5 reasons IT pros should be paranoid

Secret data leaks, data centers on the brink -- and your career hanging in the balance

IT organizations have a lot on their plates, and keeping the data center humming is only part of the equation. Factor in the threats coming at IT from every direction, and you can see why IT pros have ample reason to be paranoid. The invasion of consumer devices into the workplace, the rush toward cloud computing, the constant vigilance to prevent data spills, all while managing a meager budget in an era when your career can be cut short at any time can cause even the most level-headed IT pro to start looking over his shoulder.

[ Not spooked enough? Find out the Top 10 reasons to be paranoid and beware falling prey to these Stupid IT admin tricks | For a humorous take on the tech industry's shenanigans, subscribe to Robert X. Cringely's Notes from the Underground newsletter. ]

"I met with the CIO at a Fortune 30 company recently and asked him, 'What keeps you up at night?'" says Jon Heirmel, director of strategic security for Solutionary, an enterprise security and compliance consultancy. "He answered, 'The things that keep me up at night are the things I don't know.' And that's the answer: the unknown. If you don't know what to worry about, that's what you should be worrying about."

Here are the top five things that should be keeping you awake at night, if they don't already.

What do you worry about? Post your thoughts in the comments below.

IT paranoia No. 5: Your data center will go down

It's the pulsing heart of your IT organization. If your data center goes down, it can take the entire enterprise with it. For many IT pros, keeping the data center running 24/7 is enough to keep them awake 24/7.

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