With the advancement of new technologies and IT practices, security challenges have become a high priority for IT organizations. This includes moving to cloud, big data, increased use of open source frameworks, BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and many other technologies some of which have progressed well and some are in the early stages of their maturity.
All IT organizations, whether big or small in their scale of operations understand that technology is going through a fundamental shift. And the ways they have been handing security challenges are rapidly changing.
On the other hand, modern day and highly advanced IT organizations are in complete contrast with that of the earlier times. Earlier, security could be tightly managed, because data was kept on their private servers that were on their own premise. This is not the situation any more.
Gradually, most of the organizations are shifting to the cloud or open source technologies which is the need of today’s times. Doing so has let IT organizations more vulnerable than ever before. As the cliché goes – ‘There is no cloud. It’s just someone else’s computer.’ In such a state, security threats can come from anywhere and of any capacity.
In this article, let us explore the top 6 security challenges of the modern day IT organizations
1. Compromised accounts
Along with the advancement in technologies, malware has also certainly evolved to become more sophisticated. They thereby can dodge the security measures that used to work perfectly well with earlier systems. This has left the technology organizations to improve their information security standards and review them periodically.
In these times of sophisticated malware, often it is hard to identity that the login information is stolen and sensitive data is already being accessed. It is possible to get hands on business critical applications and manipulate them by using the compromised accounts. In certain situations, companies discover such intrusions weeks or months later when a serious damage is already done.
2. Access control and identity management
This is one of the most important aspects of security for IT organizations because they deal with business-critical data of multiple clients. Role-based access control seemed to be a secured way for the protection of privileged information. However, this approach is gradually turning into just a myth.
Access and identity management as a measure of security do not work as efficiently because today third party apps, suppliers and new technologies have entered in the organization’s network. The risk further aggravates when you have systems in your network, which use their own access management controls. This makes it difficult to secure your access and identity controls completely.
3. Network security architecture
Gone are the days when the priority of IT was to keep systems up and running. Technology professions are undergoing a transformation in their role within their company. The focus has shifted to providing additional value of increased network performance and heightened security.
However, the catch here is that modern day companies largely work on open networks, which makes it nearly impossible to predict from where the next security threat will strike. This has resulted in the rise in self-diagnosis tools for cyber security measures. These tools can evaluate your organization’s current cyber security against the industry benchmarks. While it is helpful to use such tools, they cannot be fully relied on for evading security threats.
4. Compliances do not guarantee security
Technology companies are dealing with a large number of compliance mandates and security regulations. Such compliances aim at addressing the issue of cyber security for enterprises. They have a massive influence on how the IT infrastructure is set up and managed.
While following these compliances, often organizations are challenged with overlaps and inconsistency among compliance mandates. This creates excessive controls and increased workload, which weighs heavily on the companies budget and the performance of the resources. Even after adhering to the regulations, there have been incidences that show a compliant IT environment is not necessarily a secured one.
5. Risks involved with third party partners
Technology organizations have long invested in building their own IT defenses. On-premise servers and in-house security regulations are losing their relevance in the modern times. Today organizations have to collaborate with third-party vendors.
In doing so, they have to be lenient with their security controls. This is a double edged sword. If organizations do not go liberal on their regulations, they cannot get associated with the third party vendors. On the other hand, if they do so, security threads can tunnel into their systems and networks.
Moreover, if your third party service provider does not have well established security controls, it eventually risks the sensitive data of your organization and further to that of your clients.
6. Risks involved with BYOD
As the workplace becomes more reliant on mobile devices, today’s companies are allowing the BYOD policy wherein employees bring their own device and use it for executing the important office tasks. This is a noticeable shift from using company owned devices to personal devices for work.
While companies have some control over which applications employees can access on their personal devices, it leaves the IT administrators with little control on the overall security. In this scenario, it is difficult to implement platform specific security at device level. This has consequences on the increased risk of data leakage and accessing corporate information on devices with low security levels.
Today, security in IT organizations is completely a dynamic issue. There is no forever fix for it. Malicious acts could come from any aspect of your IT infrastructure. The only choice here is to keep a constant vigilance on your data management, network functioning, devices and so on.
Your attempt should be to leave no weak link exposed in your IT infrastructure. Emerging advancements in cyber threats can leave your organization vulnerable. There is hardly any way to be completely sure of when and how a malicious attack will harm your organization. Taking preventive actions can only help to a limited extent, but taking some security measures is better than doing nothing at all.
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