Managing Unknowns in IT
Running a business is challenging and there are many unknowns. If you are not careful, they will catch you at the most inopportune moments. Join our discussion of how “Blind Spots” can disrupt your ability to manage the risks found within Information Technology.
Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance
~ From the 5P’s of Success
The Full Scoop
Originally published through the Tampa Bay Business Journal Leadership Trust
Running a business has often been compared to running a marathon. You can sprint for a time, but you soon realize that this is going to be a long, hard-fought race, and it is best to pace yourself. On your journey, you will face a variety of challenges and opportunities. The terrain will vary, and it quickly becomes impossible to take in all the sights or to preempt the variety of surprises you will face.
Blind spots can catch you off guard and unaware. Blind spots are those situations you just did not see coming. You may occasionally encounter blind spots, which is expected. However, if you frequently find yourself caught off guard, you must assess the reasons behind it. Learning experiences can often account for blind spots, but you need to actively analyze and address them. At other times, you need to recognize it was due to a lack of experience. Whatever the reason you did not see something coming, making a commitment to ongoing learning and growth is crucial to your continued success.
Cybersecurity is one of those functional areas that often takes business owners by surprise. I have heard more than a few business owners who were experiencing system outages say that it could not have happened at a worse time. Few businesses exist in our society that are not deeply dependent on technology, yet few have grasped the importance of treating technology as a foundational pillar within their respective operations. If you are not convinced of the importance of IT in your business, imagine going a day without internet access. IT governance and the acceptance of it as an executive priority is especially important with the many technological threat vectors that exist today.
One lesson to learn quickly is that the safety of your organization as it relates to technology is not a core responsibility of your IT team – it is the responsibility of every team member who has access to your system and network. It is true that raw technology can shield you from the negative effects of a variety of cybersecurity threats, but it cannot replace the value that comes from responsible and well-trained employees. Many threats evolve quickly, and it is important for your employee base to be on the lookout.
In many cases, your own employees introduce threats into your system and network. Few malware tools can penetrate systems without the aid of internal employees. Therefore, you should require your staff to take cybersecurity seriously. People are your greatest asset in the fight to protect your IT systems. And, providing them with training on how to avoid falling victim is crucial to keeping your systems safe.
Employees should be cautious to only navigate to websites necessary to perform their job functions. Open email attachments only from reliable sources. If an email looks suspicious, it likely is suspicious. If your IT provider is recommending upgrades to outdated systems, listen to that advice. Cybersecurity threats evolve constantly, and outdated hardware and software were not built to handle the variety of current threats your business will face.
Work with your IT provider to identify the tools that will train and inform your employees. Cost-effective ways exist to ensure your employees are well prepared to defend against technical and social engineering threats found in our environment today. These ways include utilizing tools that deliver education and implementing highly active processes to test the knowledge of your employee base.
Contact us anytime with questions.