Executives say their challenge is fighting viruses

Before every IT Vital Systems Review, I always ask the executives what their challenges are. On a recent survey the CEO answered “fighting viruses.” That’s because it isn’t the executive’s job to fight viruses—that is the job of their IT professionals. It is the executive’s responsibility to protect the assets of the company, employees and clients.

The IT professionals can use tools like anti-virus, firewalls, application and OS patches, etc. Many IT professionals are not using the tools as effectively as they could, and frequently aren’t using them at all on one or more computers. None of the tools are “set and forget”—all of them have to be monitored.

I feel the executive’s real challenge is, “I don’t know how to help my IT professional fight viruses.”

Responsible executives:

  • Provide enough uninterrupted time for the IT professionals so the IT professionals can get their work done.
  • Allow ongoing training for the IT professionals to keep up with ever changing technology.
  • Hold the IT department accountable for fixing issues discovered during an audit.
  • Provide managerial support for policies that support security—such as forcing computer screen savers to lock after a period of inactivity.

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