If you are in charge of IT risk management, you have to be engaged with work tasks people are actually doing every day.
Don’t be afraid to get out of your office and talk to people about what they do. Be aware of business processes and operations so you can keep a grip on the IT security risks your organization faces. If your organization is bound by laws like HIPAA or Sarbanes-Oxley, remaining in compliance is an important component to your overall IT security. But it’s hardly sufficient. Security risks that seemed like science fiction back in 2003 exist today, so nobody can afford to be complacent. Here are some of the major security risks that your IT security plan must address.
Email viruses almost seem quaint today, but they’re still a huge problem. Education, policy, and appropriate software are all necessary to prevent damage from emailed viruses. You would think that everyone knows not to open attachments from unsolicited emails, but you would be wrong. Employees should operate from the mindset that every unsolicited email is suspect. Up-to-date, reputable anti-virus software is essential, because when someone unwittingly starts blasting out spam due to a virus, productivity can halt and critical data can be compromised.
Your company should have an explicit written policy concerning illegal downloads. This is particularly important in BYOD environments where people may choose to download stuff at work rather than risk hitting data ceilings on their home internet connection. Employee penalties for illegal downloads have to be enforced across the board to be effective. Just one illegally downloaded software license can be very expensive in the event of a software license audit. It’s not easy being the bad guy, but the risks are too steep. Some IT service management software offers notification features that can alert you to illegal downloads in your organization.
Organized Malware Syndicates
It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, but some of today’s worst hacking attacks come from organized groups of professional cyber criminals. Many of the most successful of these consist of large affiliate groups — similar to cybercrime versions of multi-level marketing setups. Various divisions of these groups may create malware, make bot-nets, or distribute harmful software. The goal is usually to obtain intellectual property and money. Network security is essential, and if your company has a BYOD policy, you must make it absolutely clear what can and cannot be connected to company networks, and ensure that no company data is stored on employee devices.
Very few hackers physically emerge through laptop screens anymore.
Some criminals play the long game. They break into a company’s IT assets, and gradually steal confidential information on an enormous scale, including financial information, business plans, and patents. The goal is to sell valuable information while staying hidden inside a compromised company’s network indefinitely. These attacks are known as advanced persistent threats (APTs) and are more common than you think. Intrusion detection software is important, but it isn’t enough. Every employee who gets on the network has to be educated on risky practices and what to do when they think data may have been compromised.
Computer-based espionage and cybercrime cause companies to lose up to $100 billion per year, according to a report by McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies. Your IT service management tools can help you keep your organization’s hardware, software, websites, and data safe with detection tools, license tracking, and automated alerts on risks or gaps in compliance before problems can grow. Samanage not only offers powerful, customizable service desk and asset management software, it offers risk detection tools that allow your IT team to stay on top of IT security at all times.
About Nathan Riley
Nathan Riley is a Sales Director for Samanage. He has seven years experience in the industry, and has had a front row seat for the evolution of service management as a platform for the entire organization. He helps organizations ranging from SMB to Fortune 500 bring customized service to employees. Nathan proudly served the United States Armed Forces in the United States Marine Corps.
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