New Security Scares
Not only does the IT professional need to contend with existing security threats, as well as risks from malware, ransomware and viruses, but they must also be ready for a new generation of IT security scares. Among these are artificial intelligence (AI)-driven attacks, increased mobile threats, third party risks, and Internet of Things (IoT) attacks.
Of all these threats, it’s the IoT attacks that are the biggest problem area for today’s IT professionals, and the number of these threats are on the increase, according to research from Kaspersky. Not surprisingly, a survey by the Ponemon Institute found the danger from the IoT attacks are one of IT professionals’ biggest worries. However, fewer than a third of those surveyed were proactively monitoring for these problems.
Today’s consumers are more concerned about data protection than they once were, and the way some organizations have misused data in the past has helped to fuel the distrust. To reassure consumers, businesses and IT professionals must put in measures to protect customers' data and offer assurances regarding privacy protection.
Additionally, consumers’ data and privacy protection are not the only challenges for the IT professional. They must also keep on top of new data protection standards introduced around the world or risk failing to comply with regulations.
One example of this is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) standards that are used in Europe. GDPR standards aim to give consumers improved control of their data. Marketers and IT professionals must comply with them, which adds another layer of complexity.
Organizations are steadily making the shift toward multi cloud. This is a smart strategy as it helps prevent vendor lock in, can limit costs, and can provide a backup solution in the event of data loss. However, the multi cloud approach needs extra security.
In addition, using multiple clouds means organizations must improve monitoring, visibility, and storage if they are to enhance security, while IT professionals must also ensure security covers all cloud, networks, apps, and data.
The extra pressures multi cloud puts on IT experts is illustrated in a recent survey. This survey of global IT professionals shows multi cloud security is one of their top concerns. Dave Murray, head of thought leadership and research for the Business Performance Innovation (BPI) Network, explains, “Multi-cloud is the de facto new standard for today’s software- and data-driven enterprise.”
He goes on to say that the global survey “makes clear that IT and business leaders are struggling with how to reassert the same levels of management, security, visibility and control that existed in past IT models. Particularly in security, our respondents are currently assessing and mapping the platforms, solutions and policies they will need to realize the benefits and reduce the risks associated [with] their multi-cloud environments.”
Several studies conducted over the years have found IT departments are understaffed, and this issue has not improved. One of the most recent surveys from Sophos found that most IT professionals interviewed said their departments were short staffed, and this is coming at a time when security attacks are becoming more consistent and sophisticated.
As Sophos puts it, “IT pros are understaffed, under-resourced and under pressure,” and this causes additional problems for the IT professional.
Overworked staff are prone to stress and they struggle to achieve the life-work balance that is considered vital to overall well-being. Overworked staff also become less efficient, over-tired, and can lack concentration. All these factors can impact their day-to-day work and begin to affect mental health.
One of the biggest problem areas for the IT professional is the question of digital ownership. In an era where information is shared so readily online, protecting intellectual property is becoming increasingly difficult, and the legalities can sometimes be difficult to define.
Currently, copyright laws aren’t in sync with the digital transformation, and IT professionals who may choose to discuss their ideas or developments online might find that they are easily copied, and therefore, innovation could be hindered.
To be effective in the digital era, products and programs must be able to work together in unison or be interoperable. Techopedia defines interoperability as “the ability of two or more components or systems to exchange information and to use the information that has been exchanged.”
Although achieving interoperability poses problems for all industries, one specific sector that is under pressure is healthcare. A survey of IT and business professionals at U.S hospitals demonstrates how problems with interoperability mean meeting strategic goals, such as cost savings and effective data sharing, remain a challenge.
Interoperability also gives rise to issues with compliance and it can lead to a lack of consistency and falling standards.
Knowing how to create value is important for the IT professional. IT professionals can begin to add value by meeting the challenges of its own technological and department needs, while staying in budget.
However, it’s important not to think of creating value as just another buzzword. Creating value in your IT department has many advantages beyond cash savings, especially if the IT professional is using a business value dashboard.
Business value dashboards allows professionals to justify financial spending decisions and help senior staff to understand the rationale behind their spending.
Technology advances at a rapid rate, and this puts pressure on IT professionals to keep up with these new developments and to implement them when requested. However, the IT professional will often take some responsibility for deciding if technologies are worthwhile to invest in and whether they will help the organization reach its goals.
Recent technological challenges for IT workers include disaster recovery, cloud computing, regulatory compliance, and infrastructure management.
Research shows infrastructure management is one of the most pressing issues for IT professionals, according to Gartner. This is because many IT professionals are responsible for on premises and off premises environments, and for their monitoring and maintenance. Gartner concluded that, “To prepare for this new reality and the challenges that come with it, you must act quickly to create enterprise infrastructure that’s ultra-agile, scalable and responsive to change."
Every industry faces its problems, but in recent years the IT sector has faced more disruption than most. New technologies, fresh security threats, multi-cloud security, and digital ownership are just some issues that the IT professional has had to contend with.
The good news is that you are not alone in facing these issues. Keep up to date with new security threats and new compliance standards with a community-based approach. Leverage on the opportunity to discuss common IT problems such as creating value and more. Sign up for Experts Exchange today to discover the value we can offer your IT department.
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