Every new year – we find – is an opportunity for a fresh start; the perfect occasion to commit to a few things that you can do to make the coming 365 days brighter than the last.
2017 was the year of the natural disaster, from hurricanes that raged through the Southeast to fires up and down the West Coast. We also can’t forget about the cyber attacks that captured everyone’s attention – WannaCry and Petya to name a few. One thing the past year has definitely taught us is that you have to be prepared for anything.
For organizations large and small, effective IT can be an incredibly powerful competitive advantage, or a weak link. With that in mind, we thought we’d share with you 6 new years resolution to keep your data safe and empower your business to outperform the competition in 2018:
Conduct a Vulnerability Assessment
A vulnerability assessment covers every inch of your IT environment to identify where you’re at risk, including: policies and procedures, application and databases, networks, e-mail, file storage, compliance requirements. An effective vulnerability assessment will examine the entire infrastructure to find the fragile points, and prioritize liabilities based on impact. From these findings, you will be able to close gaps and develop and implement a business continuity plan (in case of crisis).
It’s always a good practice to refresh your business’ remote work and mobile management policies. While you are assessing the enterprise’s mobility, take a look at how your teams are evolving in terms of collaboration. Do you have adequate tools for employees to communicate and coordinate projects? If not, there is no time like the present!
Double Down on Passwords
Passwords are the keys to the castle in many cases. With that in mind, promise yourself – and hold employees accountable – to update your password every ninety days. Make it at least 12 digits in length and make it strong with uppercase letters, lowercase letters, symbols, and numbers. No sticky notes on your desk to remember them either! If you have trouble keeping everything straight in your head, use a password management tool to protect your protector in 2018.
Are you up-to-date with all of the latest patches and updates from Microsoft or Apple for your business’ computers? If you don’t already have a patch management strategy in place, consider making that a goal for 2018. Along these lines, make sure that your network is protected by updated, reliable anti-virus or malware (or even better, both!) software.
Create a Backup Plan
Do you have on-site and off-site backups of your business’ data? Or even better, a backup plan to ensure that your data continues to remain safe in the event of a natural disaster, electricity outage, etc.? If not, develop one such plan, which ensures an annual test restore of the off-site backup so you are assured that the business’ data is safe.
Leverage the Cloud
Cloud computing is more than just a trendy buzzword, it is the new normal for enterprises large and small. From enhancing efficiency with seamless collaboration between employees, to providing flexibility for employees to work effectively from nearly anywhere, to increasing data security in the form of backups, cloud computing is extremely powerful. Even if the cloud is nothing new to you, you should still take a look at how you are currently using cloud technologies. How is your bandwidth? Do you need more server space? Are your subscriptions about to run out? There are always new opportunities to be found in cloud computing; you just need to know where to look.
Take a minute as you ring in 2018 to reflect on each of these six essential pieces of the enterprise IT puzzle. If you need help figuring out where to start, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts!
Wishing you a safe and successful 2018!