Three tips for network security planning in 2016

March 18, 2016 | Cybersecurity Jessica Plunkett, Spindustry Digital,

One of the most active conversations companies started having in 2015 centered on network security. The Target Corp. credit card breach was not an anomaly in network security. In the past year, we’ve seen health care systems hacked and millions of pieces of personal information exposed. Companies in other industries have faced breaches in credit card information and other sensitive customer data.

As you prepare for 2016, network security should be one of the top priorities on your planning list. Here are three conversation starters you need to have with your team.

  1. Increasing Budgets: Information technology budgets have typically stayed flat, even though the risk for breaches continues to rise. According to a recent report by Spiceworks, more than 50 percent of companies plan no change or a decrease in security budgets in 2016. Budget conversations are discussions no one likes to have. They often focus on ways to cut costs. If you are not already deploying a thorough security process, you likely need to allocate additional budget to network security. The costs incurred should be used for software and resource hours. You need the right tools in place to help prevent, minimize or at least notify you if a hacking attempt occurs. You need the right resources spending time each day monitoring your systems. A consistent set of eyes is important to interpreting data and seeing trends software might not catch.
  2. Developing Multiple Plans: The best-laid plans can go astray. Despite your best efforts, a breach can still occur. That’s why it’s important to develop a strategy for daily management of your network, as well as a plan to handle a system attack. In addition to developing these plans, you need to schedule time to evaluate them throughout the year. As new security issues are uncovered, you need to adapt and update your plan.
  3. Continuing Education: You can’t predict every security issue that could happen, but you can continue to educate yourself on the latest trends related to network security. You may discover holes in your current security plans that can easily be mitigated – all because you took the time to learn about or expand on network security knowledge.