Loss & Pain: A Matter of “When” Not “If”
Now more than ever, we operate in a technology-driven business environment.
Today’s IT systems enable virtually every business activity and outcome, and those activities are constantly threatened by cyberattacks as the “bad guys” cast ever-widening nets and increasingly sophisticated attacks.
In the past, many companies could play the odds and likely survive with poorly designed single point of failure IT systems and a labor intensive, reactive support model. But, in the current environment, it is not a question of if, but rather when, employing the old IT model will lead to great loss and pain.
There Is a Solution, and It Won’t “Break the Bank”
How can a business avoid the loss and pain that could threaten its very survival?
By ensuring it has both a well-designed computer system and a proactive, efficient ongoing support model. A two-pronged approach that employs both of these components is vital in maintaining its operational integrity.
1. Realize Speed and Efficiency With a Well-Designed System
A well-designed computer system is consistent, fast, and able to be supported efficiently. To achieve this, networks should be designed with business class components, critical redundancy, and a layered security approach.
Business-class components last longer and experience fewer problems. Tested standardized components (same manufacturers and, ideally, models) should be used to reduce the variations that cause inconsistent performance and complicate troubleshooting. The larger the number of endpoints (workstations, printers, firewalls, routers and servers) to be managed, the greater the need for standardization.
Redundancy eliminates critical single points of failure. This means duplication of critical components and connectivity paths so that if one fails, you can route things to the secondary piece of equipment or pathway. Combining redundancy with comprehensive, automated, and fast backup systems ensures swift recovery of all data and applications and a quick return to successful business operations in the event of a failure or breach.
When it comes to cybersecurity, no one method is adequate, so a security layered approach is critically important. Internet, server and endpoint security are all essential and each layer should have multiple components to defend against all the ever-evolving ways hackers attempt to disrupt and steal information. This should include security and use policies that, for example, segment network traffic and the access users have to information on the network.
2. Increase Technology ROI With an Advanced, Proactive Support Function
Today the good guys have to get it right every time, hundreds of times a day.
On the other hand, the bad guys only have to get it right once.
The vast majority of IT support companies and functions rely on beating the odds and the inefficient, hard work of reacting to and managing the crises that arise daily.
A good IT support function will affordably reduce the number of failures and crises as well as simplify and speed recovery and reduce the negative business impact when something does go wrong. By planning and budgeting for a proactive and successful cyber security defense, you reduce expensive crisis-focused IT labor and instead can use that to invest in a building and maintaining a consistent, speedy network that maximizes your team’s uptime and productivity.
To do so, first you need to get the right IT team and tools in place. This means working with skilled engineers as well as state of the art automation and forensic tools.
Assembling the Resources You Need
Technology has become so complex and the number of data points to manage so huge that implementing the much-needed full suite of protective measures with a labor-only support environment is prohibitively expensive.
That’s why tools have been developed to monitor performance and processes, automate many maintenance tasks, and allow engineers to cut through the noise and focus on critical items. These tools, when combined with well-trained engineers, are essential to successfully manage the thousands of data points and numerous processes that must happen every day.
In addition, a team of skilled engineers will help you:
- Establish a process to continually evaluate the changing threat landscape and adapt your network operations as needed.
- Plan for every possible contingency and establish streamlined processes for every required task.
- Fully document the IT environment and ensure the information is readily available to support engineers when needed.
- Train personnel on critical processes and monitor activities to ensure compliance.
The second thing you need to do is ensure you have well-educated users. The best designed, implemented and supported network can be made vulnerable by one user making a mistake. Users need to be repeatedly educated on the threats they face and how to recognize attacks when they appear. Regularly monitored user training and accountability are essential components of a comprehensive security posture.
Investing in Your Peace of Mind
Technology is integral to almost all of your everyday business operations.
If it goes down, your business does too. But keeping your computer systems up and running does not have to be a daunting or budget-busting task. A well-designed system and proactive support model will save your business time and money, and you a lot of worry and headache.
After all, your peace of mind is worth the investment.