There are perks to having a mid-sized organisation. It’s more nimble, often more specialised and, according to recent research by Cisco, more likely to embrace new trends such as 'bring your own device' schemes. On the other hand, the Cisco Annual Security Report also suggests that mid-sized organisations might also be more vulnerable to security threats.
The confidence gap
When Cisco surveyed 1,738 security professionals on the preparedness of their businesses, 90 percent said they were 'confident about their security policies, processes and procedures'. However, the same survey found that 54 percent of businesses have had to manage public scrutiny following a security breach. And about 25 percent of those surveyed described their security tools as only 'somewhat effective'.
Security through strong leadership
One explanation for the 'confidence gap' might be poor communication. When respondents are grouped by position, it becomes clear that those higher up in the business hierarchy are far more likely to provide a positive response. For example, 59 percent of chief information service officers describe their security procedures as 'optimised', compared to just 46 percent of security operations managers.
Cisco also discovered a clear correlation between clear internal communication of security processes and security preparedness. About 88 percent of respondents from sophisticated businesses said that security processes were clearly understood by most employees. In the least sophisticated companies, zero percent of respondents felt the same.
The keepers of the keys
Over the next few years, more and more mid-sized businesses will move to the cloud, integrate online payment systems and take advantage of the Internet of Things by connecting multiple devices to their networks. Each of these steps involves a certain degree of avoidable risk for your network. It’s therefore essential that you heed the central finding of Cisco’s research: even the most robust security system relies on the vigilance of those who use it.
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