If you do one thing this month… plan for the worst and hope for the best

When it comes to IT operations, often all is well if things run smoothly and as expected – yet, if there’s one tiny glitch, many organisations simply ground to a halt. And, this is not only detrimental for staff productivity, but also for business performance as a whole.

So, why is it important for SME owners to put their planning hats on when it comes to in-house tech? And, how can you plan for the worst when it comes to your cyber-operations? From security to back-ups, we take a look at this in a little more detail…

The power of foresight

Now, we all know the saying that ‘hindsight is a wonderful thing,’ but foresight is equally – if not more – powerful when it comes to the workings of your business’s IT.

The way of the world tends to be that when we have a problem, we find a solution and get it fixed – simple. But, for organisations looking to get – and stay – ahead of the curve, the key lies in foreknowing and diagnosing any issues before they arise, so that the damaging effects never happen in the first place.

Don’t worry, we’re not suggesting a course in cyber-telepathy – if that even exists – rather that you invest in sensible preventative maintenance measures. In essence, a team that knows your systems inside out, is aware of which potential complications to look out for and can proactively take necessary action to omit disruptions.

From the upkeep of complex back-end networks and servers, to conducting regular reports on the health of your IT infrastructure, it’s pivotal you have someone planning for the worst at all times of day. Then, if any particularly technical challenges arise, you’ll have a robust uptime strategy that causes no waves in your day-to-day operations.

Assessing existing security measures

It’s difficult to know where to start in terms of planning for the worst when it comes to cyber-security. There are so many kinds of cyber-threats out there – each of which can have detrimental effects on your systems. So, how do you know what to defend against, and most importantly, how?

It can be all-too-tempting to invest in every piece of free and paid-for antivirus software ever created, in the hope of deterring cyber-criminals from accessing your systems. But, with every SME having different security requirements, this isn’t the most effective – or financially-viable – option.

If you really want to plan for the worst, ensure that the security you do have is solid. And, the best way to do this is to take stock and assess your current equipment – including antivirus software and patch methodology, plus back-up and disaster recovery.

Once you know where your system’s weak-points are, you can then make well-informed decisions on which areas should be prioritised. Because, if you try to bolster your defence with security features you don’t need, it could be that you’re overlooking the places which require some tender loving cyber-care!

Worst-case-scenario planning

Sometimes, things happen which companies can’t always plan for – but what if we told you that you can?! You might not know what’s going to happen and when, but that’s why having a clearly-defined back-up strategy in place makes this ok…

Among SMEs, back-ups are often a key area which are overlooked – but at Q2Q, it’s one of the first things we consider when looking at how business owners can up their IT game. Not only does it increase data security levels, but it also gives you the peace of mind that were the worst to happen, your safety net would protect you.

Whether its an unforeseen power outage, a natural disaster, or even an attempted cyber-attack, there’s no better way to safeguard your company data than having a robust back-up and archiving plan in place. A 3-2-1 method works best – three copies of the data, on two separate media types, one of which is stored off-site!

Without a doubt, the underlying message this month is that while ignorance may feel blissful when it comes to IT, it only takes one small knock to shatter a non-sturdy tech infrastructure, which in the end, causes greater distress and complications to an organisation.

So, if you’d like to find out how Q2Q could help assess your current systems, plus define and implement a secure IT strategy for your business, contact one of our friendly team!

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    Technical IT Support illustration at Q2Q HQ Lancaster, Lancashire and the North West