As soon as the ball dropped and the calendar flipped to 2014, chief information officers around the world celebrated. While everyone tends to get a little excited about the thought of a new year and a fresh start, information technology executives may be especially thrilled. For CIOs, this time of year usually signifies new budgets and, consequently, the ability to embrace progressive practices.
Normally, IT executives put in a great deal of time and effort into reviewing all of the decisions they made throughout the past year. By going over all the actions that their tech departments took with a fine-tooth comb, CIOs can evaluate their successes and failures and target areas still in need of improvement.
Pinpoint priorities to make smart budget choices
After determining the outcomes of their past investments, CIOs can decide just how much of their departments’ allotted funds they would like to use to expand certain portions of their operations. This includes implementing innovative tools within their businesses, in addition to hiring the right personnel qualified to handle these advanced technological solutions.
While IT professionals could be overwhelmed by the numerous options they have when it comes to spending their budgeted funds, they need to choose wisely by prioritizing their to-do lists. Doing so may help to ensure that they make an optimal impact on their companies’ overall functions. When contemplating the areas most in need of overhauling, CIOs should note that the common saying from their childhood, “safety first,” still applies, even though they are well into their professional career.
Place data security at the top of the list
In all likelihood, data security has already been a major concern for IT executives. Theneed for vigilance to fend off hackers and secure sensitive information is not expected to wane in any way over the course of 2014. If anything, the precautions that professionals will have to take to keep their organizations’ data protected are anticipated to become increasingly important and complex.
Even if some CIOs feel that they already have a handle on their data security practices, it really would not hurt to reassess them while the year is still young and their budgets have a little bit of wiggle room. InformationWeek explained that IT departments can easily determine whether their businesses’ confidential information is at risk by asking some key questions that may bring some redflags to light.
When it comes to data security, simply sticking to post-breach damage control should not be CIOs’ principle tactic. Instead, they need to reduce the threat of cybertheft by developing a thorough set of risk management protocols. They may want to start by reflecting on the current practices that they have in place to thwart hackers.
Asses current department capabilities to determine security investments
IT professionals should also ask themselves exactly how they came up with their risk management systems, in addition to considering the methods used to decide the effectiveness of their data security strategies. CIOs want to know that their information protection measures are tried and true. While their departments may be composed of capable innovators, data security is not the area in which executives want to take a gamble by creating their own makeshift defense mechanisms.
Rather than coming up with untested practices, CIOs should do some research and make sure that they are implementing the most recent methods out there that are known to be effective. IT executives then need to be certain that they have the proper representatives on staff who have a thorough understanding of these practices. If companies do not comprehend the nuances of the protocol they have in place, they may not be able to tell whether it is working, which could cause them to overlook cracks in their cybertheft barriers and leave their data vulnerable.
As CIOs think about the investments that they may make in terms of improving risk management, they also want to weigh the costs of various tools and tactics they could employ against the promised outcomes of these solutions. The expenses associated with implementing these data security solutions have to be worth the investment, meaning that the upfront costs will have to be less than the monetary losses that companies would incur if their datacenters were ever hacked. Taking this into consideration, CIOs could make the best use of their 2014 budgets, keeping their information safe and preventing any future funds from being jeopardized due to cyberthreats.