Why IT Leaders Must Practice What They Preach

By Pat Burke  |  Posted 03-22-2016 Print Email

A high percentage of IT leaders have knowingly circumvented their organization’s security policies, and 33 percent have hacked their own or another organization.

There’s rarely a dull day at work for IT leaders and security pros. Security threats wait around every corner: State-funded hackers in Asia seeking out a company’s intellectual property; European cyber-bandits looking to shake down users with ransomware; “cause-driven” cyber-activists intent on embarrassing or exposing a business’ customers.

Being under a constant state of attack awaiting the next disaster can be stressful, and for tech leaders, this is a reality. If things go wrong (and they inevitably do), they’re on the hook and their careers and livelihood could be at stake.

These are the realities of today’s top technologists and IT executives. There aren’t many surprises, as they know the stakes and they dedicate their days to protecting their organization.

What is surprising is the number of IT executives who don’t follow their own security protocols.

A recent survey revealed 45 percent of IT decision-makers knowingly circumvented their organization’s security policies. Additionally, 33 percent have hacked their own or another organization.

Insider threats are often the most dangerous, but IT leaders should mitigate these dangers—not add to them. The survey revealed an organization’s best asset (its employees) is also its biggest threat: 46 percent of IT leaders believe insiders pose the biggest risk.

“Lead by example” is a basic tenet of managing. When IT managers fall short of this, it sends the wrong message to employees—and to the board.

Protecting the business is tough business. Don’t make it more difficult by adding to the fray. Set security principles and procedures—and practice them. It could be the difference between becoming an asset in the C-suite or becoming a headline. 



 

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