Technology changes so quickly, and it can be difficult to stay current. Here’s our list of the five most important IT directives to address before 2019 ends:
Backup and restore testing
You probably have heard that it’s important to back up your data to protect against data loss, right?
If you have good backups, then recovering from even a serious “data loss incident” is a fairly routine procedure for an experienced IT team. Whether you’re hit with a ransomware attack, hardware failure, or accidental/intentional file deletion, it’s unlikely that your business would ever suffer a 100% loss of data due to one of the common threats listed above, because of the ability to simply restore from backups.
If you don’t have good backups… your business faces an increased risk of significant and long-term damage as a result of a data loss incident.
According to one report, 60% of companies that suffer a major data loss incident are out of business within 6 months. Don’t fall victim to poor planning: we recommend testing your backup and restore systems quarterly, as part of your overall business continuity plan.
Password management, access controls
Do your employees re-use the same password for everything, or leave passwords in plain view written on Post-It notes?
Is it becoming nearly impossible to remember all of your different passwords?
Does only one person at your company have all the passwords? What would happen to your business if that person were “hit by a bus”?
If you haven’t already done so, it’s a good idea to implement a password management system. Not only will this save you from the chaos of trying to track all company passwords “manually”, it will improve your company’s overall security posture significantly.
Get serious about cyber security
There has been a big surge in hacks and security breaches in recent years. The year 2019 has seen over 3,800 security breaches (so far) – a 50% or greater increase over the last four years – and small business are not immune.
It’s a myth that small businesses are not targeted by cyber criminals: in fact, they are preferred targets because cyber criminals understand that small businesses generally lack a big security budget or robust defenses.
Because of the rapidly-evolving nature of the security threat landscape, we advise all clients to review their overall company security posture at least once per year.
And if you haven’t yet implemented basic (and affordable) security measures such as 2-factor authentication, spam filtering, and anti-virus to protect against common online threats, it’s worth looking into now.
Pending software upgrades
Delaying critical software upgrades – and continuing to rely on old, unsupported software systems to power your business – can have disastrous consequences.
Many business owners have a mindset of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” when it comes to their critical business software: sometimes putting off upgrades for 5, 10, or even 15 years.
However, after a certain period of time it becomes extremely difficult to fix an old computer system when it (eventually) breaks – the number one reason being that the vendor has stopped providing support as a result of the software being past “end of life”.
To avoid the risks involved with reliance on “legacy software”, we recommend completing critical updates and upgrades in a timely manner and as recommended by your vendor.
Windows 7 End of Life
Did you know that the Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System, which was released over 10 years ago, still powers over 30% of the world’s computers?
Good old “Win7” holds a special place in our hearts, but time is running out for any business still relying on the software: that’s because Microsoft plans to end support for Windows on January 14, 2020.
If a significant number of computers on your network still run the nearly-obsolete software, start planning and budgeting to upgrade NOW.
Is your IT department doing everything it can to address these critical technology directives? Don’t have an IT department? No problem – contact us today for help.