By Ian M. Marlow
January 21, 2015
The new year is young—the perfect time to think about your business technology. Here are five actions your organization should resolve to explore or implement to keep your data safe, your employees more productive, and your company at the forefront of business technology.
#1 – Don’t know the sender? Don’t open those attachments! Advise (or better yet, warn) your employees to never open email attachments from untrusted sources—it’s a great way to keep hackers out of your network. Hack-by-email is a common problem and easy to occur—someone opens up a nefarious email attachment that automatically installs local malware; this enables the hacker to take over the machine or monitor activity and record passwords. It won’t end well and can shut down your network or lead to data thievery.
#2 – Appreciate the value of intrusion protection at your firewall. As discussed in a prior post, intrusion tests are crucial for protecting your computing system. An intrusive network penetration test looks for holes that could lead to a security breach, and will send a report to your IT team or IT services provider alerting them to any unusual activity. This advance warning enables your company to remediate the issue right away and elude hackers who are trying to crack your network.
#3 – Embrace BYOD at your workplace. Mobile is here to stay and if your employees are more comfortable using their own laptops or tablets (or smartphones) to get some work done, go with the flow … with the proper safeguards and policies in place to keep corporate data safe. Your managed IT services partner can provide you with recommendations on how to invite a BYOD culture into your organization the right way.
#4 – Research and understand cloud options. Just as mobile computing has made its way into the workplace, cloud computing is a growing trend that makes sense for many companies. The benefits are many and the ways to implement it can be flexible. If you have not already migrated your computing to the cloud, make 2015 the year you at least start thinking about it.
#5 – Incorporate wearable/smart technology. Right now most people think of the FitBit and similar health-related wearables, but the connected world—the Internet of Things—is fast approaching. Consider ways to incorporate data from wellness wearables to employee incentive programs (free gym membership for those who are working out, a discount on health insurance premiums for using the stairs). Take a look at what’s new for cars, such as in-vehicle Wi-Fi, the ability to connect up to five mobile devices to your car, plus remote start functions from a tablet or smartphone ... ideal for a mobile sales force or companies with route service fleets.
With new technologies coming on the market all the time, and the growing ability to interface office and home (and now, vehicle), there are many options to consider now and throughout 2015. Make sure you have the safeguards in place to protect your computing infrastructure as your organization becomes more connected across workers, devices, platforms and locations.