8 Tips for Keeping the Business Secure and Productive

 
 
By Karen A. Frenkel  |  Posted 07-20-2015 Email
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    8 Tips for Keeping the Business Secure and Productive
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    8 Tips for Keeping the Business Secure and Productive

    Security and productivity don’t have to be mutually exclusive terms, and these eight pointers on security can keep your company safe and productive.
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    Conduct a Needs Assessment
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    Conduct a Needs Assessment

    A successful strategy will be informed by historical data while also providing easy, non-disruptive processes for employees to follow.
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    Network Internally
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    Network Internally

    Get to know your user base by understanding what "a day in the life of" really means across your company. Shadowing a salesperson twice a year, for example, can lead to a better understanding of how all major roles in the enterprise interact with technology throughout the day, what their productivity and technology needs are, and potential security risks they might encounter.
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    Make it Personal
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    Make it Personal

    To demonstrate the value of security, make it personal by explaining how a data breach would impact employees so that they are more likely to uphold policies that protect their devices and networks.
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    Address Cultural Barriers
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    Address Cultural Barriers

    Address any underlying cultural challenges–such as the use of unsanctioned apps–to ensure that employees seamlessly adapt to new processes and tools. If you don't, people will create workarounds.
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    Prioritize the Business Process
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    Prioritize the Business Process

    Prioritize business processes over technology. Too many CIOs decide on the technology first and try to adapt business processes later. Instead, take an operations-first approach and begin by understanding each employee's business concerns and goals. Use this knowledge to inform the security strategy.
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    Prioritize Customer Relationships
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    Prioritize Customer Relationships

    It takes years to earn customers’ trust, so it's crucial that security policies respect their data and properly protect information. To maintain valuable customer relationships, ensure that data management and retention policies protect against data getting into the wrong hands.
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    Prepare for the Worst
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    Prepare for the Worst

    Security incidents can happen at any time and cause major damage before you even know they've struck. In addition to following best practices, every organization needs a contingency plan. Incorporating practices that will allow you to understand what, how and when data was lost and the potential impact.
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    Don't Forget Your Endpoints
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    Don't Forget Your Endpoints

    To protect against unforeseen circumstances and address the increasing proliferation of data on the edge of the corporate network, incorporate an endpoint backup solution into your security strategy.
 

Security and productivity require a delicate balance. While an organization can have the best security technology in the world, unless everyone fully grasps why it's important, it doesn't matter. "As CIO, ask yourself if your employees have the right understanding of what security is," suggests Harry Folloder, CIO of ASM Waypoint. "And why it should be important to each individual in the organization." Organizations with remote workers must provide employees instant and easy access to critical information, he said. If they don't, employees will create their own workarounds, such as using personal email accounts and services, such as Dropbox, each of which comes with considerable security risk. To build a strategy that prepares against any potential security threat, he recommends first assessing the business needs and typical employee behavior. This requires visibility and insight into the enterprise's current state of technology and business practices.

 
 
 
 
 
Karen A. Frenkel writes about technology and innovation and lives in New York City.

 
 
 
 
 
 

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