Remember in the 90s when businesses first began integrating technology into their operations?
Everyone was thrilled about the possibilities that technology would provide, and companies started implementing IT in all possible areas. The accounting department chose accounting software and implemented it. The scheduling department selected scheduling software and implemented it. The delivery department chose a platform that worked for them.
And as a result, software and technology platforms were segmented, and most business networks were centralized (or flat).
Flash forward to today, and technology has been integrated into every part of our lives. New technology has opened up numerous possibilities, but with those possibilities comes dangerous risk.
Technology must be considered, implemented and evaluated differently today. All aspects of IT should be intertwined now. Your systems should have solid cybersecurity safeguards to protect your data. Your internal controls and compliance should be strong. Your infrastructure and software should always be up to date in light of today’s most recent advancements (and threats).
So, if you’re still operating in a segmented environment with a flat network designed in years past, you could be missing opportunities to strengthen your security, improve processes, minimize risk and increase efficiency and profitability.
The frequently asked questions and answers outlined below can help provide your business with the information to begin laying the groundwork for the strong technology operations that can help your business thrive in today’s environment.
Cybersecurity refers to all measures designed to protect your computer systems against unauthorized access. Cybersecurity guards against various cyber attack methods, including data breaches, ransomware and phishing, among many others, and it can also help to protect your business if an employee clicks on a dangerous link.
Before you can strengthen your company’s infrastructure and processes through the right cybersecurity measures, it’s important to examine your business, ask the right questions and identify your company’s most pertinent risks in light of your current systems and operations. It’s also important to know the key signs for recognizing and remediating fraud before you begin to develop a plan.
Through vulnerability scanning, vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, an IT professional will be able to pinpoint your specific weaknesses and vulnerabilities and help your business navigate how they should be corrected or hardened.
There are multiple facets of cybersecurity. Conducting ongoing employee training and implementing cybersecurity policies, like mobile device management, can help reduce risk, as can vendor management policies and the physical protection of your data. There are also clear signs that your organization could experience a data breach, and it’s important that all employees are aware of these signs and how to prevent an attack.
The best cybersecurity measure you can employ is to be proactive. Strengthening your systems before you’re attacked is your best line of defense.
IT remediation is an important aspect of ensuring your company has strong cybersecurity policies and procedures. If an IT professional has identified weaknesses or vulnerabilities in your system, what should you do, and how can you resolve the problem?
The most important step is to partner with an IT professional to develop strong technology policies and procedures. Your company’s technology plan and policies should be regularly communicated throughout your organization. All employees should be trained according to these policies and understand their role in keeping your organization safe.
Preventing threats of phishing, malware and DDoS attacks is just one step in the IT remediation process. Another segment of IT remediation consists of updating your software and replacing out-of-date technology equipment. It may be helpful to have an IT consultant assess your company’s network security, network infrastructure and the findings in the IT assessment to determine how to best optimize your technology to decrease the risk of a cyber attack.
With cybersecurity threats on the rise, being proactive can seem like a daunting task. Luckily, there are tips that you can use to make sound technology decisions for your organization.
Partnering with a trusted IT professional who has your business’s best interest in mind can be a great first step for businesses, especially if you haven’t previously developed a plan to secure your technology. It’s important that C-Level executives weigh the costs and risks associated with cybersecurity and invest in strengthening the organization’s technology policies and preventative measures.
Keep in mind, cybersecurity attacks are not just a threat to large organizations, small companies are also a target of cyber warfare and should also take preventative measures.
Developing a business continuity plan, including an off-line and fully redundant data back-up system, can maintain the integrity of your business’s IT systems throughout a natural disaster or a cybersecurity breach. The most effective way to withstand a natural disaster is to prepare for it before it happens. Here are four things to consider ahead of time that can help protect your business and assist your company in evaluating your technology’s preparedness for a natural disaster.
Having a strong internal control environment not only reduces overall business and fraud risk, but it also strengthens corporate governance and compliance.
To safeguard data, state lawmakers across the country have enacted laws regarding the management of nonpublic and personal information. For example, the State of Alabama specifically outlines how insurance companies manage and protect non-public information and requires companies to create an incident response plan. A third-party consultant group can assist organizations with meeting compliance requirements and securing personal and financial information.
If your organization provides services to user entities, a System and Organization Controls (SOC) report can help establish trust for your customers or potential customers. SOC reports are produced after SOC examinations and give assurance that a service organization’s internal controls are well functioning.
If your business accepts credit cards, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards for information security require that businesses show compliance when interacting with any form of credit card. There are many levels of PCI compliance and understanding the jargon used can be complicated, but it’s important to understand which regulations your organization should abide by and what Internal Security Assessor training means for your business.
Staying connected, ensuring data is secured and replacing out-of-date technology are just a few of the many challenges of maintaining a sound IT infrastructure. These days, organizations (especially those with multiple locations and offices) need constant connection with key internal players, as well as the outside world, to thrive in today’s fast-paced technology driven economy.
Internet Connectivity & VoIP solutions are necessities for today’s organizations. A strong systems infrastructure also needs a data recovery plan to prepare for component failure or system outage. It’s also important to evaluate your organization’s specific needs for how to store data—whether it’s an on-premise or a hybrid infrastructure or if a cloud solution would help free up your IT staff from being bogged down in daily data management.
All organizations have unique needs, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to finding the level of technology services that your organization requires.
Break/Fix IT Support services offer a way to quickly and effectively solve IT problems as they arise to get your business back up and running. If your organization cannot support a full-time IT staff or Chief Information Officer (CIO), you may consider outsourcing those roles. In addition, if your organization needs full-time, hands-on support, you may want to consider managed IT support services or managed software support services.
There are many options available for business software. Finding the right business software solution can improve your organization’s overall operations and help you to reach maximum efficiency by providing you with the insights that you need to make informed business decisions. Customizable dashboards through business software can also help your organization to easily manage your inventory and supply chain, improve performance, manage labor costs and speed up your processes.
These frequently asked questions and the answers can help your business gain insight about how to best move forward with creating and sustaining the right technology environment for your specific organization.
If you have further questions, you can learn more through the additional resources linked throughout this guide, or your can connect with a Warren Averett security and technology professional who can provide custom insight for your business.