2016 showed how technology isn’t everything it’s supposed to be. Issues ranging from an alleged hack from a foreign government to database breaches were constantly in the news. These issues won’t go away just because the calendar year turned, either. 2017 is sure to come with its share of bad news in the realm of IT. The reasons range from poor security on databases to a push to update legacy operating systems to the most recent version for better productivity and connectivity. Following are three challenges the IT industry faces in 2017.
Cloud Computing Security
It’s more popular than ever to store data offsite and in the cloud. Cloud computing reduces the need for businesses to store their data on-site with a server room. Some businesses have federal regulations that require them to keep data locked down from the moment it leaves the on-site computer to the off-site server. Not to mention the amount of security required to prevent unauthorized access to the databases with the sensitive information.
Cloud security is a two-way street between the party sending the data and the company that hosts the cloud servers. Typically the cloud provider already has security in place that is in compliance with regulations. It’s the sender that needs to keep data secure, and if security is not impressed upon users, mistakes are going to happen.
Updating Legacy Operating Systems
Many organizations are still using Windows XP throughout their intranet due to size and expense involved in upgrading each and every desktop system to a newer version of Windows. The reluctance to upgrade is understandable as XP does its job well and is straightforward for users. Windows XP has one major issue and that’s the fact that Microsoft ended support for the OS in 2015. There are no more updates to the OS, leaving untold thousands, if not millions, of computers vulnerable to hacking. The longer companies put off upgrading to a newer version of Windows, the more at risk they put their network and databases.
Protecting Against Foreign Hackers
Hackers operating from countries that have little to no interest in prosecution efforts are an ongoing threat to IT security. For these hackers, there is little to lose and a lot to gain. The amount of money they earn in selling their ill-gotten goods is sometimes more than they earn in a month’s worth of honest work. And in areas where work is scarce, hackers have a lot of time on their hands to figure out networks with lax security. Corporations tend to ignore this issue in favor of not spending money on IT even though it’s a vital part of operations. Until those in charge recognize the need for strong security, foreign hackers will keep attacking.
Much of what the IT industry faces in 2017 is avoidable with a little bit of will and effort. It remains to be seen if those in charge take that step up to the plate and change how they view information security.