As CEO, you harbour a huge amount of responsibility in the eyes of your employees, shareholders, and board of directors. Your Chief Information Officer (CIO) acts as your first in command when it comes to keeping your valuable data safe and your technology competitive. The recent WannaCry ransomware attack highlighted just how vulnerable some businesses are without the proper security measures in place.
Over the last 10 years, the amount of responsibilities that CIOs have to deal with has grown enormously. With everything from website security to finance systems and intranet to IT integration, your company really depends on your CIO as much as any other department. And, this doesn’t even take into account the role your CIO plays in the digital world.
However, making sure your CIO is on point and delivering the best for your company is crucial for growth, security and success. We’ve come up with 5 questions to ask the CIO at your company so that you can keep up to date with what’s going on. Read on to learn more, or head to the Leadership page to see some of our other blogs.
Is our company’s transactional data secure?
Keeping your transactional data secure should be a huge priority as this includes credit card and customer information. Your CIO should be able to provide you with any applicable data privacy regulations that your company needs to abide by.
However, if you’re collecting your customers’ information online or storing your customer data online, it has to be accessed through a SSL web interface, stored in an encrypted state, protected by a DMZ, and be fully PCI compliant.
While this might not be applicable to your company, your CIO should still be monitoring changes in data privacy regulations regardless of this. As data security is a constantly evolving area, your CIO should be looking at the latest ways in which they can protect your customers’ data and your business’ technology.
How quickly can our website recover functionality after a major disruption?
It’s inevitable that your business website will likely suffer a major disruption at some point in time. Knowing how quickly you can have your website back online by utilising a backup is vital and could be the difference between losing a little money and a lot of money. This makes this one of the most important questions to ask the CIO at your company.
If your website merely acts as a landing page for your services and hosts contact information, then recovery times aren’t critical. However, if your business really relies on your website to broker purchases, you will need to ensure recovery times exceptionally quick.
The CIO at your company should be able to tell you exactly how long your systems will be up and running again after a major disruption.
Does our cloud-hosted data take time, date, and name logs when accessed?
For many businesses, cloud-hosted data is a major security concern. It’s essential that your cloud services have at least a basic login when trying to gain access to data. This should include every employee that requires access as well as admins and high-level employees.
In addition to this, your CIO should ensure that your cloud services collect time, date, and name logs whenever data is accessed. This will help to determine the source of insider breaches and assist with any forensic investigation should an attack occur.
Are we encrypting our cloud-hosted data to combat insider attacks?
Encryption is by far the best way to protect your sensitive data from unauthorised third parties. By utilising enterprise-managed keys, your employees can access sensitive information stored on your cloud and in your office. By encrypting your data in this way, you can add a robust layer protection to help ward off insider attacks at your cloud service provider. If successful, the fallout from this kind of attack can be severe and cause a huge amount of damage to your company.
How is our technology performing?
Your CIO should have a firm understanding on how your technology is performing and where improvements can be made. As CEO, you should expect regular reports about the effectiveness and efficiency of your IT infrastructure.
However, your CIO should also understand the changing landscape of technology and how improvements can be utilised to benefit your business. They should be encouraged to discuss ideas about incremental updates as well as technological overhauls to your systems.
More often than not, a quarterly report that delves into your systems will be sufficient, but sometimes new, vital technology will surface in between reports. Therefore, the CIO and their team should be making adjustments throughout the year and have a long-term plan that can evolve as technology does. At a certain point, you need to have faith, but you should never stop thinking of questions to ask the CIO at your company.
Do you need professional assistance with your IT infrastructure, software or hardware? For further information, please visit the IT Solutions page. Or, to talk with our expert team about other questions to ask your CIO, please contact us now.