Digital business is blurring the lines between the digital and the physical worlds, disrupting all industries and redefining the role of IT. This was the theme at the recent Gartner Symposium ITXpo in Barcelona, where Avecto unveiled Defendpoint as part of its global launch roadshow to an audience of over 5,000 CIO and senior IT decision makers.

"To grasp the digital opportunity, incrementally improving IT performance isn't enough. Enterprises and their CIOs need to 'flip' from old to new in terms of information and technology leadership, value leadership and people leadership." Gartner CIO Agenda Survey Report

Gartner Research VP Alistair Newton led a session entitled "Digital Banking Moments", during which he explained that IT teams should align to the end customer as well as the business - becoming firstly on the shoulder of the customer and not their business colleagues. This sentiment was echoed throughout the symposium.

Meanwhile, taking security center-stage, Christian Byrnes (Gartner Managing VP) talked about taking risks in digital business, reporting that 89% of CIOs believe that digital is bringing new hypes and levels of risk. His key message of "learning to trust the untrustworthy" is a poignant one, when "there is no such thing as perfect protection."

Mr Byrnes presented risk posture as a choice - with organizations needing to effectively balance high risk, low cost strategies with those of low risk, high cost.

He believes that risk is owned by the business, with security teams becoming "the facilitators of a balance between the need to protect the organization and the need to run the business."

This sentiment is aligned with Avecto's mantra of positive security, and the balance that must be achieved between security and freedom for any project to achieve success. That is, usability must not suffer against security - and instead be viewed as an enabler of productivity. No more talk of locking down the user, creating barricades or dividing IT and their internal customers.

Instead, take a people-centric security approach (championed by Gartner's Tom Schultz) where you monitor behaviour, assign rights and responsibilities and educate on principles, ensures that employees become empowered to perform in their roles.

I presented a session at the symposium with my colleague Saul Peake (Avecto CMO) entitled "Be positive about security - the commercial benefits of user freedoms."

In the 30 minute presentation, we discussed how users want and demand IT freedoms but feel stifled by stringent security policies. How can users be free in a digitally-connected enterprise, while maintaining security?

Additionally, how can you effectively layer your security strategies to achieve proactive defense in depth to protect against today's advanced attacks?

Watch the on-demand video to hear the commercial benefits of supporting user freedoms and the potential relationship between IT and internal customers when both are freed by balanced security.