The essence of digital is accelerating your business. Digital is about enabling connectivity among people and processes. It’s about being able to capture the business value of data through artificial intelligence, digital twin, blockchain, and other emerging technologies. It’s about pushing forward innovative R&D that can solve customer problems. And it’s about transforming the customer experience. All within a secure digital ecosystem. So there really is no question about it: being connected also means welcoming the many opportunities brought on by digital Transformation. Yet many companies understandably proceed with caution. Why?
“The IoT landscape is wider than ever, opening the door to a vast cybersecurity attack surface”
As Schneider Electric’s Chief Digital Officer Hervé Coureil has explained, there is no perimeter. Strengthening security across your end-to-end digital ecosystem, therefore, is key to driving and acceleration digital transformation. It is the guarantee that we all can grow in the digital world.
But you need a clear cyber roadmap: a strategy that connects the dots across your digital ecosystem. There are two levels of this:
- Establishing a multi-layered cybersecurity posture throughout your own company
- Securing a broad ecosystem that comprises partners, suppliers, and customer deployments
Securing the interconnected digital ecosystem with a collaborative approach
Being a trustworthy curator of global cybersecurity depends on collaboration in order to:
- Leverage partner expertise everywhere (e.g., IT/OT convergence, security operations monitoring, AI-driven cyber solutions, cyber services, etc.)
- Challenge all suppliers to meet cybersecurity standards
- Develop digital solutions with embedded cybersecurity designs
- Lead a cybersecurity mindset and culture
- Learn from any and every incident and share insights with customers and partners
“Schneider collaborates with cyber partners to secure our end-to-end digital ecosystem and supply chain, including our own factories”
We leverage common frameworks (i.e., the NIST framework to Identify risks, Protect against threats, Detect threats, Respond quickly, and Recover by building cyber resilience) and standards (e.g, ISA/IEC 62443 cybersecurity certifications) to broaden our posture and speak a common language. .
Taking the point of view of customers is critical because it cuts internal siloes and allows us to improve detection capabilities from an external point of view (e.g., from a network perspective) while also being able to transparently and clearly discuss cybersecurity needs with both customers and suppliers. Being customer-centric heightens risk awareness and fortifies digital trust.
Collaboration also involves serving the global cybersecurity community as well. For example, we contributed our Cybersecurity by Design best practices in the recent World Economic Forum Report: Cyber Resilience in the Electricity Ecosystem, which offers principles and guidance for boards within the electricity industry. We also became a member of the Cybersecurity Coalition and a founding member of the ISA Global Cybersecurity Alliance to affirm our role in securing the global digital economy.
From blaming to learning together
In our shared cyber reality, fast response is the name of the game. The first step is broadening visibility. For example, partnering with Claroty to secure our own factories lets us know when to scrutinize anomalous behavior and event signals along the OT infrastructure. As part of our rapid response strategy, we connect even more dots with customers by integrating analysis of the customer voice to detect and address anything related to security issues. We train our customer center agents to be cyber-aware, contacting our Security Operations Center about any raised flags or early signals. Time is of the essence.
For the greater good of our shared digital economy worldwide, strengthening cyber resiliency by learning together — instead of defensive blaming— is the best way to improve our security posture continuously. And communicating risk awareness is how we all can navigate obstacles and avoid roadblocks together.
Conclusion: A more secure digital landscape leveraging trust and learning
Digital trust depends on establishing an inherently cyber-aware culture with strong cyber citizens across the landscape. The starting point is risk awareness — not as an academic exercise but a way to infuse security in the digital DNA of Schneider’s end-to-end digital ecosystem. From there, the digital journey can move full speed ahead, logging the milestones of improved efficiency, increased productivity, long-term sustainability, and strong business growth along the way.