For most decision makers with a non-tech background, IT is something they buy once and then forget about it. Not at least the media reports on the impact of malware like Wanna Cry within the last weeks have shown us, that this is the worst idea ever. In a more and more digital world, a company’s IT infrastructure is the foundation of every business model… or: it should be. Reality shows a different picture: Most companies did neither invest in hardware nor in security solutions during the last years, they do not even do their software updates. So those companies are not only an easy target for hacker attacks, they also help hackers to reach more devices.
One big misunderstanding regarding IT Security is, that a device must be safe and secure when it is stored in the own office. I still meet a lot of people working in IT departments who believe so and choose the own server in the office kitchen, including latencies for everyone who works from abroad, over external cloud solutions. Additionally, there is a shift in hardware technology going on for established businesses. Companies will run on hybrid systems for a long time now – using on-premise servers and cloud-solutions as well. From an IT Security perspective, this does not make it easier to keep an overview. And to set up a working IT Security architecture that works for several different systems and under the upcoming strict EU data protection regulation is another challenge as well.
Also, some Software as a Service and specific security solutions cause the risk of breaking data protection laws. Plus: In an overall digital world, there are no virtual borders between company infrastructures and private networks. A CEOs smart home with open networks and low level security standards can become a security risk for the whole company and the other way round. IT Security works like vaccination. The more people know about the potential risk and how to protect themselves, the less successful is an attack. In theory. Unfortunately, if you raise the awareness for IT Security within your employees without investing constantly in an up to date infrastructure, you will not win anything. Budget owners have to accept that IT infrastructure is nothing they can only buy once.
About the Author:
Carolin Desirée Töpfer is a digital transformation expert from Berlin. She has been working at different international companies within the last 5 years before she started her own consulting business in 2016. Today, Carolin is a consultant and sparring partner for managers of small and medium sized companies. She helps them to push their digital knowledge to a higher level, offering face to face coachings as well as workshops for small groups. In March 2016 she launched the German blog “Digitalisierung jetzt!” to write about the challenges of digital transformation and the impact it has on our worklife and global society. “Digital Strategy now!” is the English sister blog.