Great software is vital. But so is empowering your enterprise to use it.
There are many types of software and various services that organizations can purchase to secure their systems, including encryption software, biometrics, access controls, and more. A company can also utilize training seminars, expensive consultants, professional security audits, etc. All of these are useful tools, and, in many cases, real necessities. They serve as a first line of defense against security breaches and data loss. However, in addition to these critical technical protections, developing a culture of security will do much to protect an organization’s data.
Technology can provide a strong defense against data breach. Cryptography and powerful encryption software can keep data safe. But relying on technology alone will never be enough. Hackers and security software compete in a virtual arms race. Unfortunately, users themselves are often the weakest link in any security system. Users are the ones with authorized access. And, when they deliberately or inadvertently give up that access to a hacker, they can compromise as much of the system as they are authorized to use. A user who only has minimal access to a mainframe cannot compromise much if their log-in credentials fall into the wrong hands — but a senior administrator’s password getting stolen could lead to a major data breach. Regardless, from the newest entry-level employee to the most senior IT manager, security must be a top priority. Data security must be a critical goal of every employee with access to the mainframe. It must take precedence for the organization as a whole.
No amount of technical security will be successful if a culture of security does not exist within the organization. Everyone with access, everyone having the ability to protect the data must constantly be on the lookout for vulnerabilities and for ways to protect the data of which they are stewards more thoroughly. Frequent training featuring security best practices will help, but those best practices should also be a part of the regular work day.
In addition, the organization’s leadership should strive to provide a good example. For example, if there is a password management system in place for handling password resets, everyone in the company should use it. If the CEO just called up IT and asked them to set his password to “P@ssw0rd123” for him or to email him a new password, it would be setting a poor example. It could let others think it is okay to violate security protocols if you’re high enough up on the food chain. Instead, the CEO should follow the same security protocols as everyone else, and set a good example for others in his company to follow.
Security should be aligned with the organization’s mission. It should never interfere with or be opposed to it. Security should never be viewed as a prohibition. It should be empowering and enabling. An organization that takes security seriously isn’t doing it to have an adverse relationship with its employees or customers. Rather, an established culture of security enables the organization to carry out its mission effectively, as well as to be good stewards of the data its customers have entrusted to it.
It is impossible to foresee every potential data breach. No set of policies and no technological barriers will be 100% full-proof. The risk of data becoming compromised or stolen will always be present. Therefore, a culture of security needs to be established for everyone who touches the data across the whole company.
If you’d like to see how you can build your organization’s culture of security around our world-class security software, please feel free to get in touch. You’ll be glad you did.