Each January, one in four people start the year with a set of hopeful resolutions. And while hitting the gym can help some individuals achieve their goals, for those hoping to improve the health of their organizations, investing in technology can have a huge impact. That said, finding new ways to leverage technology can be daunting, so IP Martin Services has a few suggestions you can take to put your best foot forward when entering the new year.
Resolution: Backup Your Data
Data is at the heart of every business and losing it can be catastrophic. Everyone has been there. You’re tirelessly working on a project when all of a sudden, your program crashes. If you haven’t recently saved your work, all that effort goes down the drain and you’re left with no other option but to begin again from scratch. Simply put, there’s no effective way to predict when software or hardware will fail. It can happen at any time; and when it does, it’s only natural to expect some file corruption or data loss. Fortunately, if you have a routine backup procedure, this threat poses far less risk.
Benefit: Backups Reduce Long-Term Costs
Not only does a properly implemented backup policy give you and your organization a safety net, but it can also reduce long-term costs for an organization. Whereas attempting to recover lost files without any standardized backup method can require an excessive amount of time and range dramatically in price; taking proactive measures can provide business leaders with a known cost to budget for.
Resolution: Embrace Cloud Technologies
The cloud has revolutionized the way businesses operate, offering scalability, flexibility, and cost-efficiency. Make it a resolution to migrate relevant aspects of your IT infrastructure to the cloud. This can include data storage, applications, and even collaboration tools. Cloud technology ensures accessibility from anywhere, facilitating remote work and collaboration among team members.
So, let’s say you’re already backing up your data, where’s the most secure place to store it? For many people and organizations, cloud services offer a viable solution. Not only does incorporating cloud services into your network boost your data’s security, it also provides your business with a more flexible workplace.
Benefit: Cloud Technologies Offer Flexibility
For example, let’s imagine you have a giant project you need to backup, but your on-site server is nearly out of space. Rather than waiting for hard drives to be bought and installed, cloud services allow you to scale your storage space to accommodate large files in just minutes.
Additionally, for businesses that are running hybrid or remote operations, cloud storage offers a simple way to give employees access to information outside of the office. In turn 59% of businesses that deploy cloud services are likely to see immediate productivity benefits. That said, not all cloud service plans are built the same and what might work for one business, might not works for yours. Therefore, it’s important to talk to your IT provider before making the leap to the cloud.
Resolution: Update Your Technology
We’ve all been there. You’re diligently working when a notification to update and restart your PC appears. Rather than dismissing the notification until a later time, IP Martin Services recommends installing these updates as soon as possible. If left uninstalled, devices are left open to attack, putting both personal and organization data at risk.
Benefit: Updating software and hardware patches vulnerabilities
In 2023, more than 26,000 software vulnerabilities were discovered by researchers which averages to approximately 71 discoveries per day – a 42% increase since 2021. Once discovered and published by researchers, it’s only a matter of time before hacking groups begin to take advantage of said vulnerabilities. As a result, software developers take these warnings seriously, create security patches, and push them out to their user-bases as quickly as possible. By hiring a Managed Services IT provider to quickly apply these software patches across your company, you’re doing your part to ensure hackers can’t exploit these vulnerabilities to gain access to your network.
Resolution: Create or Review Password Security Policies
While keeping your software updated can greatly boost the security of your business network, more than 80% of confirmed breaches are related to stolen, weak, or reused passwords. And while something as simple as creating a company-wide password policy can greatly reduce the risk, what should you include?
Benefit: Password Policies Help Prevent Breaches
First and foremost, make sure you ensure your entire team creates passwords that are 16 characters long and a combination of letters, numbers, and special characters. In the spirit of the new year, IP Martin Services suggests updating your passwords for the new year.
Next, you’re going to want to ensure everyone is using different passwords for each of their accounts. This ensures that if one password is compromised, they don’t have access to multiple accounts.
With that said, asking employees to create different passwords for each account means it will quickly become difficult to remember those login credentials. Therefore, it’s important to use a password management tool; essentially allowing a user to store all their login credentials in one secure location, guarded by a single cryptic master password.
Finally, when it comes to implementing a strong password policy across a team, multi-factor authentication is crucial. Better known as MFA, the authentication program asks the individual to provide additional identification, such as a one-time PIN or code, once a correct password is entered.
By asking a Managed Services IT provider, like IP Martin Services, to deploy these policies company-wide, business leaders can sleep easy knowing they’ve reduced the likelihood of a data breach by 81%.
Resolution: Prioritize Employee Security Training
Technology is ever evolving, and it’s crucial for your team to stay updated with the latest advancements. Make it a resolution to foster a culture of continuous learning within your organization.
According to Gartner, 90% of cyber threats start with an email, making it the number 1 threat vector. Many of these emails take the form of phishing – a type of attack where an attacker sends a fraudulent message to an employee designed to trick them into sharing sensitive information or clicking a malicious link.
Benefit: Trained employees are another tool in your defense arsenal.
Even with anti-malware solutions in place, phishing emails will still land in your employees’ inboxes. To stop them from falling victim, you need to arm them with the knowledge to spot these attacks. This is where training becomes your shield in the digital battlefield.