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Business Gets Hacked? No More Deflection. It’s The CIO’s Fault.

There has been an undeniable shift over the last few years towards a higher focus on cybersecurity, yet there are still massive vulnerabilities that exist for most businesses. These vulnerabilities can lead to a pause in operations or even massive reductions in company value. Many of the attacks carried out are avoidable, as the majority of them occur through the exploitation of known vulnerabilities. This means that if a breach or hack occurs, it is your own fault, often leading back to the CIO.

Being that large investments are being made in cybersecurity, why are there still vulnerabilities? The biggest factor here is ensuring that endpoints are adequately patched and regularly updated. There is a growing number of security companies offering the world to their customers, yet they are leaving some of these core vulnerabilities left unattended.

Security Vulnerabilities

Even if a single device is not properly updated you create a point of entry and a risky situation for your organization. There simply isn’t complete visibility when it comes to corporate endpoints, and the rise in remote workers adds to this concern. When visibility is hazy, environments cannot be properly patched and protected.

When examining the most common security vulnerabilities you begin to see a lot of similarities among organizations. Remote working, automated upgrades and patching, a growing number of endpoints, and inadequate collaboration between IT and security teams are all reoccurring issues for many organizations.

If a strong relationship exists between an IT security and IT operations team, you are in a better position to ensure strong security at your business. Despite the importance of this relationship, trust issues seem to exist between the two teams.

When looking at remote workers, a certain level of disconnect seems to exist when not based out of an office. This disconnect can lead to security issues as there is less focus on network protections and data protection protocols. Many security tools that exist are designed for an office setting and function best when inside the boundaries of a corporate office location. These locations are typically well managed, have better connectivity, and consistent work hours.

Remote teams throw much of this out the window, which is an issue that needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, many organizations with a remote workforce feel ill-prepared to successfully react to a data breach. There are more devices at play and various work patterns that lead to inconsistencies and potential vulnerabilities that aren’t accounted for.

It is very possible that a fair amount of ignorance exists around endpoints that exist within various pieces of software, which should be a priority for all CIOs.  In addition to this, data has increased in value and cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated with their approach to exploiting these vulnerabilities. If these issues aren’t handled then breaches will increase in number, and a lot is on the line for organizations that fall victim to these attacks.

Solutions Exist

If operations and IT teams can come together in harmony, organizations will drastically reduce cybersecurity risks. Being that visibility is low, it is important to bring everyone together in order to increase visibility and security understanding across your organization. There is power in numbers and bringing multiple teams together can improve your ability to defend against malicious actors.

Far too many organizations are allocating resources elsewhere as opposed to prioritizing cybersecurity. Most organizations would benefit from a higher level of investment in breach response, breach remediation, software patching, and the automation of software migration.

A CIO should be working to bring together all IT teams and ensure that they are functioning as a whole in order to improve their security. Additionally, the CIO should be focused on a smart distribution of resources. If these aren’t priorities for you, then future attacks could very well be considered your fault.

Aqueity has 23 years of experience with setting IT direction and strategy. If you need any assistance with prioritizing your cybersecurity dollars and budget don't hesitate to reach out to us at 630-656-9589.