Spring calls for a fresh start after a long, dreary winter. There’s plenty to tidy up, from the dust collecting on your shelves to the software and hardware assets approaching End-of-Life (EOL) in your enterprise IT ecosystem.
It’s the perfect time for IT professionals to re-focus and organize their assets. Though the exercise may seem mundane, a thorough spring-cleaning initiative can save organizations time, money and stress in the long run.
It can also benefit the enterprise by keeping data safe, teams prepared for unexpected breaches and disasters, and employees up-to-date with the latest technology and trends.
Here are a few spring cleaning tasks that can help IT professionals get started.
Back-up your data
With the number of ransomware threats at an all-time high, backing up your data regularly is becoming more critical than ever. According to a study by IBM, 70 percent of enterprises infected by ransomware paid the ransom to regain access to their data. In these incidences, backups are arguably the best way to recover stolen data without having to pay.
Be proactive about securing your enterprise
According to a BDNA report, from 30 to 50 percent of software and hardware assets in the average large enterprise are past their EOL date. Out-of-date and non-compliant assets are a major and often overlooked source of enterprise cybersecurity vulnerabilities.
When it comes to security, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Enterprises can get ahead of threats by being more proactive with their security. Proactive security measures include constantly updating antivirus protections, ensuring that your employees change their passwords regularly by use of strong password policies, educating them about security best practices, including inspecting emails carefully and being cautious about opening email attachments or clicking on unknown links.
Review your business continuity plan and disaster recovery plans
IT professionals should work with members from all teams throughout the company to prioritize the most vital systems to ensure sustainability in the event of an emergency. Having an ITAM program in place is helpful because it provides an inventory of where assets are being deployed and where the most critical information is being stored.
For disaster recovery plans, IT professionals should remember to generate a business impact and risk analysis alongside the plan to determine the potential consequences of a disaster. Disaster recovery plans should account for critical systems failing for a certain amount of time, and put processes in place to mitigate those effects. It’s important to note that business continuity plans are proactive, while disaster recovery plans are reactive.
Stay one step ahead of hackers
IT professionals can stay ahead of hackers by being diligent about their inventory. By using a normalizing process, enterprises can gain the ability to identify and remove duplicate and irrelevant records to generate a comprehensive, accurate and up-to-date list of IT assets. With normalized data, IT departments can help their enterprises keep track of EOL dates, remove outdated and potentially vulnerable software and hardware, decrease security risks and manage BYOD devices.
In summary, a thorough IT spring clean can do wonders for an organization, bringing in fresh perspectives, while keeping IT professionals ahead of the game and prepared for any potential risks. Being proactive will only help organizations in the long run, and may even bring up problems and present opportunities that were previously unaddressed.
With these tips in mind, your organization can mitigate threats, while optimizing efficiency in your enterprise.
About the Author
Matthew Urbano is IT systems administrator at BDNA. He has been helping employees with IT issues at companies all over Silicon Valley for more than six years. He has a B.S. in computer information systems from DeVry University and a master’s in information systems management from Keller Graduate School.