The adage of hindsight being a wonderful thing has never rung truer than when it comes to managing IT crises.
But for many SMEs, IT security strategy can feel like a bit of a minefield to navigate – with business owners being unsure on what equipment they need to prevent incidents from occurring.
Using the analogy of climbing a mountain, if you set off without adequate supplies and the right clothing, you may find yourself coming unstuck when trying to reach the top. It’s likely that the higher you go, the more problems you’ll encounter and the more underprepared you’ll feel – you may even need to call for back up.
The underlying message above can also be applied to a business in its growth stages. If your IT infrastructure isn’t evolving in line with your company’s needs, you’re potentially leaving your SME vulnerable to the dark side of the digital world – think hackers, for example.
So, an IT SOS plan may be a crucial component of your cyber-strategy – but just how and why do you need one? To reach your IT peak, of course!
Planning to help prevent panic
There’s nothing worse than a sticky situation arising and knowing that if you’d done things differently, it could have been prevented – and this is definitely the case with an IT crisis.
If a security breach, malware attack or data loss incident happens to your SME, for example – and you have no preventative measures in place – it’s a little too late to devise a systematic recovery plan that is effective and can restore business-as-usual quickly.
Also, amid all the stress and panic, it’s very easy to get confused and make a wrong, last-minute call, so that’s why all companies – big and small – need to prepare a crisis management plan.
Establishing your aims
Whether it’s a natural disaster such as flooding or fire, or a calculated cyber-attack from external hackers, the aim of your contingency planning strategy has to be clear.
For most firms, the main objective is to be able to maintain key business activities and minimise downtime as much as possible – all while keeping staff, systems and sensitive information secure.
Keeping a close eye on your systems
As part of your IT SOS plan, you’ll need to factor in the importance of regularly monitoring your infrastructure.
Sometimes in-house IT teams are so overstretched that overseeing system activity frequently just isn’t feasible. But with proactive monitoring support from outsourced IT professionals, this can work alongside your internal staff and provide your SME with a trusted external assistance hub.
Proactive monitoring is an effective way for businesses to nip any potential IT headaches in the bud – before they escalate and turn into a full-blown crisis. This could be anything from maintaining back-end networks, scrutinising server performance and CPU usage, or other issues relating to identifying potential system vulnerabilities.
Having a back-up is crucial
So, even if you’re well-equipped and have all the defence measures in place to deal with security threats, there are some disasters that can’t be pre-empted.
Therefore, having peace of mind that your SME is protected if anything unexpected happens, is something everyone should strive to achieve.
Say “hello” to the world of routine cloud back-ups and replication!
Remote back-ups that follow a 3-2-1 methodology are a great idea, as they ensure no single point of failure – three copies of the data, on two separate media types, one of which is stored off-site. You can, of course, access local copies for fast recovery, but in the event of a natural disaster, everything is accessible from the cloud.
The art of handling an IT crisis well is definitely in the preparation, so if you’d like a helping hand in figuring out the current status of your IT infrastructure, contact our friendly team of experts about our free IT audit!