Nathan Vega
Vice President – Business and Product Development
Published Feb 08, 2018

A 2017 Forrester survey reveals a widening gap between the current knowledge base of enterprise teams and emerging and advanced threats in new technologies.

Why do we purchase new cybersecurity products? Do we truly need so many, or is it actually fear driving impulse purchases before we can fully understand and assess their underlying technologies?

According to the 106 firms surveyed in a study we recently commissioned from Forrester, anxiety around new tech adoption is common. For instance, 56% of executives surveyed indicated they experienced high or very high anxiety around securing hybrid cloud technology. Nearly half (44-46%) expressed significant anxiety about securing artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing and the Internet of Things. In short, we’re willing to buy new technology, but we’re not confident we know how can secure it.

Obviously, a lack of confidence in a company’s ability to secure new tech is a bigger issue than just one’s peace of mind. This anxiety allows inefficiency and risk to take root in a number of potentially harmful ways: slow or partial deployments, vulnerability to disruption from competitors, over purchasing of additional costly tools to close perceived security gaps, or even a misunderstanding of one’s risk profile that leaves a company vulnerable to costly cyber attacks.

Therefore, it’s important to understand the cause of this anxiety and address it before it becomes a major, costly issue. Our survey indicated firms’ internal teams too often lack the needed knowledge and skills on their own internal teams as supporting factors to this anxiety. These knowledge gaps lead them to doubt their ability to tackle the security of nascent technologies and their ability to be aware of, and combat, the wide array of threats they face. Understandably, nearly two-thirds of survey respondents (62%) look for a proven record of success in the market and among their peers before they’re willing to invest time, resources, and personnel on new technologies. In other words, if we don’t know fully understand it or how to secure it, we look to peers and the market to prove its value.

So what’s the antidote to this anxiety? Here are three easy ways companies can gain valuable confidence to improve the value and efficiency of new technology adoption:

  1. Keep it Simple: A lot of nascent tech can seem confusing or overly complex, even to highly technical people. But even the most cutting-edge tech is best secured by following longtime processes and best practices like good credentialing and vulnerability management. These are great, important places to start securing any product.
  2. Scale Your Collaboration: More companies have expressed increased openness to collaborating outside their own insular company and colleagues to become more nimble and effective in their cybersecurity approach and tech deployments. For instance, The Columbus Collaboratory has a deep understanding of nascent technologies, so we’re able to empower our Members to make better decisions. We couple situational awareness with demystification in a collaborative setting. For example, collaborate on maturing security tools like Cloud Access Security Brokers (CASB) to help Members accelerate adoption and understand risks.
  3. Empower Your Team: An under-resourced, under-budgeted, under-trained team can only do so much. The same can be said for companies where tech engineers aren’t full-stack. Investing in top notch, highly skilled talent can save you millions down the road by keeping you secure (and adopting tech fully and efficiently). Empower your team to make decisions and act outside of their silo when appropriate.

We employ a use-case driven approach to the application of new technologies, leveraging this methodology within our membership to gain security value. We’ve built a growing catalog of shared IP (whitepapers, prototypes, etc) that accelerate their understanding and deployment of the new technologies and strengthen our collective capabilities. We also strategically collaborate to share best practices, strategies, collectively understand new technologies, and consider security implications throughout the entire life cycle.

In the end, consistency and collaboration breed confidence. By following established best security practices and filling knowledge gaps through shared platforms, Memberships and tools, firms can gain confidence to safely deploy the right new technologies for them in the right way.

Ready to gain confidence in your tech adoption? Learn more about our Membership options at