On March 18th, many of you joined us for the first webinar in our 2021 series. Below is a recap of the main points we shared and a link if you would like to watch the webinar.

Top Technology Concerns of Business Leaders 

Over the past months, we have surveyed business owners and leaders.  While many felt they had strong in-house IT teams and outside IT partners, they all expressed the same overarching worry: “Am I going to walk in tomorrow and find there’s an IT problem I didn’t see coming?” 
We dug deeper and identified four key areas of concern:

  • Data Security
  • Ransomware or Data Breach
  • Securing the remote workforce
  • Strategic IT planning and budgeting

This year, we will be taking a deep dive into each of these four topics to provide actionable steps leaders can take to help mitigate risk and regain confidence.

Why Data Security is so Important

 Data is considered the lifeblood for most organizations housing client information, payment and accounting details among other types of sensitive data. A data breach or data loss can be consequential, causing downtime and the loss of business functions. It’s important to consider data protection at the root of all decisions when it comes to business and technology needs. Cybercrime is estimated to cost the world $6 Trillion annually by the end of 2021. Data breaches affect businesses of all sizes. 

What makes a strong data protection strategy?

  1. Securing data should be the foundation of all business and technology strategies. 
  2. Having strong technology oversight by an IT solutions provider or internal IT team is important for security from the edge of your network to the user’s workstation. 
  3. Identifying the current and desired risk profiles will ensure the right decisions are being made. 

As a business leader the first step in determining your organizations current data security risk is to answer some basic questions. These are:

Where is my data stored?

Historically, the answer was “within my building’s walls,” which means servers or workstations. This is rapidly changing. Many companies utilize the cloud for hosted email, web based apps and document storage. Likely your business is using a hybrid of different solutions for data protection which provides additional challenges. 

Who has access to my data?

The simple answer is “my employees have access,” but the root of the question goes deeper. Are all employees able to access every file? Is financial data secured for only the accounting resources? It’s important to understand how access to data is provided for each department and each employee, so there is no unauthorized access to data. 

How is my data accessed?

This question breaks down into two areas:What systems are authorized to access company data?What secure connection options are provided?The explosion of remote workers has forced businesses to implement a solution for their employees to access data from anywhere. Best practice is to only allow access from company-owned devices, allowing your organization to enforce security measures such as disk encryption, remote monitoring and DNS filtering to name a few. The second area of concern is connectivity. VPN connectivity is one of the most common methods. Virtual Desktop Infrastructures are another way to provide remote access. This infrastructure is more costly to implement but allows for a seamless end user experience no matter where they access their work machine since they always use the same system. 

How is my data shared with outside resources?

Almost any organization will end up sharing confidential or important data with their clients, vendors or partners. Having strong policies and solutions to secure this data once it leaves your environment is critical. Encrypted email is a popular way to share this type of data and is available through Microsoft 365 and many other third party providers. Using a secure file sharing cloud platform like Citrix ShareFile is another common method. 

Is my data being backed up?

There will always be a time when a file gets accidentally deleted or overwritten, so having frequent and easily-accessible backups is imperative.

Watch the Webinar Replay

Ensure your data security

Data security is a complex and critical issue, regardless of your company size or industry. If you are concerned about any of these issues please reach out to us to learn more about our Strategic IT Review or Rapid IT Assessment.