disconnect from these ecosystems, the risks of playing need to be understood and lowered considerably.
In the old ‘physical’ world in which companies interacted by making phone calls, sending invoices and payments through the mail, and conducting meetings in rooms, the risks of such collaboration were much smaller. There are limits to the number of customers you can reach, the number of people you can employ, the number of businesses you can partner with, the amount of information you can store, and the number of products and services that you can offer.
By contrast, in the digital world, there are no such limitations. In fact, it is a world of infinite possibility, with an abundance of capital, talent, capabilities, and businesses with which to partner.
To prosper in a world of digital ecosystems, companies will need to change not only the ways they interact, but they also must alter the security procedures they put in place to guard their systems, data (especially customer data), and digital infrastructure they hand over to the companies that manage public clouds.