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Security

Andrew Wyatt (UK) - Security Must Emerge From the Shadows

Andrew Wyatt, CEO of Clearswift, the software security company, writes about how the changing IT landscape has affected approaches to security.


The IT landscape has been changing rapidly recently, perhaps more than originally anticipated. CIOs are now expected to manage a vast array of new technologies alongside developments such as Web 2.0 that has now become a living, breathing part of many businesses. Employees are also embracing the latest technology - Clearswift's recent research illustrated a significant mind shift amongst businesses to show that a majority (54%) now feel Web 2.0 and other collaborative technologies are critical to the future success of their company.


As a result of this shift in working culture, there has been an impact within the IT department. All too often companies have a ‘stop and block' approach when it comes to IT security, something which may be dictated by their own policies or a lack of capability in their chosen security solutions. However, the traditional ‘stop and block' method is out-dated, it does not take into account the varying requirements of departments and the technologies only allow this approach fail to recognise that different businesses have differing attitudes toward risk.

Businesses need to realise that modern IT security presents a real and measurable business value. Not only does good security provide protection to data, but it also safeguards the reputation of the company, as well as customer relationships, a valuable aspect of any business. To effectively manage this new environment businesses need to consider a new approach to the companies IT policy.

It's time for companies to get to grips with making a policy a living, breathing part of their business, something that is relevant to everyday corporate life and not just a tick in the box when it comes to an induction period (a third of those surveyed by us recently had not received any training on IT security since joining their firm).

All too often, a policy is simply a document that is referred to only when something goes wrong - almost proof that someone ‘should have known better'. There is little or no point in having an IT security policy in place unless staff across the business are fully aware of it and, more importantly, understand the reasons why the rules are in place.

Good, clear policies should be combined with education and explanation to bring IT security out of the shadows , educating employees on the risks and the protection in place. Security should not be about cloak and dagger or fear and reprisals, it should be open, visible, evolving and engaging - above all it should be born out of knowledge and understanding. With intelligent security solutions and a common-sense - but comprehensive approach to policy - companies can be empowered to take advantage of new technologies, and to reap the rewards of doing so.

Clearswift's content-aware, policy based solutions enable over 17,000 organisations to manage and maintain no-compromise data, e-mail and web security across all gateways and in all directions.

Clearswift's content-aware, policy based solutions enable over 17,000 organisations to manage and maintain no-compromise data, e-mail and web security across all gateways and in all directions.

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