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We Need More Than IT...

By vmunster     Feb 15, 2007 in Business
You think IT is all it takes to secure your company's assets? Think again...
I know that most of us can agree that security is BECOMING a very important issue in the internet arena. But there are those who believe that security is not an important issue RIGHT NOW and I am here to give those people a reality check. In fact, many feel that if a company has a great IT dept. that all security problems are solved. But security takes more than just good IT.
Having an IT security strategy does indeed help. Especially if you educate your employees about the dangers of their actions. But exactly, how effective is IT at security? Let’s find out.
How many companies do you think have suffered a data loss because employees give others access to company data?
a) 10%
b) 25%
c) 14%
d) 7%
The answer is (c). 14% of YOUR company’s employees will willingly give access to confidential information to others. However, with an IT security strategy in in place, this percentage shrinks down to 7% meaning that IT does indeed help. But, unfortunately that’s not always the case
For example, how many people do you think lost data due to malicious attacks made by employees or former employees of a company?
a) 7%
b) 13%
c) 18%
d) 24%
The answer is (a). But interestingly enough, this number represents companies who do not currently have an IT security strategy. For companies who DO have an IT security strategy, this number jumps up to 10% meaning that the security strategies setup by IT are usually ineffective.
This seems to be a well known fact beause when asked how many people believe that 50% of all internet based companies will suffer a major security data breach in the next 5 years, how many people do you think said yes?
a) 30%
b) 40%
c) 50%
d) 60%
The answer is (d). 60% of people believe that atleast half of internet based companies will suffer a huge data breach within the next 5 years. This number shows that many people believe that IT alone isn’t doing a very good job of stopping data breaches from occuring. If people had more faith in IT when it comes to security, this number would probably be a lot smaller.
So, if IT is supposed to help protect company data, what about all of the electronic devices we store our confidential information on, such as laptops and PDA’s? How many companies do you think have suffered a data loss due to lost or stolen equipment that was not encrypted?
a) 10%
b) 15%
c) 20%
d) 30%
The answer is (b). One out of every 7 companies have lost data due to lax security. This data could include employee information, customer information, or it could have been caused by an intruder, or an employee. What’s interesting about this statistic is that it is the same for any company, regardless of whether there was an IT security strategy in place or not, meaning that just because you have a great IT department, does not mean the risk of data loss goes down.
So it seems pretty clear that it’s important for companies to provide security education to their employees, and also enforce and regulate the rules necessary to keep the work environment well protected. But it’s also very clear that security requires more than just IT. It requires companies to investigate new tactics that would ensure that data loss doesn’t occur.
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