April 6, 2017

    Minimizing IT Risks: Effective Tech & Process Solutions

    Information technology continues to evolve at an unprecedented rate. For today’s businesses, that’s good news and bad news. Good because it brings digitally enhanced processes that save time and money. Bad because the inherent risks present new and mounting challenges for your IT department -- and your organization as a whole. For any company to successfully identify and mitigate those risks, they must be equipped with the most effective technologies and processes.

    If your IT team is constantly putting out fires and reacting to problems as they arise, they’re not properly preventing risk. Risk prevention requires a proactive approach, one supported by the most appropriate and valuable technologies and processes. Ask yourself whether your IT team is operating with the following risk prevention systems in place or struggling to respond to escalated issues. The well-being of your business depends on it.      

    Implementing A Data Security Policy

    A single security breach has the potential to endanger your organization’s critical data assets, incur immense costs and even put you out of business. With the potential for these kinds of devastating outcomes, your company must take all the necessary steps to defend itself. Are you implementing a proper data security policy to safeguard against data leakage, data theft and security inefficiencies? If not, you’re highly susceptible to suffering from serious consequences.

    With the benefit of a strong data security policy backed by robust technology to identify and combat risks, your IT team has a sturdy foundation from which to proactively address security issues before they progress into major complications. No business is safe from the data threats that have permeated today’s business world, but there are ways to fortify your assets. Start by building the kind of data security policy your IT staff can use to get ahead of risk instead of falling behind.

    Staying Up-to-Date on Compliance

    Your organization can’t afford to incur the kinds of penalties that result from noncompliance with government regulations in your industry. Compliance is no casual matter; it must be taken seriously. But any IT team that’s not able to stay up to date on these issues is working with their hands tied behind their backs.

    The modern business world continues to become more dangerous by the day, so maintaining compliance with governing bodies must be a priority. This is a critical aspect of enabling your IT team to protect your company from the risks and consequences that can cripple your organization. Only with the most up-to-date information can your team promote a compliance-ready environment for securely managing data across the business.

    Involving Employees at Every Level

    When it comes to data security, employees from the top of your organization to the bottom can become your biggest risk. In fact, someone in your company may be opening up the business to dangerous, costly threats right now, whether intentionally or not. If your IT team is failing to educate and manage every employee at every level, it doesn’t matter how hard they work to prevent breaches -- there will still be vulnerabilities just waiting to be exploited.

    Data security dangers will continue to be a reality for organizations everywhere -- and they will continue to be compounded by the risks that employees present. Ultimately, you can’t take the chance that sensitive information is stolen, hacked or mishandled. Secure data management technology can help mitigate these employee-generated risks, with features like in-transit and at-rest encryption, password enforcement, country and individual IP address restrictions, auditing and analytics tools, and effective backup solutions. It’s essential to apply both the tech and the teaching to ensure that employees understand their role in data security and become part of the solution, not part of the problem.

    Keeping Inventory

    Does your IT team have a process in place to maintain a strong pulse on the devices, software and users circulating throughout the organization? Unless they have a proper handle on all technology assets and the people using them, your IT department is at a distinct disadvantage in terms of reducing risk and protecting critical data.

    Inventory management gives your IT professionals the insight they need to determine who requires specific levels of data access, keep tabs on that access across the board, apply strict user permissions and monitor devices and applications in a proactive way.

    Defining the Right Roles

    Yes, risk management and data security are owned by every employee within your organization, but it’s important to structure a specific team that incorporates the right roles. Think about whether your IT department leverages the following positions to minimize risk, maintain a proactive approach and make information security a high priority.

    • Senior Management
    • Chief Information Officer
    • System Information Owners
    • Information Security Officer
    • Security Awareness Trainers

    Adopting Secure FTP Software

    If your business is relying on email or consumer-grade file sharing options, the potential for risk is massive. File sharing programs like these are often highly vulnerable to hackers, and they may lead to productivity losses, overwhelming costs and reputational damage. That’s why it’s important to employ smart FTP software that offers advanced security features. With the proper solution, your IT department has the means to identify and mitigate looming risks.

    The right FTP software will provide essential security features that enable your IT team to:

    • Encrypt all files both in transit and at rest
    • Prevent visibility of non-assigned folders
    • Set upload/download/delete and list directory permissions
    • Rely on a system-wide IP blacklist that blocks all types of hacker activity
    • Restrict access to your server by country
    • Enforce user-level IP address and protocol restrictions

    As you consider these IT risk prevention efforts, think about where your organization may be lacking and how those insufficiencies could be endangering your business. Remember, your IT department can’t fully protect your company if they’re weighed down by reactive processes. Ensure that they have the foundation they need to proactively overcome risk.

    It’s time to strengthen your company’s defenses and safeguard your information. Set the course for success by taking advantage of this security policy template to protect your data and your organization.   


    Martin Horan

    Martin, Sharetru's Founder, brings deep expertise in secure file transfer and IT, driving market niche success through quality IT services.

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