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4 Security Challenges for Companies In the Digital Age

The digital age has provided both immense opportunity and immense challenges for the business world. While customers are easier to reach and information is readily available, digital data is hard to secure.

Businesses rely on their IT departments to not only support their employees and the technology they use but also to keep their information safe through policies and security features. These dual roles continue to evolve as the business world expands its reliance on everyday technology.

What Are the Biggest Threats to Data Security?

Companies that want to succeed in the online world must address the issues that digital information creates, and there are many. Here are four key challenges that companies should consider.

1. Internal Data Accessibility

Access to information helps businesses make good choices, plan effective strategies and analyze decisions that did not work. However, there is a cost to storing that data. For example, consider information held in email archives.

Stored emails may be valuable for employees who can use the data to make decisions. Those same email archives may also contain confidential company or personal information. Managing email effectively is a challenge that each company must address, perhaps with an email retention policy. This is only one example of the many difficulties that stored data can pose to security.

2. Global Connectedness

Our world is more connected than ever. The internet creates opportunities for even small businesses to reach a global market, allowing them to connect with potential customers and reducing the costs associated with international trade.

However, there are risks to data security. Hackers and data thieves are thriving in this global environment, and there are myriad security threats that organizations are not prepared for. If your business wants to enter the global marketplace your IT department should have a plan to deal with these security threats.

3. Mobile Devices

The increase in the use of mobile devices for business applications poses new threats to data security. IT professionals face security challenges with phones and tablets that they cannot manage the same way they handle desktop devices.

The use of handheld and portable devices will only increase as our business models continue to move toward a 24/7 mentality. Both companies and employees expect to have virtually unrestrained access to the information they need to conduct business at every turn. While this helps productivity and profitability, it poses real threats to data security for your IT team.

4. Identity Theft

Personal identification data is a valuable commodity in today’s market. Your company has this data in digital storage right now, certainly for your employees and potentially for your customers as well. If this data is breached and stolen, your company can be liable.

Protecting personal information must be a priority for your company. Hackers come up with new ways to obtain this data every day; your IT team must be as diligent when they design ways to protect your information.

How Can a Company Support IT Professionals?

There are ways a company can support its IT professionals to successfully meet the challenges of today’s digital age. Here are three steps to take that can make a real difference.

1. Centralize IT

Most companies consider IT a separate and siloed group of workers. Most forward-thinking companies recognize that as technology becomes an everyday tool, IT belongs integrated into most departments. Allowing tech professionals to be a part of the team helps them provide superior support.

2. Appoint IT Leaders to the Executive Board

With technology at the forefront of cutting-edge business, leadership should have access to the viewpoint of the IT team. Ensure that IT has a seat at the table where business decisions are made.

3. Invest in IT

While most companies understand the need for equipment and software, companies that aggressively fund their IT departments and allow technology leaders to decide how to use the investment get stronger results. Trust your professionals to make informed decisions.

Ensuring that your IT professionals recognize the challenges they face and empowering them to address those challenges can allow your business to thrive.

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