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Comments Off on How to stop technology being a burden on your business

How to stop technology being a burden on your business

Posted by Admin | April 24, 2017 | IT Security

This is not a topic that’s popular in Cambridge

Mike Dearlove tackles a problem many may feel but not like to mention

Keeping up with ever-changing technology is one of the biggest challenges for a business. A recent report from Deloitte suggests that for most organisations, two-thirds of their IT budget is now spent just ‘keeping the lights on’. This means that there’s not much time left for innovation.


Having the right technology can give a business a huge commercial advantage – but trying to keep up with rapidly changing technology can quickly become a burden.

Developments in smartphones, tablets and cloud computing mean that employees can work flexibly from any location and at any time, while social media keeps us constantly up to date and in touch. In theory, this should enable organisations to work faster and smarter, and find new ways of adding value to the business.

In reality, user demands add to the challenge. People have become used to accessing new applications at the touch of a button and we can hardly blame them if they bring the same approach to work. Similarly, they want to use the same shiny, high-tech equipment that they have at home, so if what they are provided with at work is inferior they may bring in alternatives.

Introducing equipment and applications which are not formally provided by the organisation presents a challenge to the IT department and a potential security risk to the organisation as a whole. However, this ‘shadow IT’ can perform a useful function, acting as a compass to show where IT needs to innovate. Users do not come into work to be subversive. They simply want the tools they need to do a good job. If the existing IT infrastructure is not providing what they need to solve a problem or be more productive, they will look for alternatives.

But, whether deliberate or accidental, bringing in unknown applications creates significant security risks and means that businesses shouldn’t simply tolerate shadow IT. Clear rules and guidelines for employees to adhere to should be put in place.

Businesses also find themselves exposed to heightened security threats. There is a huge challenge to try and keep up with hackers and make sure that systems are not open to attacks. One IT security problem could result in substantial damage to corporate reputation, or a business having to face the choice between paying a ransom to hackers and losing vital corporate data.

Many organisations are guilty of neglecting a key area which can have a massive impact on their IT security – educating employees about the key issues and how their actions could open up potential risks to the business.

It is impossible to prevent attempts to attack networks, but making employees a key part of the security team can significantly improve security. By implementing effective policies and processes to minimise the risk of a malicious attack, businesses can educate all employees about what they need to do.

Having the right email security provides a critical defence against both accidental data leaks and hackers trying to capture valuable corporate information and disrupt business operations.

While emails have become the life-blood of most organisations, they also open the business up to a whole range of risks. Maintaining email security is vital in defending systems against hackers.

Our recent survey found that the three biggest threats to an organisation’s email security were spam and email viruses, an accidental data leak thanks to a staff error and targeted attacks such as spear phishing.

There are email security systems which can be integrated seamlessly with existing email packages and minimise the impact of such activity. These, combined with user education to reduce the risk of accidental data leaks, help organisations mitigate the threats to their business.

Adding an email management suite can provide encryption, archiving and virus protection. For example, T C Harrison, one of the UK’s largest privately owned motor groups, recently implemented Microsoft Office 365. This allows employees to access their emails from any location, including home or on the road, sharing and updating documents securely in the knowledge that data integrity will not be compromised. They use an email management suite from Mimecast which encrypts emails so that they can transmit commercially sensitive data, it also provides archiving and virus protection.

Technology should enable businesses to create new services and products while improving efficiency and automating routine, low value activities. If it is becoming more of a burden, organisations should take the time to step back and examine what is vital to enable them to maintain competitive advantage, and which activities might usefully be provided in a different way.

They should review the skills they have within the organisation and consider whether asking a third party to carry out some of the labour intensive “business as usual” activities, such as handling common user problems like password resets or installing new desktop software across the company, would give the in-house team more time to focus on innovation and adding value to the business.

Source: cambridge-news

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