How much is a day worth?
As we enter into the final quarter of 2018, businesses should be taking the time to dot the i’s and cross the t’s to fully prepare for the upcoming year. This could include anything from running through checklists, updating out-of-date processes, or even organizing business-critical information. For some businesses, the one department that is often overlooked during this preparation period is the IT department. Maybe this is because an IT department’s return value isn’t apparent? Or maybe it’s from a general absence of knowledge pertaining to the IT processes?
Despite the reasons, business owners and managers should take a moment to ask themselves, “How much is a day worth? Can our operations afford to lose, at best, even one day?” The response to this is more than likely no. The IT department has evolved into an integral component of every operation. From email to data storage, no operation can escape the necessity of proper security measures.
So how can you ensure that your business’ IT security is up-to-par? This is going to require an in-depth analysis of where your business stands, as well as a long-term strategic plan with help from professionals.
Checking for Holes
A boat doesn’t float very well when there are holes in the bottom, right? To keep things simple, the same applies to your IT security setup. What’s the point of having a security solution that lacks in some areas? This is where a risk-based analysis and a penetration test can dramatically reduce the chances of threats or breaches. The goal is to identify vulnerabilities such as simple passwords, out-of-date software, misconfigured services, or limited security so that measures can be taken to avoid exploitation. The results can affirm the potential impact of security threats in a manner that most can understand – monetarily. If your systems fell victim to a virus, how much money would the business lose over the course of time it takes to repair them? How much is this day worth?
You’re Only as Strong as Your Weakest Link
In today’s world, cybersecurity reaches far beyond the IT department. Attackers are targeting any opportunity they can find, and that opportunity might result from an employee’s lack of awareness. One of the largest, most complex, and adaptive threat factors is human error. Combatting this is fairly easy though. Most professional IT companies offer security awareness training seminars that go over fundamental ways for employees to identify and prevent threats. Businesses should expect to hold these seminars multiple times a year to stay relevant or as new hires enter the workplace and new threats hit the web.
Preparing for the Unexpected
Whether it be a data breach, a natural disaster, or any other unexpected event, it’s crucial to have a plan to follow as times get a little unpredictable. This portion of IT security changes the question from “what if” to “when.” A well-designed disaster recovery plan aims to reduce overall stress in times of emergency, limiting downtime and saving money. The process includes:
1. Evaluating all possible threats. In Florida, hurricanes are an annual risk. Flooding, wind, power outage, limited business access are all items that should be taken into account.
2. Developing a business impact analysis to determine the effects of a potential IT disaster. This analysis covers compliance, financial outcomes, overall safety, as well as credibility effects.
3. Staying as current as possible. Has your company made any changes over the past year, and are those accounted for in the disaster recovery plan?
4. Testing the plan thoroughly. When disaster strikes, the last thing any business needs is to learn that their business continuity plan had issues.
5. Backups, backups, backups. You’re only as safe as your last backup. Who is responsible for them? Where are they? Have they been tested?
Although this may seem like a large process, it’s much easier to handle emergencies proactively rather than reactively. A solidified disaster recovery plan shows exactly how much your day is worth.
Don’t let IT security fall to the back of your business mind. Whether you’re implementing security measures to meet compliance standards or recovering from a previous attack, none of these efforts previously mentioned will go to waste. Remember that professional help is out there to assist with any analysis/planning of your business.
Cody J. Carter is the marketing manager for Creative Network Innovations. His goal is to communicate to Space Coast businesses the effectiveness of evolving with tailored IT solutions. To learn more about CNI IT solutions, head over to www.CNIweb.net.