Think of your IT infrastructure like this: Airline flight delays and cancellations are disruptive and frustrating in many ways. If one thing goes wrong – i.e. with an operational system such as ones that support luggage handling, mechanical maintenance, or plane scheduling – expose you, the traveler, to the risk of not getting from point A to point B as expected.
The same is true for your business operations, and the role that technology plays in keeping productivity high.
IT disruptions, interruptions, and eruptions can happen to any company, especially if you’re not prepared. They can put the monetary value of your data at risk and place a high price tag to get your business operations running again.
If you have recently experienced a major outage, or are currently experiencing frequent problems with back-ups and slow systems, your company productivity is adversely effected.
Even more, the operational side of your business can be especially impacted by an unstable IT environment, which trickles down further into your organization until your clients also feel the pain.
And we all know the buck stops – literally – with your clients.
The bottom line is that when it comes to protecting your IT infrastructure, you need to ensure that you are minimizing your business risk, not creating it by failing to protect.
Here are the top 3 disruptions to your business that you should BEWARE of:
Unrecoverable loss of data.
So you have a back-up solution in place, great. But do you know if it’s working, when is the last time you restored data from a backup? Same with business continuity and disaster recovery. You have a system in place, but have you ever failed over to the recovery system or will the first time be during a catastrophic failure? Seems pretty risky, right? Cloud computing keeps your data secure, ensures 100% access to information, and protects your organization from disruptions such as the unrecoverable loss of data.
An outage of a key operational system.
You see it starting to happen… Minor things like systems locking up, slow performance, systems approaching end of life, a system went down and it took over an hour to get it back up. It’s the snowball effect during a major blizzard, and could lead to that pesky flight delay problem. Imagine you provide ground and cargo handling services, for example. In the event of an outage, stabilizing the data center is critical. Given this type of business, we have a business critical situation with impacts to passengers, flights, and personnel, not to mention your company’s reputation.
Not having a fail-over system to recover back-ups.
You need to be able to quickly respond to any IT disruption. In the case of back-up recovery, time is of the essence. What would happen if a backup generator went down (or you didn’t even have a backup generator), it could take a week to get back online – imagine if you will, how disruptive that would be to your business. Again, a cloud solution is within reach, to protect your organization.
Again, a cloud solution is within reach, to protect your organization.
Every business faces disruption risks that present threats to its success, which is why using processes, methods, and tools for managing these business risks is imperative.
Put IT Risk Management on Autopilot
Those disruptors don’t occur in a vacuum. Your actions determine how exposed you are to events like data breaches or catastrophic outages.
Many small businesses believe their size protects them from being the latest victim of a phishing attack, the opposite is true. Because they don’t have the level of resources that corporations have to protect their network from attack, cybercriminals target smaller businesses.
We’ve seen organizations as small as three and four people suffer significant disruption to their business – all stemming from a single email. Even receiving multiple phishing emails is enough of a disruption that it cripples your team’s ability to get work done.
To figure out your level of risk, the first thing you want to do is identify what assets you need to protect. From there, you can more easily determine the risks you face.
As you consider your asset management, look for assets like a server that contains customer information. Or it could be a website with payment details.
The best way to figure out what your risks are is a cybersecurity risk assessment.
Have you experienced operational changes in the past year?
Unless there is a strong IT presence on the leadership team, businesses won’t think about the IT implications of operational changes. We saw this during the pandemic. Leaders wanted quick solutions to get their teams working from home. Suddenly, employees were connecting to the business network on personal devices, using unsecured Wi-Fi networks and introducing a lot of risk to the system.
Always update your policies and processes to reflect new ways of working
Establishing clear policies mitigate risks. For instance, you decrease the likelihood of a cyberattack if you set strong policies around:
– Multifactor authentication and identity-based security
– Network access
– Personal device usage
Do you have employee training programs in place?
Employee education is a win-win. Not only does training reduce risk, it can boost productivity.
Cybersecurity awareness training decreases chances of a data breach or phishing attack. Your employees will know what an attack looks like, danger signs, how to uncover the real sender of an email and how to verify links are legitimate before clicking.
You want to train your team on how to use different apps available in your Microsoft 365 Suite too. This increases adoption and can turn non-tech employees into power users. Plus, an employee who knows how to use SharePoint and OneDrive will stop saving confidential, key documents to their computer and upload them to your secure cloud environment instead.
When was the last time you had a risk assessment?
Thinking through operational changes and putting in place programs to train employees can significantly reduce risk expose. But they won’t catch everything. To get a full picture of your risk profile, you need a risk assessment. This evaluation will clearly outline each risk and offer recommendations to neutralize the threat.
Nortec specializes in protecting your organization from IT disruptions, interruptions, and eruptions. Nortec identifies what could go wrong, evaluates which risks should be dealt with, and implements systems and strategies to deal with those risks. It’s a fact that businesses that are better prepared and are using the latest IT technology, experience significantly less disruptions and outages. They also now have a more cost-effective way of dealing with them.