IT departments are given the unique challenge of anticipating infrastructure problems and network security issues before they occur. While many decision-makers choose to implement industry standard "best-practice" solutions to address IT security concerns, many businesses remain oblivious to the importance of real-time security assessments to uncover weak links in company networks and information databases.
What should business leaders be asking about their IT practices?
A recent article from Information Week warned IT leaders to avoid "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" mentalities when it comes to the security of vital company data. Applications and security measures can quickly become outdated, and the fact that a network has not yet experienced a data breach does not mean threats are nonexistent. The IT department is responsible for the technical efficiency and productivity of an entire company and should be actively seeking new methods to increase the effectiveness of applications and tighten security measures.
Because each organization is distinct in its structure, goals and philosophy, there really is no such thing as universal "best-practices." Information Week emphasized the role of IT strategists as the key players in the technological advancement of a company, bridging gaps between departments, partners and clients. By remaining satisfied with antiquated infrastructure and security, businesses are not only missing the opportunity to make effective changes, but likely devoting too many resources to the maintenance of systems that no longer function optimally.
Safe flow of data needs to be a top priority
With this in mind, decision-makers should not throw all of their current hardware and application suites out the window simply for the sake of bringing in the new. CSO recently urged business leaders to thoroughly assess their companies' strengths and weaknesses to find out which practices are working better than others. An effective first step in this process is for executives to determine what data is the most important to their business operations and prioritize the storage, accessibility and security of that information.
CSO also stressed the importance of positive employee and client engagement as a preemptive security measure. Cyber threats invariably occur due to malicious intent of an individual or group looking to damage or steal from a company. By keeping open channels of communication with clients and personnel, feedback will become available and more easily implemented into future IT strategies.