We recently covered the challenges that business executives face due to the rapidly evolving nature of IT within the enterprise. Put simply, IT is now more important than ever for organizations in every industry, and executives need to know the basics of these technologies in order to make intelligent, effective decisions for their companies’ futures. This does not mean that executives must master every aspect of their firm’s IT infrastructures – this is virtually impossible, considering the growing complexity of this technology and business leaders’ myriad other responsibilities.
However, it is both possible and critical that these decision-makers attain a base-level understanding of the key aspects of IT As we previously noted, these can be broken down into three main categories: the network, security and expertise. In this article, we’ll briefly go over the second of these areas.
By this point, the need for IT security is well-established. Virtually every day brings additional reports of businesses suffering severely as a result of data breaches caused by insufficient IT security.
Considering its importance in any given company’s overall success, IT security should be a key focus for business executives. To this end, an understanding of its key components is vital.
Essentially, IT security can be seen as having three distinct, critical components: prevention, detection and remediation. Each plays a distinct, important role in effective data protection.
Perhaps the most obvious aspect of IT security, prevention is a firm’s efforts to stop any unauthorized individuals or entities from gaining access to sensitive information in the first place. And when it comes to protecting that sensitive information, you can’t be too careful.
There are numerous aspects of effective prevention. Firewalls play a key role, as they create a protective barrier around the company’s network. Antivirus and anti-malware software can also offer additional security.
While these technological measures offer significant piece of mind, it’s important to note the human element in prevention. Only by ensuring that employees follow best practices can a firm truly protect its data. For executives, this means monitoring employee behavior and ensuring they are aware of and adhere to a written policy on conduct pertaining to IT practices.
In many executives’ minds, prevention is the only necessary security consideration. The harsh reality is, this is simply not enough. Firms also need to establish methods for detecting any intrusions that may have occurred despite the preventative measures in place. Consequently, executives should view network monitoring and other detection-based strategies critical for achieving their mission.
Lastly, IT security strategies must take into account remediation. Even the most secure firms may eventually experience a data breach. Executives can see that damage is minimized with a robust, flexible response plan that employs disaster recovery and business continuity strategies, but they must ensure it exists and is regularly updated.
By focusing on these areas, business executives can greatly improve the quality of their firms’ overall IT security.