The more an organization depends upon its IT infrastructure for success, the more important it becomes to measure the success of that infrastructure. Whether working with an internal IT staff or with an outsourced IT partner, business owners should know where they stand and should have a good idea of the areas they must focus on to improve their IT infrastructure health. Five areas you should be evaluating at least once per year to measure your business’s cybersecurity health include general infrastructure, cybersecurity, software & compliance, backup & disaster recovery, and business strategy.
General infrastructure is the foundation of business technology. All other systems and processes depend upon it. You need this to work efficiently and effectively so that core processes and functions within your organization do not fail. Most businesses today require a basic workstation, network, internet, server infrastructure for general business operations. Measure your infrastructure by evaluating the overall health of your workstation Inventory and refresh process, server maintenance and monitoring, proper network design, oversite and efficiency of workstation and server security patching & updates and the efficiency of your technology support.
Cybersecurity is your organization’s ability to protect itself against inside and outside electronic data threats. Protecting your organization from rapidly expanding cyber threats is critical to survival. Not only does the longevity of your business depend upon preventing threats before they happen but the lives of your employees and their families do too. The impact to your business from a lack of proper tools and processes could be extensive. Extended downtime, customer loss, loss of business reputation, data loss, financial loss and criminal negligence are just a few of the potential perils to your business from a lack of cybersecurity. Ensure your cybersecurity program is stable by evaluating the effectiveness of your cybersecurity software, end-user security awareness training, cybersecurity insurance coverage, encryption of your endpoints, and having advanced security authentication techniques in place.
Software & compliance are the processes and accountabilities surrounding your organization’s line of business applications, workstation and server operating systems and tools, and any applicable regulatory compliance your business or industry is required to adhere to. Properly maintaining the software applications that your business depends upon is vital to success. Additionally, remaining compliant with regulatory requirements means avoiding costly penalties and negative business reputation. Evaluate your software license compliance status, your server and workstation software end-of-life status, the status of support and maintenance for your critical business software, your use and maintenance of proper workstation software control, and any regulatory compliance standards.
Backup & Disaster Recovery is the process of analyzing, discussing, calculating, planning and executing on a set of tactics and strategy to ensure a business can survive a disaster. Flood, fire, burglary, cyber-attack or simply just a technology failure are some of the ways your business may be affected by disaster. Is your business prepared to handle these types of events today? The recovery of your business operations relies on the health of backup and data retention process, your backup recovery testing frequency and logging, your understanding of the cost of downtime to your business, the understanding and effectiveness of your disaster response team, and the existence and effectiveness of an overall disaster plan.
Business Strategy is the practice of IT personnel regularly reviewing your technology compliance with industry accepted best practices and then consistently discussing the risk and impact to your business. Additionally, this is inclusive of IT budget planning. Periodically reviewing your organization’s compliance with technology best practices is critical to success. Evaluate the way you view technology as a function of your business, your discipline and commitment to meeting Best Practices, the frequency with which you meet with your technology personnel to properly strategize, your decision-making process around projects and implementation, and the commitment of your IT personnel to keep you at the forefront of technology advancements.
Are you confident your IT staff or partner is perfectly managing every area and practice of cybersecurity to keep your business as safe as possible from cyber attack and damages? Use this self-assessment to evaluate your current program. If you cannot confidently check off each item, it may be time for a new IT partner. Pearl Solutions Group follows the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) framework and aligns your cybersecurity strategy with corporate objectives that meet compliance standards and your budget. We work with our clients to create and maintain a healthy and efficient IT process and infrastructure so you are well positioned to mitigate risk and the negative impact to your business from disaster will be minimal.