2022’s Top Priorities for Vancouver CIOs
Today’s CIO has a lot on their plate, from securing to future-proofing their organization. Balancing critical current operational needs with strategic revenue-driving initiatives while making the time for forward-thinking and planning can be overwhelming on a normal day, let alone when you’re dealing with downtime or a cyber attack. But a good CIO understands the importance of prioritizing tasks and honing in on the most critical first.
Cybersecurity Tops CIO Priority Lists
And no matter what business or industry you’re in, the past few years have shown us that cybersecurity should be at the top of any CIO’s list. In 2021, at least 235 Canadian organizations were victims of a ransomware attack. However, as most attacks go unreported, the true number was likely much higher.
“They've quickly proven that they're so much more.”
“When we joined Reid and his team over at ResolvedIT we thought we were getting a team to provide your typical IT tech support. They've quickly proven that they're so much more. Their team's commitment has not only been to provide a high level of service with response times unheard of in the industry but to also be a true partner to our business that is highly invested and committed to our overall success.”
Despite the risks, many businesses remain lax in their remote work cybersecurity practices, whether failing to provide secure corporate network access or implementing BYOD policies. And when businesses face high turnover, as many currently do, securing remote corporate-owned devices is of paramount importance. It’s an employee’s market in many industries, and with workers coming and going, businesses must be able to wipe, lock, and reset remote devices.
Various identity and access management services, including Azure Active Directory or Okta, can help you centrally manage your devices. But just having these services is meaningless without having the proper processes and personnel to ensure that devices are secured at all times. You must ensure that all employees, no matter where they are working, use common sense cybersecurity practices, follow your company’s security policy, and access your corporate networks only through secure networks.
Improving Cybersecurity Must Include Employee Training
In 2022, strengthening your cybersecurity measures and tackling infrastructure issues should be at the top of any CIO’s list. CIOs must allocate time and resources to monitor and remediate Log4J exploits in the upcoming weeks. And they must ensure the appropriate steps are taken to mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks, including, but not limited to:
- Ensuring all hardware and software contain the most effective security measures available
- Regularly patching browsers, operating systems, and software
- Establishing a zero-trust security model
- Leveraging web application firewalls, next-gen endpoint protection, secure email gateways, network segmentation, and sandboxing
- Consistently checking backups and refining incident response and data recovery plans (or implementing them if they do not exist)
- Employing trained dedicated in-house cybersecurity personnel or partnering with a qualified and reputable Managed IT Security Services Provider
- Implementing a vendor management policy
- Conducting regular cybersecurity awareness training and refreshers with all employees
This last step cannot be emphasized enough. Employees are usually the weakest link in a company’s cybersecurity program. No matter how sophisticated the tools you have in place, a single bad decision by an employee, such as downloading software from a suspicious site, can compromise your entire enterprise. CIOs must be proactive by implementing cybersecurity awareness programs in which employees spend an hour each week learning best practices and practicing what they’ve learned.
Reexamining a Business’ Approach to Cybersecurity is Paramount
While upgrading and future-proofing your IT infrastructure, along with aligning IT usage with corporate sustainability goals, are also top priorities, a fundamental evaluation of how well your existing infrastructure supports your current needs should also be in the cards. At ResolvedIT, we’ve recently moved some essential services in-house, given the global issues some cloud services vendors have recently faced. We encourage CIOs to take a hard look at their current setup and determine whether some essential services should be housed in-house on-prem.
However, ransomware prevention and protection will remain top of mind in 2022. The resulting downtime and data loss, as well as financial, legal, and reputational costs from a ransomware attack, can be catastrophic. Despite international news coverage of this persistent threat, many companies still have taken a wait-and-see cybersecurity approach. CIOs must push the entire organization to abandon this passive approach and implement the proactive policies necessary to mitigate the risk of cyber threats.
If you’re looking for exceptional cybersecurity support, Resolved IT is here for you. We pride ourselves on tailoring our services to your unique business or organizational needs, helping you receive the return on investment you need by pairing dedicated Resolved IT staff with your in-house team. We’re ready to partner with you to help you protect your organization or help you resolve other challenging IT problems you face. Let’s schedule a time to talk about what you need today.
Thanks to our colleagues at Generation IX in Los Angeles for their help with this article.