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  • 1.  Balancing Cybersecurity and Workflow: What Are the Trade-Offs?

    Posted 02-14-2023 12:00 PM

    Cybersecurity has become a top priority for businesses of all sizes. Companies are increasingly investing in various security measures to protect their sensitive data and systems from cyber-attacks. However, these measures often come at a cost – workflow interruptions.

    One of the most frequent issues I run into now is the inability to install or update software without submitting an IT ticket. I work on a team that routinely explores new H&H modeling software, or compares new and old versions to evaluate bugs and performance differences. Constantly sending tickets to the IT department just to click "accept" on an install for another piece of software is something that neither party wants to deal with. However, I also realize that one wrong exe file can bring down and entire network. 

    How can we strike a balance between workflow interruptions and security?

    Christopher Seigel P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer

  • 2.  RE: Balancing Cybersecurity and Workflow: What Are the Trade-Offs?

    Posted 02-15-2023 10:38 AM

    Cybersecurity always comes first. A major breach can shut down a company or agency and losing all of your data would make minor inconveniences seem like nothing. Ransomware can cost a company or agency millions of dollars.

    Get to know your IT staff - there are easy workarounds for your needs. Planning ahead also helps. It's never the case where you magically find some software that needs to be installed instantly. Even test driving software takes planning and emailing back and forth with a vendor rep. Working with your IT staff to come up with a procedure for these issues that makes everyone happy can speed up the process. If your staff works with the vendor rep to make sure you have a legitimate download and not some random link emailed to you, that can cut down IT's work. Reps can be good sources for IT staff to make sure they have everything installed correctly. IT staff can never be familiar with all types of software and their needs. Providing them with contacts can speed up installs. I have reached out to Transoft helpline and sales reps to make sure our IT staff gets network installs done correctly.

    Even software updates rarely require immediate installations that nobody knew about weeks in advance. Work with your IT to plan ahead so that once an update is out, it can installed on all workstations. Engineers know how to plan ahead - this is what we live for.

    The only balance is making cybersecurity a priority. I still get phishing phone calls asking about our printers and names and contact information of managers. There are constant attacks via email, firewalls, etc. Don't let your guard down!

    Yance Marti P.E., M.ASCE
    Civil Engineer IV
    City of Milwaukee
    Milwaukee WI

  • 3.  RE: Balancing Cybersecurity and Workflow: What Are the Trade-Offs?

    Posted 05-21-2023 10:37 AM

    During my first few months at my current job, I was not living up to cybersecurity tests. There was roughly one email a week designed to test my insight for email red flags. Since I was putting too much trust in the company, I clicked on them, and received additional cybersecurity training to work through.

    Regarding the IT staff, needing to email the staff about any new app or app update has cut into my work time. However, I need these apps to pull off my work the first time, and IT could need some clarification of what I needed, so I often make up the work time afterword.

    I have come to realize cybersecurity is a priority, with what kinds of communication still gets through to employees. I have gotten used to spam messages and voicemails on my phone from random numbers, but random people posing as co-workers is even more underhanded.

    Alexander Granato
    Transportation Planning Engineer
    Indianapolis IN

  • 4.  RE: Balancing Cybersecurity and Workflow: What Are the Trade-Offs?

    Posted 02-17-2023 02:26 PM

    Despite having a revolutionary effect in the world of informatics with its numerous benefitsin ways we communicate and do business – internet cyberworld has also opened its door to many malicious actors – who are and have been constantly threatening privacy, safety and security of our personal livelihood and business activities. And there seems to be no end to this problem – if one is stopped somehow, another one appears. 

    • Coming to the question – in terms of trade-offs, whether one should prefer one over the other – I agree with Yance Marti that – in fact there should be no trade-offs. Instead ensuring Cybersecurity should be paramount – otherwise workflow and everything else fall apart.

    • Question is how does one ensure Cybersecurity? In my opinion, there are no easy answers. Because the actors both national and transnational come under different pretexts – including in the guise of a benevolent hand. Businesses are somewhat better – because they can seek the help of their IT colleague.

    • What about the situation when an individual comes back home from workhe or she has family-works to run and sustain – most of which rely on internet-dependent computers and cellphones. What about the privacy, safety and Cybersecurity of home activities? If one seeks for answers to this question – one will be utterly disappointed, because there is none. No one seems to realize that a healthy family is the key to a health society – therefore care and responsibility are nowhere to be found. These and many other issues including morals, ethics and laws are discussed in my article Artificial Intelligence.


    Dr Dilip K Barua, PhD