Why IT Security Matters, Even (and Especially) for Startups


For the past 24 years, Mario Balakgie has worked for the federal government to help secure and protect information within the Department of Defense, as well as assist other intelligence professionals and military personnel. In short, he’s witnessed a tidal wave of IT security threats from across the globe for more than two decades. Today, Balakgie is the Director of the National Security Practice at World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT).

As a knowledgeable speaker for Info Sec Nashville 2014, Balakgie shared his IT security advice stressing three essential questions startups and small businesses ought to ask themselves in light of today’s constant barrage of IT security threats.

What negative impact could IT security threats have on overall business?

No longer are cyberthreats and cyberterroism only relegated to the technology branch of a company. With pervasive viruses and capable hackers, IT security issues can threaten the very core of any business. Even when such threats may be handled as well as possible, a public relations nightmare could result in lost revenue, like Target for example. Beyond the essentials of planning for an attack, a company should also plan for contingencies after the breach.

How risk-averse is the company?  

Establishing a company’s acceptable risk-level is an important step so that an effective amount of money can be invested in proper security measures and personnel. If the company has deep pockets, then they might be able to weather IT security problems. However, many small businesses and startups can’t afford to not invest in at least some level of preventative IT security measures.

Is cyber security a job for one person, or for the entire company?  

When security threats didn’t number in the millions per day, companies could get away with relegating such issues to one IT security manager. These days, as pervasive and non-stop as IT security threats have become, every employee should be aware of what they can do to help shore up their company’s IT security.

WWT encourages companies to:

  1. Always be prepared for IT threats.

  2. Codify a security response.

  3. Describe what immediate actions can be taken.

  4. Describe what severe actions may need to be taken.

  5. Follow through on such actions when necessary.

  6. Relate possible threats to company leadership, as well as what those threats could mean to the company should an IT security breach occur.

World Wide Technology, Inc. helps companies view the difference between risk reduction and security preparation and can help startups and small businesses understand where to invest their resources into IT security.

To hear more about the need for IT security, listen to Mario Balakgie talk at InfoSec Nashville 2014, featuring two industry-recognized keynote speakers, panel discussions and multiple breakout sessions on management and technical issues. InfoSec is the Southeast’s leading security conference bringing security professionals and technologists together for an entire day of networking and knowledgeable speakers.

For more than two decades, World Wide Technology, Inc. has showcased their experience in networking, big data, and collaboration by providing professional abilities and exceptional to help secure companies from worldwide IT security threats.

The Interview was conducted by Clark Buckner from TechnologyAdvice.com.