Emerging tech

Four ways to prepare your business to secure AI and interconnected technologies

From AI to data spaces to internet of things, interconnected tech is transforming every sector. New research outlines how to prepare your business.

Share article

interconnected technologies 4 strategies, Young, Woman, Touching, Sensitive, Screen, While, Selecting, Surface, Female

Of all business investments today, interconnected technologies – the growing network of devices, systems and applications connected to the internet and to each other – are the most vital and challenging. From artificial intelligence (AI) to data spaces to internet of things (IoT,) interconnected tech is letting enterprises gather more data, automate processes and make better decisions.

While this ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution‘ is propelling change in every industry, it also brings new risks and challenges in securing enterprises and safeguarding customers.

Kaspersky’s new research aims to help businesses stay ahead of the changes interconnected technologies bring, published in this 2024 report, Connecting the future of business: How leaders should prepare for using and securing AI and interconnected technologies.

About our interconnected tech research

Kaspersky surveyed 560 IT security leaders in six regions – North America (US,) Latin America (LATAM: Brazil, Chile, Columbia and Mexico,) Europe (Austria, France, Germany and Switzerland,) Middle East and Africa (META: Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey and United Arab Emirates,) Russia and Asia-Pacific (APAC: China, India and Indonesia.)

Respondents were either aware of or involved in cybersecurity decisions about interconnected technologies. They worked in organizations with at least 1,000 employees across many sectors.

We asked how they’re introducing and securing AI, web 3.0, data spaces, digital twins, augmented reality (AR,) virtual reality (VR,) 6G and internet of things (IoT.)

Four interconnected tech preparation strategies

With the scale of change these new technologies will likely bring, organizations must have strategies to prepare to adopt and secure interconnected tech.

We found organizations that felt ready to secure interconnected tech tended to adopt four strategies: Embracing security by design principles, training and upskilling their workforce, upgrading their cybersecurity solutions and striving to meet regulation and standards. Here’s a little more on each strategy.

1.    Adopting security by design principles

Cybersecurity professionals should be part of the initial design process, not relegated to the final stages. This proactive approach ensures security considerations are built in from the start, often called security by design.

Head of Cybersecurity at a leading bank in Brazil

Integrating cybersecurity into each stage of the software development lifecycle makes secure-by-design software and hardware more resilient to cyberattacks.

Our research found leaders focused on integrating cybersecurity into development processes – dubbed Security by Design Promoters – were also better prepared to secure interconnected technologies. 50 percent of Security by Design Promoters felt prepared to secure interconnected tech, compared with 26 percent of the rest.

Leadership teams can start promoting security by design by asking where in their design processes cybersecurity expertise is usually first involved. They may also play a role in ensuring budget for security testing during design.

2.   Training and upskilling your workforce

With the right cybersecurity education, staff can be a formidable line of defense against cyberattacks. Building a cyberaware culture requires a strategy that empowers employees to gain knowledge and put it into practice.

Our research found Training and Upskilling Promoters – organizations prioritizing training and upskilling their people – were better prepared to secure interconnected tech. 55 percent of Training and Upskilling Promoters felt prepared to secure interconnected tech, compared with 25 percent of the rest.

Leaders we surveyed shared cybersecurity education approaches that worked well. They favored regular programs covering topics like cybersecurity policies and common cyberthreats, phishing simulations to identify further training needs and awareness campaigns sharing best practice and real-world cyber incident examples. Leaders also emphasized user-friendly security policies, greater collaboration with the IT and security teams and demonstrating good cybersecurity practice from the top.

Leadership teams can support training and upskilling the workforce by asking how often employees receive cybersecurity training and how the organization measures their understanding.

My workforce is not yet ready for interconnected technologies. They’ll get there in time – it’s a continuous learning process. You need a proper training plan for employees to be ready.

CISO of a leading medical company in Saudi Arabia

3.   Upgrading cybersecurity solutions

More devices connecting to the internet means more ways to attack. As businesses adopt these technologies, they need more advanced cybersecurity solutions, such as those with enhanced access controls, encryption and regulatory compliance.

Our research found Advanced Cybersecurity Adopters — organizations focused on upgrading cybersecurity solutions — are better prepared to secure interconnected tech. 55 percent of Advanced Cybersecurity Adopters felt prepared to secure interconnected tech, compared with 22 percent of the rest.

Advanced cybersecurity solutions let your business adapt to evolving threats, meet new regulation and protect critical data.

The leadership team should ask what the organization knows about threats that suggest upgrading cybersecurity solutions, how to minimize the impact of upgrading solutions on workflows and how to ensure employees can use the upgraded tools effectively.

4.   Meeting regulation and standards

To avoid legal problems or reputation damage, your cybersecurity practice must meet changing standards and legal requirements.

Our research found organizations prioritizing meeting new regulation and standards — Regulation Promoters — are better prepared to secure interconnected tech. 40 percent of Regulation Promoters felt prepared to secure interconnected tech, compared with 27 percent of the rest.

To better meet regulation and standards, leadership teams can ask if the organization already meets all security regulation and standards, and if not, which to prioritize. You might also look at how to use cybersecurity compliance processes to build customer’s digital trust.

Interconnected technologies bring huge business opportunities but also a new era of vulnerability to serious cyberthreats. With more data collected and transmitted, cybersecurity measures must get stronger.

Organizations can use these four strategies to safeguard critical assets and fortify customer trust amid a growing interconnected landscape. Leaders must also resource cybersecurity well enough to enable access to new cybersecurity solutions that can meet interconnected tech’s oncoming challenges.

Research: Connecting the future of business

How leaders should prepare for using and securing AI and interconnected technologies

About authors

Suraya Casey is a freelance writer, editor and content strategist based in New Zealand. Her interests include cybersecurity, technology, climate, transport, healthcare and accessibility.