1. Invest in Your EmployeesThe first step to take to strengthen your company’s IT security is to educate and prepare your employees. At the most basic level, your company’s IT security depends on your employees. As InfoWorld columnist Roger Grimes bluntly states: “Successful security strategies are not about tools – it's about teams.” Your “team,” in the case of IT security, includes the entirety of your company. There are two main functions of IT security that each one of your employees needs to be familiar with if they are to serve as security assets for your business:
- Policy compliance
- Incident response
2. Teach IT Threat Recognition and Policy ParametersEvery person in your company needs to complete some sort of compliance training for your business’ IT security policy. Compliance training both informs your employees about the specifics of your company’s policy—its crucial IT services, primary vulnerabilities, and responsible parties—and trains them how to recognize and follow its parameters. Increasing employee awareness of IT security policy helps secure your company through encouraging a broader understanding of IT services as the primary security endpoints of your company. For example, teaching employees how to accurately spot common IT security threats like phishing emails or sending out reminders about which security software to regularly update, create a more security-conscious employee base, and provide an additional layer of security for your firm.
3. Implement and Practice Incident ResponseThe second core function of IT security your business needs to invest in is incident response. Preparing for and practicing what to do in the event of an IT security breach provides a form of damage control insurance for your company. Despite any company’s best efforts, avoiding IT security breaches is becoming an existential challenge. Last year alone, the amount of public data breach disclosures increased over 300 percent from 2016. In the event that your company is the target of an IT security attack, the best response is a practiced one. Think of an IT security breach like a fire in your office: If you have done a fire drill in the past, the chances that your employees erupt into chaos diminishes significantly. While there is still a fire, your company is still able to respond in an organized fashion, which allows you to control and reduce the amount of damage suffered. The same goes for an IT breach. If, upon attack, your employees freak out and begin to actually access their files and data in an impulsive effort to “save” them, the outcome will likely be worse. Teach your employees how to act in the event of an attack, and they will react in a measured and responsible way.
IT Security Is All About Your PeopleA company’s people are its most important asset. When it comes to IT security, your company needs to treat them as such. Every company needs to invest in IT security training for their employees. Two main ways your company can encourage employee IT security awareness and work to prevent damage to your IT services are through compliance training—educating them on policy and how to follow it—and practicing responses in the case of an actual security breach. Through measured and targeted investment, your company can maintain strong IT security.