Cybersecurity is one of the top considerations for businesses when choosing digital transformation solutions—as it should be—and any weakness in security can make potential buyers hesitant to invest. Even so, security can be one of the first things to fall by the wayside as companies rush to embrace the multi-faceted benefits and possible growth opportunities brought by digital transformation. It’s a balancing act between the most secure environment and the easiest to use environemnet. The Nirvana state is where both of these vectors, security and ease of use, are present.
This is especially important because, even though there has been tremendous growth in digital innovation during the pandemic, there has been unabated growth in cybersecurity attacks.
Security shouldn’t be sacrificed in the name of innovation. Indeed, it should remain a top priority for technology manufacturers. That’s why I’m so pleased that this week Lenovo has established the Lenovo Cybersecurity Innovation Center (LCIC) in cooperation with Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. The LCIC is a strategic play by Lenovo to continue its digital innovation record while ensuring that security remains a top priority.
If you’d like to know more about what’s happening on the innovation side at Lenovo, I’ve written a lot about it at Moor Insights & Strategy.
Meanwhile, let’s dive into the details of the newly established LCIC and what it means for Lenovo.
Uniting academic and commercial cybersecurity expertise
Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is a hub for global expertise in cybersecurity, and the new LCIC partnership is exciting news for both Lenovo and the university. First, it gives Lenovo an active cybersecurity relationship with one of the top research groups in the world. Cybersecurity is never static, and bad actors are moving targets who are constantly looking for new security vulnerabilities to exploit. That’s why it is so important for tech players like Lenovo to have a proactive approach to cybersecurity research and implementation. This approach helps ensure that cybersecurity development keeps up with the bad actors while Lenovo also keeps pace in terms of digital innovation.
It is also exciting news for Ben-Gurion University of the Negev to work closely with Lenovo. Lenovo is a global technology powerhouse and one of the world’s largest PC makers, with key growth areas in servers, storage, mobile solutions and services. Researchers and other experts from the university and Lenovo will be able to work side by side to monitor and assess threats and combine research and reporting to enable more effective cybersecurity responses. Likewise, Lenovo will be able to share crucial real-world information on new threats encountered by its customers to help the LCIC advance cybersecurity solutions.
Professor Yuval Elovici said it best: “Ben-Gurion University is committed to maintaining its cybersecurity research leadership not just in Israel, but also globally, and to apply the most recent academic knowledge and research to real-world issues.” I believe Lenovo should be able to offer better cybersecurity solutions thanks to the cooperation of university experts coming from an academic research perspective.
Building on Lenovo ThinkShield
A major rationale for establishing the LCIC is to benefit from the cybersecurity advancements it can bring to ThinkShield. ThinkShield is Lenovo’s end-to-end security portfolio, covering everything from hardware to software to services. Lenovo says the LCIC will focus on zero-trust architecture innovation in hardware and below-OS security, as well as being a hub for the development of next-generation security solutions.
Security must happen at every level of the hardware and software stack, which explains the comprehensive approach that drives ThinkShield. Lenovo says it starts with product design and the supply chain, then adds below-OS layers of security for firmware, BIOS, hardware and so on. Sitting on top of these layers is OS- and cloud-level security.
Lenovo understands that security is a primary focus for businesses, yet should not hamper business opportunities or user experiences. In practice, Lenovo believes in security by design, where security is implemented from the start for products and services and across the product lifecycle. However, security by design is easier said than done. Some people think it can only interfere with product innovation—I think it should do just the opposite.
The growth of innovation should not outpace security; rather, security should be an essential part of innovation. When innovation outpaces security, that often leaves a gap of vulnerability. Gaps like that end up requiring even more effort and resources to fix, either because you need to go back and add security features later in the design process, or because you don’t adequately implement security until after a serious threat has occurred. But when security is treated as a key part of the innovation process, manufacturers can meet the security-first needs of businesses while also paving the way for more momentum in innovation. As long as it properly fulfills its mission, the LCIC will allow Lenovo to keep ThinkShield ahead of the curve in providing innovative security-first solutions.
The LCIC’s focus on new advances in zero-trust architecture will be important for Lenovo to continue offering products and services rooted in security by design. Establishing the LCIC also creates a great opportunity for Lenovo’s enterprise customers to see how the company’s security focus helps drive innovation rather than holding it back.
As digital innovation continues to spread and change how the world operates, I have no doubt we will see continued rapid growth in cybersecurity threats. In that context, I hope to see Lenovo continue to design security-first products and services to bolster its position as a leader in secure digital transformation.