As we grow older, there are many lessons taught in life. These moments of insight build character, ensuring a mistake is never made twice. While these events allow us to emerge smarter and more experienced, some issues aren’t resolved that easily – or even recognized the first time. And while a cycle of “trial and error” may work for some, this learning curve can prove quite painful in the world of technology.

In 2015, far too many companies learned the hard way that IT security – or lack thereof – has become a major problem. According to The Ponemon Institute, the cost of security failures continues to skyrocket – with the average loss for a single breach coming in at $3.8 million. The stakes can be even higher as organizations transition to a Hybrid IT environment or move to a Managed Services model. While the hybrid approach has the power to create significant cost savings, build new efficiencies, enhance customer service, and drive innovation – it also introduces the potential for risk. As some or all information is no longer on-premise, real-time protection becomes all the more difficult.

As we close the books on 2015 and start a new year, security is now more important than ever – with Gartner Group predicting a $75 billion information security industry.  Now is the best time to reflect on IT security strategies, take stock of lessons learned, and prepare for what’s ahead.

  • Watch Your Data: The age of Big Data is here and there’s no turning back. With everything from medical records to financial data being stored in the cloud, companies must build security policies that lead with protection of this unstructured information. Many have already learned tough lessons, understanding IT theft is more than stealing financial data – it’s protecting reputation.
  • Monitor the Inside: While many focus on hackers and outside threats, some of the biggest security risks come from inside the organization. Whether a disgruntled employee stealing data or parties engaging in unauthorized “Rogue IT” projects – CIOs must be on high alert. In a recent survey, nearly 75 percent of security professionals noted concern for insider threats – yet more than 30 percent noted limited ability to protect against these breaches.
  • Mind Your “Things”: This year, more than 6.4 billion “things” are expected to be in use across the IT universe. This growing Internet of Things (IoT) translates into greater exposure for both virtual and physical assets. From remote controlled home security cameras to driverless cars, the physical world is at risk for attacks led from the cyber universe. Solid IoT strategies are supported by a foundational security infrastructure.
  • BYOD is Still Hot: Enterprises continue to endorse the use of personal mobile devices in the workplace to foster collaboration, drive innovation and create new efficiencies. Yet according to Gartner Group, more than three-quarters of mobile applications were projected to fail basic security tests by the end of 2015. As employees adopt these assets for business use, CIOs must place BYOD at the top of their security agenda.
  • Going (PH)ishing: Despite dire industry warnings, phishing attacks continue to be some of the biggest security threats. No company remains untouched by potential exposure from suspicious e-mails. According a survey by the Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG), there were nearly 125,000 unique phishing attacks worldwide at the end of last year. Security strategies that fail to anticipate and employ real-time security measures to block rogue attempts are simply incomplete.

To adequately prepare for emerging threats, it’s important to align with a partner dedicated to IT security. This partner must not only understand the latest security trends, but what to expect during the coming year. This ally must also be able to interpret current business requirements – and build a security policy and infrastructure that aligns with the organization.  CenturyLink can take the learning out of these lessons for you and help your enterprise get serious about IT Security. Get in touch with our IT Security Specialists today!

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  1. jean Meyer

    Start the New Year out securely!