Cybersecurity: Bridging the Gap between IT and Management

Research by cloud technologies provider VMware indicates a major divide between an organisation’s senior leadership and IT decision-makers over security management concerns and data breach policies. The question remains: what can be done to bridge this gap?

Let’s start with the facts: In a survey of IT Decision Makers (ITDMs) across South Africa, almost 35% of the surveyed ITDMS stated that the Board and C-Level Executives should be held accountable for any major data breaches resulting in significant damages to the organisation.

Furthermore, only 16% believed that leadership should focus more on cybersecurity, which explained why only 20% of those interviewed could link the efficiency of the IT department to cybersecurity risks.

What is more worrisome is that more than half (52%) of ITDMs admitted that the organisations were lacking a proper security plan in case of data breaches and cyber attacks, or they were not aware whether such a security policy existed or not.

The problem extends from leadership disinterest to questionable employee behaviour, considering that almost half (47%) of staff use mobile devices to access corporate data.

VMware recommends the following steps to improve cybersecurity across the organisation, starting with developing a better connection between top management and IT department.

  • Enable open communication between management and IT decision-makers through collaborative business applications
  • Train your staff to be aware of cybersecurity and the implications of data breaches to the entire organisation
  • Provide end-to-end mobile security for employees using their devices to access data
  • Implement and integrate an information security management system (ISMS) in the structure of the organisation
  • Secure your cloud-based and virtualised network architecture to prevent and react promptly to data breaches, malware, and cyber attacks

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