Top 3 Threats to IT Security Compliance

Organizations have a lot to worry about in terms of IT security.

Are the right backup and recovery systems in place?

Are employees fully educated about email security?

Are two-factor verification and multilayer security being employed?

Thinking about IT security can be overwhelming, and that’s even before considering how you and your clients must meet industry and government regulations.

From PCI compliance to C-SOX to HIPAA, PIPEDA, PHIP A, and HITECH keeping customer and patient data safe is a crucial aspect of IT security for Canadian companies.

And maintaining compliance can be challenging, especially as BYOD becomes more common.

The ITeam has identified the top three threats that must be addressed:

Shadow IT

There is no bigger threat to your IT security than unknown apps.

These third-party apps represent one of the largest threats to compliance and security.

There is no control over which apps employees are using to get their work done in the most expedient way possible.

From file-sharing on unsecured platforms to communicating outside of network-secure email, the risks are real.

How to address the risk

Shadow IT is often the result of delayed implementation of streamlined services that make work easier for your employees.

So speed up the evaluation and implementation process of services, apps, and platforms that make it easier for your teams to collaborate and communicate.

Talk to your employees to identify where hang-ups are, and then resolve them.

Establish clear policies about the use of unapproved apps and software.

Shift as much of your organization’s IT infrastructure as possible to secure hosted services, so that secure access can occur anywhere.

Mobile Devices

As many as 75 percents of employees use personal devices for work-related activities, consequently storing sensitive information on their phones, whether this is endorsed by the organization or not.

And while there is a risk that these devices may be lost or stolen, it’s more likely that any threat to compliance will come from the employee using an unsecured mobile network or public Wi-Fi to share and send files, check email, and use unapproved apps.

How to address the risk

Mobile Device Management, a specific layer of security and policy protocols that govern mobile device usage in your business, should be developed, monitored, and revised regularly to keep up with new threats as they appear.

Human Error

The biggest risk to your organization is the people in it.

From the employee who is baited by a phishing email to an outside vendor who has access to your network, human error is the cause of most compliance issues.

How to address the risk

Education and training are the foundation for preventing IT security breaches in your organization.

Regularly update employees about new malware and phishing threats, and provide them with ongoing training to maintain awareness about IT security.

Update your security policies often, and require your employees to sign agreements acknowledging security policies and agreeing to abide by them.

Establish no-tolerance policies with regard to compliance; do not let an employee’s desire to take a shortcut to create a costly compliance issue.

IT security compliance requirements will vary from one industry to another.

If your organization takes an aggressive stance toward protecting customer data, requires employees to comply with strict network and data access policies, and remains vigilant about updating software, apps, and security monitoring platforms, IT security is possible.

As technology fundamentally changes how we do business, serve customers, and meet regulatory compliance standards, business leaders must reevaluate whether their current IT strategies are meeting their needs.

Do you understand your organization’s IT needs?

Are you making a rapid shift to cloud-based services and need to identify your core compliance issues?

Are you concerned about security and want to gain a more in-depth understanding of how secure your data and email are?

The ITeam is committed to helping Calgary- and Alberta-based businesses develop proactive IT strategies that keep them competitive. Contact us to learn more.