Security is a team effort

In decades past, job responsibilities were reserved for specific departments. One department had one type of people who performed one type of task.

But in recent years, the lines between specific job functions and responsibilities have blurred. Fewer people can look to their departments to define what is and what is not part of their jobs.

An example of this shift lies in the role of marketing. Marketing no longer lives and dies within the cubicle walls of a select few in the creative department. Marketing is now included in the product itself.

Marketing is included in every customer interaction. (Think of the Chick-fil-A employee who responds to every "thank you" with "My pleasure.")

It's even in the design of your website. (If your website makes it hard for people to find the information they want, they're more likely to turn to one of your competitors.)

Similar logic applies to your company's security.

Security is not solely the responsibility of the IT department

IT may be the first department you think of when identifying technology within a business. But the IT department is far from the only department using technology to complete its daily job functions.

Technology touches every aspect of a business, from sales and marketing to operations to HR to legal—the list can go on and on.

While the IT department can put certain safeguards in place—web content filtering, next-generation antivirus, and regular updates of software patches, to name a few—IT can't guarantee that company data and systems won't be compromised.

IT can't stop someone in accounting from clicking a bad link. Or someone in dispatch from downloading a bad attachment. Or an executive from giving up login credentials from a phishing attack.

The truth is, the IT department can't guarantee absolute security. This is not a failing of IT. Rather, this point is an acknowledgement of the reality of a company's security, and the shared responsibility of everyone within that company.

Security is a team effort

How can departments collaborate to strengthen security?

End user security training for all employees is a great place to start, as it empowers employees by teaching them how to identify threatware and other security concerns.

Because security is everyone's responsibility, it is also part of everyone's job. Employees should be encouraged to stay on top of the latest security trends.

Employers also need to know their threat profiles and also how to lessen their risks. Conducting a network security assessment or consulting with a vCIO are great options to get started.

If we go down, then we go down together

A security incident does not affect only the IT department. No one gets work down when systems are down to security compromises.

With the cost of a data breach averaging $4.24 million, the IT department won't be the only ones looking for jobs when companies are unable to recover.