Businesses today are aware of the huge responsibility that comes with protecting customer data. When that data becomes compromised, it puts a business's entire reputation at risk. Since launching my startup Due I've had to learn what it's like to store a lot of secure data. We do everything in our power to keep our customers data secure.

However, even with all of that careful preparation, there are some areas businesses like ourselves tend to neglect. Those areas leave security holes that can disrupt an entire business's trajectory. Here are five major security holes CIOs should know about before it's too late.

Unsecured Mobile Devices

Employees no longer work solely from desktop PCs, connected in an office environment. Instead businesses now issue mobile devices to employees, which they then carry with them almost everywhere they go. Businesses must invest in technology to keep those devices safe within a network environment, as well as train employees to use work-connected smartphones and tablets responsibly. By setting up remote wipe capabilities and turning on the "find my device" GPS feature on each smartphone and tablet, businesses can ensure that if a piece of equipment is misplaced, its data will remain safe from prying eyes.

Transferring Legal Documents

Every year millions of companies face lawsuits. In every matter of litigation a company may be obliged to produce thousands, sometimes millions, of documents requested by the opposing party during in a process known as discovery. Alarmingly, the collection and exchange of documents during discovery is routinely carried out without any level of security. For many companies the crown jewels are being loosely thrown around without encryption--easy targets for competitors, criminals, and prying eyes.

A simple way to solve this problem is by centralizing document collection and dissemination. Through the use of a secure portal like Logikcull, a business can protect its legal documents while also streamlining the entire process of discovery. The platform automates the process of discovery--with safeguards placed to protect a company's data at every phase in the process.

External Hard Drives

While cloud technology has mostly replaced the need for external hard drives, many of them still exist. Some are still in use, but many are shoved into drawers and pockets of briefcases, having long been forgotten about. The problem with these relics is that they may still contain sensitive data about a business's clients. It's important for businesses to confiscate any external drives and make sure they're both password protected and encrypted or, better yet, replaced with a cloud-based alternative. For example, even with my secure VPS hosting company, we use SSD and cloud servers to store all the information

Unpatched Systems

Whether a business is operating with an on-site server infrastructure or one that is cloud-based, over time it can become vulnerable to a security breach. This is primarily true if a business isn't regularly patching systems. Server operating systems should be set to automatically grab the latest security patches from Microsoft. In addition to server safety, businesses should ensure that each piece of software they use is regularly being patched, especially if the software is being used to transmit sensitive customer data. CIOs should actively research threats and work to protect a business's servers against them.

Risky Employee Behavior

Employees remain the biggest threat to a business's systems. Workers who create weak passwords or leave them taped to computer monitors put an organization at risk. We've even seen problems with employees that are telecommuting into work as well. CIOs should include employee education as part of the work they do to protect their systems. This includes educating employees on the importance of avoiding clicking on suspicious links in email. Employees should also be trained to safeguard customer information by sending items securely and entering information directly into the computer rather than writing it down on a piece of paper.

Businesses trust their CIOs to keep their systems safe. But there are several areas in which organizations leave themselves vulnerable on a daily basis. By being aware of these issues and working to prevent them, CIOs can protect their organizations from problems.

Published on: Jul 2, 2015