An Introduction to IT Security Management
Information technology (IT) security is the protection of computer systems and data from unauthorized entry, access or loss. IT security management involves the policies and protocols taken to protect software, network, data, and hardware from being vulnerable to hackers, criminals, malicious websites, and theft. Due to the ubiquitous dependance upon computers and technology across most sectors, it is vital to have a robust protective system in place to ensure maximum security and business continuity.
The Objectives of IT Security Management
The objectives of IT security management can be broken down into 5 categories.
1. Data Integrity
This is the guarantee that the information provided is verified as authentic, and that it has not been altered or changed in any way—be it accidentally or intentionally.
2. Data Confidentiality
The management of IT security aims to make your information unreachable or useless to anyone who has not been given proper access. This can include making all data indiscernible to anyone not directly involved in your business operations.
3. Data Availability
This ensures that once access authorization has been given, a company's network or information is swiftly and safely made available to those authorized to receive it. Within the company, this ensures that business operations run smoothly and efficiently. It also makes the transfer of information from a company to a third-party recipient seamless.
This aspect of IT security guarantees that an operation cannot be denied to those involved at any time.
This ensures that access to a network or data is secure. This consists of having a user's identity confirmed and verified before they are given access.
Even with a robust network IT security program in place, errors and misinformation within a company can lead to security breaches.
Risks to IT Security Management
Threats to IT security are twofold. Security can be breached through vulnerabilities in a network, as well as through accidental human error and misinformation. A strong IT security program will tackle vulnerabilities in the following areas:
1. External Risks
External security ensures protection from outside threats. This includes protection from hackers, cybercriminals, and theft of information through building strong backend security. Having a secure network that encompasses all devices and hardware, and ensuring that all software is up-to-date and running efficiently, are both crucial to minimizing outside attacks and external threats.
2. Internal Risks
Even with a robust network IT security program in place, errors and miseducation within a company can lead to security breaches. Having an informed and vigilant staff protects companies from attacks that target people rather than the network. Spear phishing, where a hacker will personally target an employee through manipulative tactics to extort information, is a prime example of the importance of expanding any future IT security program to include an ongoing human awareness component.
Tips to Applying Security Policy
- Building a Plan
- Monitoring Efficiency
- Consider Feedback
- Make Changes as Needed
In order to implement a strong IT security policy within a company, the following 5 stages must be considered.
The first step towards strong IT security protocol is identifying the risks and areas of vulnerabilities within a company. This also means considering the possible consequences and losses associated with potential threats.
2. Building a Plan
A future IT security plan will tackle all areas of potential risks. This includes securing a company's network, as well as educating staff on risky online activity and blocking certain social media usage on company devices. A robust IT security plan involves the participation of employees at every level and in every department. A cohesive and informed staff is key to the overall success of your IT security protocol.
3. Monitoring Efficiency
Keeping a keen eye on the security of a company's IT operations is crucial. An outsourced IT services company or an in-house professional should be on top of any software glitches. They also need to be knowledgeable about new hacking tactics, as well as possible regulatory changes that could play a role in IT security.
4. Consider Feedback
Keeping open lines of communication within a company is key to not only maintaining a unified and loyal staff, but it also helps to identify potential problems in IT security. Employees should feel comfortable sharing their experiences about how their IT security program is running. After all, those on the frontline are always the first to see the impact of new company policies.
5. Make Changes as Needed
It is unrealistic to assume that the IT security policies initially implemented will remain the industry standard. The future of IT security will be ever-changing and will inevitably involve modifications. Between monitoring efficiency, considering staff feedback and keeping informed about new developments, it will become clear that certain areas will need modification while other areas will require ongoing attention.
If you need help with your IT security, reach out to CITI. We will identify your internal and external risks then build an IT security plan for you and implement it. IT security management is essential for every organization.