Friday, May 25, 2012
According to a CompTIA research report released a couple months ago, business executives have become increasingly concerned with protecting access to their companies’ information systems and the data they contain. Whether driven by new rules and regulations, or well-publicized news of critical breaches and their repercussions on organizations and their clients, a majority of decision-makers are taking note of the value of an effective IT security program.
And the awareness level is escalating rapidly. In their 9th Annual Information Security study
, CompTIA researchers found that approximately 70 percent of organizations currently rate security as a high/upper level priority, an increase of more than 20 percent from the 49 percent reported in 2010.
What’s a concern for business executives can be a significant opportunity for skilled IT security professionals. Cybersecurity and data storage topping the CompTIA report list of “high priorities” at 71 percent and 61 percent respectively, with disaster recovery, network infrastructure, cloud computing, mobility and virtualization all above 50 percent. All of these areas of concern are strengths for the solution provider community, especially for those with the ability to address the protection needs of a number of different industries.
Potential security business opportunities don’t mean a thing if you’re not prepared to deliver the appropriate solutions for prospective and current clients—and support their long-term organizational needs. A portfolio with antivirus and backup programs is a great start, but an effective IT security professional has to offer a comprehensive collection of services that help businesses address a multitude of issues. Many of today’s organizations are forced to comply with a variety of federal, state, or local government regulations, as well as industry standards and best practices related to information security.The Peer Solution
So how can solution providers get the training, knowledge and tools they need to build a practice to address the multifaceted protection needs of their clients? A little more than two years ago, a number of IT channel business owners set out to create a peer group that would develop these resources and the result of their efforts, the CompTIA IT Security Community
has been a flurry of activity ever since.
Focused on the challenges and opportunities in the IT security field, the group is aggressively developing a variety of industry best practices, education programs, standards, and member-driven initiatives. One of the major community projects resulted in the CompTIA Security Trustmark
, an IT business credential which identifies solution providers who have met a prescribed list of industry standards. The application and validation processes also helps companies recognize potential regulatory compliance gaps and address problem areas in their policies, processes and plans.
In addition to the well received business credential, the IT Security Community has been extremely busy, creating a number of channel-beneficial resources and programs, including:
- The IT Security Roadmap: offers an overview of current and emerging trends, and serves as a planning and validation tool for solution providers offering data and system protection services.
- Commentary on CompTIA IT Security research: community members offer insight on the latest trends and receive updates on upcoming surveys and reports
- A Security Code of Ethics for CompTIA members: the group was instrumental in designing association-wide standards
- HIPAA compliance materials: this information will be used to update the IT Security Trustmark
Helping the industry is a worthy goal, but most IT Security Community members receive personal and professional benefits from their involvement. “Anyone who deals with IT security, vendors and solution providers, can participate and learn, share ideas, and focus on a subject that affects everyone,” says Mike Semel, VP and CSO for Business Continuity Technologies, and chair of the CompTIA IT Security Community. “There’s a huge business opportunity and, whether you’re interested in learning how to market security or if you’re a renowned expert, the Community has something for you.”
This group won’t rest on the success of its previous accomplishments. At the upcoming CompTIA Breakaway
conference, Semel will convene the next live meeting of IT Security Community, where members will discuss a number of current and prospective initiatives intended to help advance the industry. Ongoing projects include:
- Federal and state legislation (affecting a number of regulatory compliance issues),
- Partnering with other CompTIA Communities that share security concerns and
- Organizing more vendor and solution provider discussions to identify business opportunities.
If you have an interest in IT security, whether it’s to develop a new practice or just to learn more about the opportunities, the group is always accepting new members. Send a message of interest to email@example.com
or register to attend
the session at Breakaway 2012.Brian Sherman is founder of Tech Success Communications, specializing in editorial content and consulting for the IT channel. His previous roles include chief editor at Business Solutions magazine and industry alliances director with Autotask. Contact Brian at Bsherman@techsuccesscommunications.com.