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Information Security wordie from flickrThe CIO has big responsibilities when it comes to managing a facility’s network security and IT team. Ensuring financial or data losses do not take place are constantly in the forefront of any decision the CIO must make. But what is the breakdown of some of these concerns? What keeps the CIO up at night and why?

 There are at least three areas of concern for CIOs when attempting to implement a strong security network for their organization: staff and experience; maintaining security while adopting new trends; and avoiding mistakes.

 Staff and experience

When it comes to information security best measures, the lack in staff training is a problem. In order for CIOs to avoid business breach and cyber attack, and to maintain system reliability, they need a team of professionals that are up to date in the infosec realm.  Unfortunately, budgets are not always where they should be for continuous training and staffing.  IT teams aren’t always big enough to maintain a strong network and they don’t necessarily include top notch professionals.  Furthermore, due to the hard times some companies have even had to cut back on their IT budgets.  For the CIO this means trying to accomplish effective network security results, while understaffed and without top game performers on board. The concerns are real.

 Maintaining security while adopting new trends

Two of the latest technologies that have boosted work performance for businesses include BYOD and the cloud.  CIOs have obtained ways to improve team connectivity and collaboration thanks to the mobility and storage capabilities of these new technologies.  Team members connect on different platforms and gather needed information on the spot allowing them to get more done.  However, due to these technological tools working on a network, they also represent a risk to information security.  The vulnerability aspect of BYOD and cloud is exactly what CIOs worry about; and rightly so. A strong network defense isn’t always enough to ensure high security because there’s still the employee problem.

 Avoiding mistakes

If training sessions cannot be held and staff is decreased in size, the risk of making mistakes in network security is much higher.  System configuration, vulnerability analysis and other such requirements for the maintenance of a secure network require manpower and experience.  The CIO alone cannot cover all the necessary corners to a safe information security system. 

Acknowledging the limitations of a company’s information security team, plus the CIO’s own limits is important in order to address the security measures needed to avoid business disruption, as well as sleepless nights. 

It is up to the CIOs to find a solution for their company’s information security vulnerabilities; whether due to the lack of staff training, new technological tools being used or mishaps in configuration and vulnerability assessments.  Sometimes these solutions can include addressing the facility’s in-house problems like implementing frequent training sessions and hiring more expert staff.  Other times the budget available won’t allow for an in-house solution, but will allow for an out-sourced one where organizations cooperate with experienced information security professionals and their teams. As long as CIOs become active in finding their solutions, they won’t have to worry as much, and they will prevent those business risks they were hired to avoid.