Information technology is a broad spectrum of skills that can encompass a wide range of duties. Cybersecurity is generally considered to be its own branch that is the domain of specialists and experts with their own educational path, different certifications, and an entirely separate collection of knowledge, skills, and abilities. However, IT managers also have a role in preventing cyber threats, and enterprises that pretend otherwise are leaving themselves open to a significant amount of risk.
It's also unlikely that many business owners recognize the nuances between the fields, and this leads to many cybersecurity duties falling to IT staff. With cyber attacks almost continually on the rise, no organization can afford to be unprepared for the unfortunate reality of a cybersecurity incident. Ranging from distributed denial of service attacks to ransomware, the threat vectors can seem nearly endless, and according to current research, approximately 60% of small businesses have no cybersecurity protections at all.
IT Versus Cybersecurity
The main difference between IT management and cybersecurity management can be boiled down into a single statement. IT staff are concerned with making sure that all systems and networks are functional and running as efficiently as possible, and cybersecurity personnel are narrowly focused on making sure that those same networks and systems are as safe as possible. Looking at that comparison, it's easy to see how IT managers must have roles in preventing cyber threats. A system experiencing a cyber attack is either not functioning or it's not functioning efficiently as it's allowing free access to bad actors.
IT Manager's Primary Cybersecurity Functions
The design of networks and implementation of hardware fall under the jurisdiction of IT, and it's simple to apply a security-centric approach to those design steps. In addition to making the systems work, you should consider what security steps you could take and how best to protect your network. Taking this approach from the beginning leads to an inherently more secure network than applying bolt-on security features after the fact that may leave certain vulnerabilities.
Recent research has shown that nearly 33% of all security vulnerabilities discovered during penetration testing were simply missing patches. As networks grow, keeping everything up to date becomes more challenging, but that doesn't mean that it can be allowed to fall by the wayside. Ensuring that updates and patches are installed means that known vulnerabilities are being addressed and greatly lessens the chance that an attacker will gain access to your systems. There are even asset management programs that will track available patches for you.
End of Lifecycle Concerns
All hardware eventually needs replacement due to damage, becoming outdated, or simply reaching the end of its lifecycle. While it may be tempting to just toss it in the dumpster out back or even recoup some of the expense by reselling it, that can prove devastating in terms of cybersecurity. One of your IT manager's roles in preventing cyber threats is managing the process of device or component replacement. Properly disposing of and recycling your hardware and unneeded data is an important function in maintaining compliance with many regulatory requirements and ensuring that your data remains in the hands of only those you wish to grant access to.
At West Coast Computer Recycler, we provide e-waste recycling and data destruction services in the greater Los Angeles and Orange County area. Whether you're a small business, a multinational corporation, or a government agency, we can help you securely dispose of your data and devices, and we even have recycling options that can help you recover some of the value from your hardware. Contact us today for more information or to request a quote for services.