It’s hard to believe that Internetwork Engineering (IE) is celebrating 25 years of being in business this month. I've been fortunate enough to be part of the IE family for most of those years having been the first employee that our founder, Greg Rivers, hired back in early 1998. 25 years seems like yesterday and forever when you view it through the lens of a rapidly changing information technology industry.
Disclaimer: To protect the privacy of a former client, I have changed key details of this story, however the main sentiment and methods remain the same. A few years ago, I orchestrated a jewel heist. Yes, you read that correctly. While claiming a mysterious former life of crime is always intriguing, the truth is it was all in the name of compliance and I had explicit (albeit less interesting) permission from the jeweler's CEO. Don’t get me wrong, I was no Box Man in this scenario. I didn’t need to be, especially since I’d been privy to the common security inconsistencies of the jeweler in question. My job was to create, deploy, and enforce security procedures. When I’d noticed that the employees had not been following these procedures as strictly as I’d recommended...I had to try a different tactic. I made my point the day I smuggled $20,000 in inventory from the main vault. The loss was enough to constitute a termination, and somehow this made them keener to heed my security warnings. They’d made a major procedural mistake by leaving the keys and safe combo in the same location. They’d served me the keys to the kingdom on a silver platter. It was the easiest $20,000 I’d ever made and my oh my did they learn their lesson! For the record, I returned the assets, but taking them had been too easy and it troubled me. In my experience as a compliance expert, I’ve seen lax attitudes and confusion surrounding information security programs. More specifically: the policies, standards, procedures, and guidelines that make up the program. While these components are often (wrongly) used interchangeably, there are very distinct differences between them, and each one should be taken seriously to maintain security protocols and protect your organization. Clearly defining the roles of each of these components and enforcing them within your workplace are essential for upholding a strong security posture. Before we dive into differentiating these four components, we need to first understand what an information security program is and why it is critical for your overall business operations.
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So, you’ve got a major IT project coming up, or your IT operations aren’t growing with your business and you need an additional hand. If onboarding a new team isn’t an option, then chances are you’re looking to outsource some of the daily operations. A quick Google will tell you that there are countless partners to choose from, but identifying the correct market models in addition to actual companies can feel like an insurmountable hurdle. Where do you get started?