I.T, discover why joining forces with HR and becoming a power couple is the key to keeping your data safe.
A long time ago and in a universe far, far, away, the I.T department was seen as a separate silo within an organisation.
In the beginning…
I.T had access to the dark arts; it knew how to make stuff work but was often the department that said “can’t be done”.
But now that’s all changed.
Now I.T is less of a mystery to most people but this familiarity carries with it a few risks. They are easy to overcome provided the department is comfortable getting closer to another department formally in the cupboard under the stairs (HR) and becoming the power couple of the digital workplace.
The fact is, that training and informing people about the risks they could be exposing their organisation to is an area of mutual interest to I.T and HR.
The worst case scenario…
Here’s the worst case scenario: the Ponemon Institute has published research that says only eight percent of data breaches are actually caused by external cyber attacks. This means the remaining 92 percent have to be internal. There will be a small percentage which are deliberate, but then there are the rest: those accidental breaches that could have happened to anyone. Anyone who hadn’t spoken to their HR department, that is.
Another report identifies data from Clearswift that says finance and HR are the biggest security risks for an organisation. Again, it’s not talking about deliberate misbehaviour but people accidentally sending salary or customer details to the wrong place, or putting software in place that contains malware.
There are a number of actions possible for the switched-on technology professional.
The first is to observe, that one of the issues is that middle management has no direct stake in the security or otherwise of the company’s data. The same research identifies the people most likely to cause a breach, chiefly middle aged men; you could speculate that translates as “the people who’ll have the data in the first place”. Changing the company culture and advising the employees of the consequences of data loss is something that can be handled best with the help and advice of HR.
The shape of the workforce is changing and HR and I.T require a mutual understanding of needs. New generations of employees are already in the workforce; tech-savvy and mobile. I.T will need to liaise over the need for compliance and security in these devices and the apps involved. If the devices are company owned there need to be clearly defined policies on what users can, or cannot do.
The rise of mobility, flexibility accessibility to shadow IT mean these challenges must be addressed now.
It’s about communication and accepting that the IT landscape has changed. It’s not a dark art any more, anyone can play – the technology professional now has to make sure they play according to the rules.
- Data breaches are most often accidental.
- Drive a culture shift across your company and educate your workforce on security protocol.
- This culture shift can only occur if you partner with HR and become a power couple.