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Why Data Security Can’t Just Be a Checklist

Organizations face heavy consequences if fault lines in their information security protection cause their data to be exposed or lost. However, IT teams, executives and employees are usually pretty busy with their other tasks and operations to give the situation the attention it deserves.

All too often, data security is viewed as a checklist of sorts. There are a number of reasons why an organization might have vulnerabilities within their security infrastructure ranging from budget, workloads, outdated hardware or software, third party integration, among many others. Data security needs evolve and should not be viewed it as a "set it and forget it" activity.

In many cases, cybersecurity issues don’t wait for an organization to be prepared before disaster strikes. Large retail companies, health care facilities, government agencies and other entities have made headline for some of the worst reasons possible: exposing customer or patient information, often in violation of regulatory guidelines.

Organizations are constantly at risk for losing their resources or falling victim to breaches that can afflict them with heavy fines, dissatisfied customers and PR nightmares. We live in a time that requires a consistent, vigilant security approach. Therefore, protecting digital information must be integrated into the very fiber of business operations, from regularly educating employees to implementing strong secure file transfer programs.

Culture, Not Compliance

PCI compliance is one reason why organizations implement specific security protocol designing their systems. Wired.com contributor Jeff Mann and PCI evangelist at Tenable Network Security, emphasized that successfully passing audits and intermittently adapting to new guidelines are not enough.

In other words, in addition to complying with regulatory guidelines, organizations need the right tools to ensure that employees are consistently working in ways that improve security and keep data safe.  To counter the problem of user error or poor data sharing practices, companies should consider offering their workers intuitive, convenient tools that automatically provide higher levels of protection, such as encryption. Part of this strategy is making sure that team members don't disregard best practices and resort to less dependable consumer-grade programs.

Data Security is a Team Effort

Keeping information secure is a task that requires the contributions of everyone throughout the enterprise. In an article for LinkedIn, Cindy Fornelli, executive director at the Center for Audit Quality, encouraged business leaders to view cybersecurity as a puzzle: multiple roles have their own crucial contribution to make, and each of these parts must come together to form a solid whole. From auditing professionals to IT teams to executives to employees - everyone must be on board with the organization's policies and strategies to keep resources safe. This requires excellent communication and collaboration between parties.

Threats to digital networks evolve and change every day, so it's important for organizations to stay vigilant and keep abreast of the latest rules and recommendations. To reduce the strain on their IT teams and other professionals, corporations might want to utilize secure file transfer systems and other tools that enjoy the support of managed service providers. These vendors keep their products up to date with the latest security measures, allowing company teams to focus their attention and energy on other critical aspects of their comprehensive information security plan.

Data security is one of many critical areas managed by an IT department. Allowing it to fall to the wayside could cost an organization heavily. IT departments in any organization are busy. Maintenance, troubleshooting, and ongoing projects often leave no time for planning. However, when details get lost in the shuffle, that’s when costly mistakes happen and it can carry a heavy price tag, affecting your personal reputation and that of your organization.

Watch our recent webinar, “Three Mistakes IT Makes that Could Cost Your Organization Millions”  

In our webinar we discuss the following:

  • Three common mistakes that IT departments make in the day-to-day shuffle
  • Areas where you and your organization are likely exposed
  • Guidelines and helpful tips to help you avoid these costly gaps