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CIOs_securityCIO concerns, challenges of 2015

As technology solutions continue to emerge and CIOs are inundated with decisions, it is important to understand where to prioritize IT strategies.

CIOs are worried about everything from migration strategies and complexities to disaster recovery and business continuity.

But topping the list of CIO concerns continues to be issues surrounding security and reputation. Here's why:

Both Sides of Security 

Just as the "good guys" are getting better at spotting cyber criminals and finding ways to preemptively strike, so are the hackers themselves.

According to, "Stealing and replicating code is business normal for hackers, and government entities."

A big part of this problem comes from the advanced skills of cyber-criminals and hackers.

More and more businesses are using anti-hacking software, implementing complex malware, and boosting cyber-spying capabilities but it's just not enough to keep up with hackers and criminals.

Beyond external factors, internal threats are also on the rise.

Employee mobile devices or laptops that are stolen, access company data from unsecure networks, or use unapproved applications leaves companies open to even more security threats.

Gartner sees endpoint detection and response (EDR) as an emerging market that can protect desktops, servers, tablets, and laptops from advanced threats.

Additionally, a recent study conducted by the Ponemon Institute found that the average cost of a data breach in 2014 exceeded $5.85 million.

When deciding how to approach the situation, a CIO must consider the cost of a breach versus the expense of the technology to avoid it.

CIOs, IT teams, and executives need to continue addressing security, as these issues are costly in many ways. 

From hard-hitting encryption to passwords and authentication, there is an increasing number of ways to address threats before they become problems.   

Reputation Matters, And So Does Downtime

Besides the cost implications of downtime, the resulting impact of downtime can be even more critical.

Relationships and new business opportunities depend on an established reputation as a market leader or reliable service provider. 

Reputations are build on reliability and trust.

If data about your end-users gets misplaced, lost, stolen, or even destroyed, what happens to your reputation can be catastrophic.

Continuity Insights agrees, saying, "Reputational damage as a result of downtime may not be directly quantifiable, but it can affect finances in the long run, especially for companies that rely so heavily on brand recognition."

Information Week said, "Technology will fail. Technology departments tend to have the bad reputation of exhibiting only reactionary behavior, as if programmers and network admins were simply sitting on their hands and waiting for a notification that the email system is down."

It is important to have additional strategies in place to address downtime, disaster recovery, and business continuity.  

Related Blog: The CIO Budget Checklist for 2017

Written by IBM BP Network