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Directive has been serving the Oneonta area since 1993, providing IT Support such as technical helpdesk support, computer support, and consulting to small and medium-sized businesses.

3 Reasons Your Business will Benefit from an IT Assessment

3 Reasons Your Business will Benefit from an IT Assessment

Are your security safeguards up to snuff? If a disaster were to happen, would you be able to recover your data and bounce back? Does your team understand and implement best practices when it comes to protecting your customer data? Do you know if any software you are running is about to reach end-of-life? If you’re not sure, then it’s time for an IT Assessment. Don’t think your organization needs it? Here are three benefits an IT Assessment can provide your business.

IT Assessments Reveal Outdated or Incompatible Systems

If you’re like most businesses, you’re working with multi-generational technology. What this means is you may have different generations of hardware, software, and even office policies. Chances are, some of them are out-of-date or even obsolete. If not properly managed, such varied technology can come into conflict with one another.

While your software seems to be working perfectly, what’s unseen is that older software often doesn’t receive the updates needed to keep them compliant with current security protections. What this leads to is software which is vulnerable to being hacked, as they have vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit and compromise your system.

IT Assessments Exposes Risks You Aren’t Aware Of

Missing Updates and Security Patches

When software isn’t kept updated, it becomes a crack in your armor. Even if you have great cybersecurity protection through a firewall and other security solutions, an unpatched vulnerability can serve as an avenue for attackers and other online threats.

Underutilized or Overutilized Resources

Checking the status of all of the disks across all the devices on your network, the traffic flow through routers, and the utilization of all of your servers and workstations, we can determine if there are bottlenecks preventing optimum efficiency, or if there will soon be issues that cause downtime. We can also determine if your current hardware can be consolidated. For example, if you have two underutilized servers, they could be combined into a single device to reduce the amount of electricity and management they need to run.

No 2-Factor Authorization (2FA)

With only 28% of users utilizing 2FA, there’s no surprise that an IT Assessment would find the lack of 2FA as an area of concern. As more businesses incorporate remote access due to the ascension of the mobile workforce, ensuring that remote access is secure is critical to maintaining the integrity of the network. With hackers using phishing and other social engineering tactics to gain access to credentials, 2FA is becoming a staple for securing networks. Unfortunately, many businesses still do not enforce the policy.

No policies or outdated policies

Without a policy in place, your team has no idea what is expected of them. As the biggest security vulnerability is your team and not your tech, it is critical you have a (written) policy in place. Your policy should be readily available and be treated as a ‘living document’, which is constantly being updated as new information becomes available.

This means your policy should evolve as technology does. If your policy was written a few years ago, it may not address newer business practices and vulnerabilities. These newer practices could include BYOD, preventing phishing attacks, password security and a wealth of other best practices which may not have existed when you first created your policy.

No records of which hardware or software is being used

Technology is always changing and evolving. What gave the best bang for the buck a couple of years ago, may now be a security risk due to unpatched vulnerabilities and it may be time to put it out of service. However, unless you have a record of what technology you have, you are unable to develop a plan to ensure everything is up-to-date.

Poor record keeping can also affect your ability to backup and recover your data, because if you don’t know what data you have and where it is, how can you back it up? Further, If your equipment is damaged due to a disaster, how do you know what needs to be replaced? Worse yet, let’s say you have time to move critical components to a safe space, how do you know which to take if you don’t know what and where it is?

No procedure to test for security vulnerabilities

One critical service an IT Assessment can perform is to search for weak or missing security features by probing your systems. By utilizing penetration testing an IT Assessment can give your business the insight needed to better defend itself against attack. If you’re not aware of any weaknesses that exist, then how can you develop a plan and policies to better protect yourself? 

No Business Continuity Plan

Data is a business’ biggest asset, yet most businesses don’t have a plan in place to not only keep it safe, but more importantly, recover it should it be lost. Without a backup and disaster recovery plan, your business is only an incident away from potentially having to close its doors. 

Keep in mind, an incident doesn’t have to be a fire, flood, or lightning strike. It could be a link a team member clicked on that unleashed ransomware across your network, or a hardware failure like a server’s drive going bad. A business continuity plan is designed to allow your business the ability to get up and running as quickly as possible, regardless of the cause of failure.

An IT Assessment Will Save You Money

Data breaches can be expensive, so can losing your data; so it is in your business’ best interest to instigate recovery opportunities if your data is to be compromised or lost. The goal of an IT Assessment is to prompt your business to take a serious and realistic look at your business' ability to protect its data and take steps to better secure it.

Incompatible hardware and software can cripple productivity as your team struggles to get their work done through slow downs and system crashes. Further, there will be issues of efficiency as you constantly have to fight to protect your system being compromised due to weakness in your security. These issues - if left unaddressed - will slowly, but surely end up costing you money.

However, it doesn’t have to be this way. An IT Assessment from Directive will give you the insight needed to better understand the threats your business’ data is under and instead of being reactive, you’re proactive and ahead of the curve. Best of all, we are discreet. Even if you already have an IT provider and just want a second opinion, we can work with you to assess your IT without tipping off your current IT person.

If you’re ready to understand your business’ level of exposure, and learn what you can do to protect your business, Directive is offering a free network assessment with no obligation. Our network assessment can reveal conflicts, security loopholes and other flaws in your network. Call 888-546-4384 to schedule your free network assessment today.