As we stated in the previous article, the world we live in is becoming more and more reliant on technology – and that technology continues to evolve and change. This reliance in our day to day lives has led business owners to explore what it may be capable of in their businesses – and they are not disappointed with the results.
Let’s refresh our memories of the two goals from the previous article and explore how we can achieve them.
The challenges/ goals:
- Increase levels of security – Lower the risk to your organization
- Increase profit and productivity.
Achieving these tasks constantly is the holy grail to business owners across the globe so the solution is never going to be an easy one. Let’s look at what you can do to ensure that you achieve your goals.
1) Increase levels of security – Lower the risk to your organization
When setting yourself goals it is recommended to first break them down into smaller more achievable goals. This time we will split it into four different categories:
- A cultural change
- Technical controls
A cultural change
With the way modern business is undertaken it is essential that you undergo a cultural change – security should always – no matter the circumstances – be your number one concern. However, it can be a difficult task distilling the seriousness of your team’s actions when navigating the technological landscape of your organization, but, with top standards of training, education, and support for your team, there is no reason why this can’t be achieved. You must ensure your team are trained from the very basic level all the way to the very advanced measures taken by your organization to protect your systems – this can all depend on the level of clearance particular team members have.
The first thing to do regarding your infrastructure is to check that it is capable – do this by checking the age, lifespan, and what level of support is required for it to run at its full capacity. Irradicate Shadow IT at every opportunity – be certain you have control over every end-user device(you must know what your employees can access and what device they are using to access it). It sounds like overkill and a little untrusting of your team, but to guarantee the best possible levels of security in your organization it is necessary.
Encrypt all mobile devices if you or your team work on them! We’ve all lost a mobile phone at one time or another – once lost anyone can pick it up and have free reign over its contents. Mobile encryption stops your data being stolen if you were to misplace it.
Firewalls are an essential tool in your cyber security arsenal. A Firewall acts as a filter between your computer and the internet, it allows access for what is deemed as safe and blocks access to anything malicious or unfamiliar. Firewalls are great, they allow you and your team to continue working as normal whilst it protects your systems silently in the background.
Anti-Malware software prevents, detects, and removes any malicious software from your computer systems. Malware – if left to its own devices – has the power to cause debilitating problems within your system from the inside, and it comes in many different forms (including viruses, rootkits, spyware, and Ransomware).
We have covered this briefly already – irradicate Shadow IT! Shadow IT allows you no control over the backup, recovery, distribution, or access permissions of your very own data. You should have a system of access that works around the hierarchy of your organization – in simple terms, the new junior sales assistant shouldn’t have access or the ability to copy, or modify, administrative accounts, because they need to be reserved for management or senior members of staff. You should carry out tests on all technology that you want to introduce into your organization – the tests should be a worst-case scenario type test allowing you to work out a strategy if the worst was to happen. It is understandable that your team may want to use Shadow IT, especially when they are making the job easier for themselves or potentially faster, but, having not undergone the checks, they are unwittingly putting your entire organization at risk, so please speak with them and inform them of the consequences.
This is the simplest of them all. You must always know where it is stored and who has access to it – not knowing these facts could leave you open to an attack if the wrong person has access, and you could also be subject to legal ramifications for the incorrect handling and storage of data, so you must always be sure.
2. Increase profit and productivity
As we did earlier, we can split this into two subheadings:
- Integration and automation
- The right tools.
Integration and automation
Microsoft 365 – its suite of tools has been a part of our day to day lives for decades now, and for many they have been a staple of our lives from childhood to adulthood. It provides tools that are simply unrivalled by any alternatives on the market in terms of functionality, affordability, and quality. But, for today’s purposes, we are going to take a look at one of the newest and most popular tools that Microsoft have ever released – Teams. Microsoft Teams has been designed with the sole purpose of improving communication, collaboration, and productivity for businesses anywhere in the world. It has amassed an astonishing daily average of 250 million users internationally and sits at the very peak of the pile as the leading business connectivity tool available on the market today. Microsoft’s entire suite of tools are integrated and allow many opportunities for automation – with everything consolidated in one easy to navigate place you can save time allowing your team’s productivity levels to rise.
The Right Tools
Train your team! Your team must – at the very least – have a basic understanding of the hardware and software that they use daily. You will see that this is a big positive for your business in terms of security and improving productivity levels. Your users will gradually learn to use the tools safely and effectively, allowing them to produce levels of productivity you could only have wished for in the past – but that all starts with good education.
IT Support the right way
By trusting us with your IT needs we can guarantee that your organization is ready to succeed in the modern digital workplace. Our experience in working with small businesses in Ontario and the Great Toronto Area allows us to ensure that you can increase revenue, secure your data, and always operate at peak performance in the most secure way possible. All these abilities can be achieved at the very highest standard. Contact us now to find out what else we can do to improve your IT landscape and bring you even more benefits from your IT going forward.