Part 1 of a five-part series examining common IT myths.

In the fast changing field of Information Technology, it is easy for commonly held beliefs to hold sway long after they’ve become outmoded. Often, these beliefs are based on traditional thinking that doesn’t hold up to scrutiny when examined in light of technological development and the reality of today’s fast-paced business world.  This week we’ll take a look at a common myth about data security.

Traditionally, we think the closer we hold something, the more secure it is. If we invest in precious metals, or own treasured items of high monetary value, chances are we place it in a safe in the bedroom or the office. If we carry cash, we keep it safely in a wallet on our person: the closer, the better. Too often, this conventional wisdom carries over to our thinking about IT. We assume if we have data stored on in-house servers, for example, then it will be more secure.

In fact, research from both consultants at both Gartner and IDC shows that the biggest fear about outsourced IT among current CEOs is the security issue. People want assurances that their critical data is safe. A close look reveals an unexpected picture, however. Often, due to budgetary constraints, in-house IT departments are stretched to capacity in their infrastructure management and are bogged down troubleshooting day-to-day issues.

Indeed, in our experience with a wide variety of organizations, having onsite IT is extremely valuable for timely Tier 1 and Tier 2 issues. Dig a layer deeper, however, and the statistics show alarming security issues at most organizations. According to the Global Information Security Survey 2014, well over two-thirds of companies do not use role-based access control, conduct regular risk assessments, or perform asset management. In many cases, migrating to private or hybrid cloud models can help streamline and automate security check ups and management, including comprehensive failover solutions in case of an outage. Our engineers encounter security issues and vulnerable systems all the time during onsite check ups. The importance of maintaining maximum system security cannot be overstated (for additional insight into cloud security, see our five-part blog series; for more information on what to ask before moving to the cloud, see our five-part series on that topic).

Some important questions to ask your IT manager regarding network security are:

  • Do we take advantage of role-based access controls?
  • What are the biggest risks to the security and integrity of our system?
  • Do we conduct regular security risk assessments?
  • In case of a security issue beyond your expertise, who will we call for escalation?
  • What additional elements do we need to maximize system security?

As trusted IT consultants and enterprise level managed service providers, True North works with hundreds of IT managers to implement the most effective security solution for their network and data needs, outperforming the strictest government and healthcare security requirements. Sometimes, onsite isn’t always the most secure, and in our assessment we almost always find areas for improvement.

At True North, we aim to provide business leaders and IT pros with useful insight into the dynamic field of IT Solutions, consulting, and Managed Services and hope you found this information helpful.

Please check in next week for Part 2 of our five-part series in Common IT Myths: Cloud Can’t Comply.