In any organization, regardless of the size, security is a chief concern for any IT department. Without the proper security measures in place, the enterprise is susceptible to a whole host of problems ranging from malware and virus attacks to data breaches – all of which can have a major impact on an enterprise. The impact of these security threats not only can frustrate employees and have a negative effect on their productivity, but they can also impact the bottom line. As a CEO of a global organization, I trust IT not only to keep the company and its assets safe, but to keep our more than 500 employees productive no matter where they are.
Over the past five years with COIT and the rapid adoption of smartphones and tablets IT must now manage and an even more complex environment. While BYOD was introduced by employees looking to increase their personal productivity, it exploited IT’s security concerns exponentially. This sentiment is echoed by Cisco, who in their annual security report stated, “as more people embrace multiple devices that connect to various networks and services through a wide range of applications, more vulnerabilities are exposed.” Regardless of any device, apps and data are distributed across multiple desktops and fuel a mobile workforce with the tools necessary to drive a business.
Cloud services have provided ways for workers to work around constraints of IT security for accessing corporate information. Hundreds of thousands of businesses and millions of users – including myself – have leveraged the convenience of cloud storage technologies such as Box and Google Drive, for file access and sharing. However, the market has evolved and accessing on-premise data from mobile applications is now possible. The reality is we now work in a hybrid environment and IT has an opportunity to securely advance beyond device level management to ensure data is accessible from anywhere.
At the end of the day, security will always be an issue especially as the next paradigm in computing – the convergence of mobile and desktop – continues to take shape. So what can an enterprise organization do to ensure that its security measures and protocols are up to date and evolve with the ever-changing landscape of technology adoption in the workplace? Here are a few tips to keep in mind:
- Evolve Your Thinking Regarding Security – The security problem in many global enterprises is like a bomb waiting to explode. Why? Well many IT departments are stretched so thin, that they simply don’t have the resources to handle the barrage of requests on a daily basis. So many IT departments – not all – have adopted a philosophy when it comes to security, it if ain’t broke, don’t fix it. This approach will lead to catastrophic problems down the line. CIOs must elevate a business level agenda with IT.
- Choose Solutions With that Fit the Enterprise – With so many different solutions available in the market today to help enterprises address security concerns, IT departments need to take a step back and stop creating policies around the technology that is currently available – i.e., fitting a square peg into a round hole. Rather, focus on implementing the solution that has the best interests of employees in mind. Business productivity is an important success factor IT support.
- Build Security Policies Around Employees – When implementing security measures, enterprises should consider building security policies around employees themselves rather than individual devices. This will help to streamline security policies, as IT doesn’t have to worry about what device(s) each employee has and policies for each individual device. It should be about the application and the associated data. At AppSense, we call this People-Centric Computing.
Do you have any interesting tips or success stories regarding security policies in your organization? I’d love you hear what others have to say, so please leave your comments below or continue the conversation on Twitter @AppSense.