A Positive Spin on Security as Business Enabler

Kachina Shaw
Slide Show

Eight Critical Factors for Business Success

The gloom and doom message around security is overwhelming for IT and end users alike, with new and larger threats announced weekly. And while maintaining awareness of what types of malware, phishing and other threats are being discovered – along with a healthy level of paranoia – is crucial right now, Logicalis has a reminder of the flip side of IT security measures that speaks to just about every other critical business goal.

In addition to acting as a set of controls to keep users in or out of resources, the same security tools your organization uses act as business enablers, explains the IT solutions and managed services provider.

Ron Temske, vice president, Communications and Collaboration, Logicalis US, said in a statement that:

“security, particularly in the ubiquitous mobility space, can be so much more than an insurance policy; it can be a business enabler that results in cost savings and productivity enhancements throughout an organization, transforming security from a ‘must-have’ requirement into a ‘want-to-have’ business tool.”

That message is more key than ever, given the disconnect in the C-suite around prioritizing and managing risk that I wrote about last week. With 66 percent of respondents in the recent 2015 Global Megatrends in Cybersecurity report from Raytheon saying they don’t see cybersecurity as a strategic priority, this type of message on the full range of benefits of security tools and approaches can help bring executives and the board closer together on strategic planning.

Logicalis has identified seven ways that security acts as a business enabler:

  1. Helps you prioritize investments: Gain a better understanding of who and how many people are using specific applications within your data center to better support prioritization and investment.
  2. Gives you geolocation data: Learn where your customers reside so you can optimize your advertising efforts while at the same time questioning unusual communication patterns to determine if the behavior is marketing-oriented or malicious.
  3. Saves time troubleshooting service issues: Security tools can give IT pros a baseline for “normal,” isolating faults and helping them get things back online faster.
  4. Assists IT with capacity planning: Security is about visibility into the network, and having that visibility gives IT pros a handle on what resources are being used. No one wants to overbuy capacity that sits unused, or to be caught short by under buying capacity that will impact business productivity, both are costly circumstances that can be easily avoided with access to the needed information for informed decision making
  5. Delivers social media info: Need to know who your sales and marketing teams are interacting with and to measure those interactions by traffic volume? Which social media outlets are most relevant to your employees or customers? Security tools can deliver this kind of detailed information.
  6. Enables mobile productivity: While it’s important to secure the mobile devices used in the workplace, it’s even more important to remember the productivity advantages that come from being able to allow employees to do their jobs anywhere, anytime, on the devices that work best for them. With security solutions such as Mobile Device Management (MDM), organizations can enable enhanced mobile productivity while maintaining full security and compliance.
  7. Establishes user identities: While it may be commonplace among security solutions, no list of business enablers would be complete without a mention of the authentication, authorization and accounting (AAA) tools that give network users a rich identity for enforcement of the organization’s security policies all with a single password, certificate, key fob or fingerprint.

After publishing the research report “Executive Perspectives on Top Risks for 2015” with Protiviti, Mark Beasley, Deloitte Professor of ERM and director of the North Carolina ERM Initiative, told me that the research shows that companies across all industries will be spending more on risk oversight in general in the coming year. CIOs and IT directors can use these broader business-enabling benefits of security tools to help direct more of that budget toward options that not only protect the organization’s resources, but help shed light on how they are being used, as well.

Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+

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