Security is always a major concern, no matter where your data currently exists. And consistent reports of high-profile attacks on brand name companies do little to appease fear.
While a lot of press covers how to protect data from external threats, it’s also important to remember that an even bigger challenge is protecting against insider threats. Insider threats are more than employees with weak passwords, or an angry employee with malicious intent. There are two pieces to the insider threat issue which all businesses need to address:
- Insider behavior
- System configurations
Insider threats reach beyond the employee population. They extend to anyone who may have had legitimate, inside access to the company’s networks at some point in the past. That can include employees, vendors, contractors, partners – anyone who was given a key to enter the system, no matter for what purpose.
We give access to different people for various reasons. But in all cases, it creates an opening, no matter how small, that didn’t exist before. It creates a tiny crack in the overall structure.
Imagine a building with hundreds of windows. One person opening one window just a crack may not impact the safety and security of the building and its contents. But what happens when another is opened? And another?
Each of these points causes a gap in the system. They are entry points that allow external factors to get in and impact the overall structure and security of the system. Even if at one point the external elements had every reason for having access to the system in the first place.
Any type of system breach, no matter how small it may be, can be a business’s worst nightmare. Yet it’s more common than most business owners believe. It takes just one ignorant employee leaving a door open to put your data and your company at risk.
Diligence is essential. Security isn’t a one-time thing; it’s a lifetime endeavor. Just when you have one area under control, another potential problem opens up.
Do you know where the biggest insider threats lie within your business environment?
It’s business as usual. Or is it?
In all industries, changes are occurring at lightning speed. And while you may find change exhilarating for staying current in what you do best, change can be terrifying in other parts of your business.
What happens when Google makes a change that impacts your ranking; do you know how to deal with it? Are you aware of breaches that could impact your data? Do you monitor third party contract and service agreement changes and understand how they affect you?
Even if you do have an in-house IT team, they still operate with finite resources. There are only so many hours in the day, and only a fraction of those hours are used for education and training, to ensure they stay on top of their game.
What about what they miss? How do those things impact your business? And what can you do to close the gap?
It may be easier than you think.
An IT mentor may be the perfect solution to ensure you are at your top game in this technology-driven world.
Before you start a mentor relationship, focus on two things.
1. Am I clear on why I need these mentors?
We all have different needs and requirements. An IT mentor can provide extra guidance to an in-house staff that may be weak in certain areas. Will they benefit most from being able to look at the big picture? Or do they need help with automation? Or is safety a more primary concern? A mentor can only improve your situation if you understand what you expect as your ultimate goal.
2. Am I clear on what I need from these mentors?
Be very specific about your needs. Yes, your in-house staff may be great at certain aspects of technology, but an IT mentor will help fill in the gaps. They will help you develop a broader plan and nail down specifics to make sure you measure success in a clearer way.
Focus on the skills your team is weak on, and what is best to help your business become stronger and more competitive. Fill in the gaps without having to grow your staff.
Whether you can pinpoint your needs or not, the best place to start is by realizing help can make everything you do stronger and more succinct. Start the conversation, and make this a great year.