Who Should Be in Charge of Your Business’s IT Security?
According to government figures, nearly one-third of UK businesses reported that they suffered a cyber attack at least once a week in 2022. This statistic is alarming enough on the surface but, as the government reports, this figure only represents businesses whose cyber monitoring is sophisticated enough to detect attacks. The actual figure is probably much higher.
The average cost of each attack was £4,200, rising to £19,400 for larger organisations.
With a potential cost this high, it’s clear that IT security needs to be a priority in any business. Unfortunately, many senior executives don’t appear to understand the urgency, and IT security is treated as an afterthought.
If you want to avoid becoming part of the statistics, understanding who should be in charge of your business’s IT security, and how it should be organised, is absolutely essential.
- IT security needs to be a priority for every business since every part of the network is vulnerable to cyber attacks and the cost of an attack can be high.
- A specific department with one person in charge is necessary to coordinate IT security and provide genuine defence against cyber attacks.
- Executive management roles, IT security professionals, and users who follow established procedures are essential roles in ensuring effective IT security.
- Important areas to cover for IT security include firewall network security, anti-malware, DNS protection, email security, and training for all employees.
- The rise of remote working on personal devices has made it challenging to ensure effective IT security and requires leadership from the top and tailored solutions for specific needs.
Why Do You Need Someone in Charge of IT Security?
The days are long gone when IT was just one small aspect of a business. For most organisations, IT permeates everything businesses do. From accounts and customer interface to internal communications and HR – every part of that network is vulnerable to cyber attacks.
This means that IT security needs to be not only strong, but also organised. There’s no point in having a robust security system and well-trained staff for accounts, if criminals can easily hack employee emails — because, once they’re into one part of the system, they’re free to spread out everywhere.
To provide genuine defence against cyber attacks, an organisation must have a single set of security policies and procedures that apply everywhere.
In addition, every employee needs to be trained to follow these policies in a consistent way — and that requires a specific department, with one person in charge, whose role it is to coordinate IT security.
What IT Security Roles Can Employees Have?
The number of individuals directly concerned in IT security will vary, depending on the size and complexity of the business. For some organisations, you will have a designated person responsible for IT Security and policies. However, you may also rely upon a Managed Service Provider (MSP) to fully manage and implement your IT security. MSP’s can bring specific expertise to an organisation and relieve the pressure of IT an headache for business owners and decision makers.
- Executive Management — Roles such as CISO (Chief Information Security Officer), CTO (Chief Technology Officer) and CRO (Chief Risk Officer) should be in charge of developing and implementing IT security policies and procedures, as well as buying in the required technology. Having senior executives undertaking these roles not only makes it easy to access funding, but also signals that the organisation takes IT security seriously.
- IT Security Professionals — Roles like IT security manager, IT risk manager and IT security analyst are responsible for implementing the broad policies the Executive Management establish. They’ll design, implement, manage and maintain the business’s IT security policies and procedures, standards and guidelines.
- Managed Service Providers – MSP’s are 3rd party organisations who are experts in IT Security and management. They will be able to integrate with your organisation bring a wealth of experience, round the clock support and proactive cyber solutions to keep businesses secure. Many modern organisations are choosing to rely on MSPs services due to the bespoke, robust and cost effective services they can provide.
Are You Up to Date with IT Security?
What does your organisation need to create a robust IT security system that will defend you against cyber attacks?
Well, that depends partly on what you have already in place, but also what kind of organisation you are. However, there are specific areas you’ll need to make sure are covered, including:
- Firewall network security — A firewall is important even on a personal computer, but the solution you choose for your organisation’s network has to be much higher grade, to filter out any potential threat.
- Anti-malware — Again, this needs to be much more robust than the antivirus solution you use at home. We’d advise securing a system that monitors and blocks dangers before they reach the network.
- DNS protection — A system that checks the DNS (Domain Name System) will provide extra protection against hidden dangers lurking behind apparently innocent website addresses.
- Email security — Emails constitute the easiest route for cyber criminals to access your systems. You’ll need a dedicated solution that identifies and blocks spam, malware and other threats.
- Training — You could have all the software protection you can buy, but human error can still let the criminals in. All your people, from top to bottom, need both initial training and regular refreshers so they can recognise and avoid dangers.
The risk of hybrid and remote working
An additional aspect to cyber risk has emerged over the past couple of years — the number of people working remotely on their own devices. While you can provide effective protection for onsite machines, it’s more challenging to make sure that any device that connects to your network is also protected. And, of course, that employees maintain the same level of vigilance when working from home as they would on your premises.
All this needs leadership from the top, as well as every IT security role being covered effectively. It also requires the right solutions bought in for your particular needs, rather than a one-size-fits-all package.
I want to cure my IT headache
Get in touch with Alliance Solutions to find out how we can support you both in providing IT security solutions that fit your organisation, as well as ongoing support in applying them.