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CenturyLink’s four security predictions for 2016

Ras Scollay, Regional Director, Southeast Asia, CenturyLink | Dec. 21, 2015
According to CenturyLink's Australian Hybrid IT Adoption Index, more IT decision-makers are adopting the hybrid IT model to meet business goals, giving rise to several security trends that will shape 2016.

This vendor-written piece has been edited by Executive Networks Media to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favour the submitter's approach.

According to CenturyLink's Australian Hybrid IT Adoption Index, more IT decision-makers are adopting the hybrid IT model to meet business goals, giving rise to several security trends that will shape 2016. The research revealed that 29 percent of organizations cite data security concerns as the main barrier to moving IT infrastructure into a managed IT model. In addition to this, IDC has also predicted that by 2016, data breaches and cybercrime will impact over 1.5 billion people, and it will cost the global economy US$650 billion. This figure is set to go over US$1 trillion by 2020.

Ras Scollay, Regional Director, Southeast Asia, CenturyLink, said, "A hybrid IT solution can be more secure than traditional IT, since the provider works with the customer to design a security strategy that matches the business needs."

CenturyLink expects these four security trends to shape 2016:

1. Managing employee risk

Roughly half of all corporate breaches are enabled by internal employees. These most often result from employees not following security policies, either because they don't know them or mistakenly did something they shouldn't have, such as clicking on a phishing email URL. To effectively manage employee risk, security measures will need to move beyond focusing on technology to realizing the importance of educating employees, contractors, and partners. Key to this is implementing ongoing training which is reinforced by top leaders. Executives can't pass the responsibility to HR or IT departments. They must lead the charge themselves in order to be most effective.

Ras Scollay said, "In addition to providing ongoing employee training, organizations should discuss their critical data requirements with their hybrid IT provider. This ensures that, if there is a breach, critical data will be protected."

Scollay recommends having several layers of controls in place, and sound policies, including having a CSO leading these efforts.

2. Managing shadow IT

The use of unauthorized devices and platforms can significantly increase the risk of data breaches, but can also make employees more efficient by giving them quick and easy access to resources. With more and more purchases being made by lines of business, IT is being managed very differently than it was a few years ago. This means IT must embrace new approaches in order to be successful. Organizations should consider provisioning cloud-based business applications for lines of business to take back control of 'shadow IT'. For example, letting any employee download the software they need from the organization's cloud means they are using legitimate versions of the software without slowing them down, and means that it is done in a way that minimizes the security risk to the network. 

 

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