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Information Technology Is Not Information Security - Why Both Need to be in Place to Protect your Data

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Why IT and IS both need to be in place to protect your data

As a modern business today, you must incorporate some form of Information Technology (IT) into your everyday operations, through an in-house department or an outside vendor.  While IT is critical to the infrastructure of your business, it does not account for the scope of work that would fall under Information Security.  As the IT side of a business continues to develop and implement new technology, the Information Security side must ensure that the same technology is safe from harm for both users and consumers.  In today’s modern business, IT and Information Security must work together to provide innovation and safeguarding of data. 

Lack of Awareness surrounding Information Security

Although Information Security plays a critical role in business operations, it can often go ignored, even in large businesses and institutions.  The reason for this is lack of awareness surrounding Information Security, as many people usually assume that it is interchangeable with the work an IT department provides.  Information security is not a luxury item for your businesses to splurge on.  Hacking attacks are on the rise, and data can be breached from any business in any field of work.  Having a strong Information Security foundation allows business like yours to stay in front of these attacks and prevent or detect unwarranted intrusions.

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How Information Security can be incorporated into your business

There are several ways Information Security can be incorporated into your business:

  • Deploy basic security functions such as network firewalls, anti-virus protections, and encryption to existing devices.
  • Employ dedicated IT Security staff or hire a vendor to complete basic security tasks such as running vulnerability scans, performing penetration testing, and running system audits to determine any potential weaknesses.
  • Perform Security Risk Assessments on all IT equipment on at least a yearly basis to ensure that all devices are patched, up to date, and not presenting any threats as vectors for attacks. The Risk Assessment will also pinpoint any high-risk items and potential exposure they carry.
  • Implement security protocols (which can be done in the forms of policies and procedures) and make sure all staff follow them. Perform a review of these protocols on a regular basis to determine if updates are required.
  • Communicate to staff the importance of Information Security. Developing a security-based mindset into business routines can help limit the risk of data breaches. 

Summary

Information Security should play a large role in the foundation of every business.  Don’t take a reactive approach to Information Security, with financial and reputational losses as a result.  Create a focused, proactive plan that allows your business to be prepared for any potential threats and equips you with a way to handle them.  Hackers and data thieves are attacking businesses at an alarming rate, don’t make it easier for them by being lax with Information Security at your workplace!

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Anirudh Nadkarni
Anirudh Nadkarni

Anirudh Nadkarni holds a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in History from the University of Florida. As a Security Analyst at 24By7 Security, Inc., his main focus in on healthcare compliance. Anirudh’s role includes performing on-site Security Risk Assessments, assisting in the development of Privacy and Security Policies & Procedures, and conducting HIPAA training for healthcare providers and their staff. Sign up for the 24By7Security blog and follow Anirudh’s musings.

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