Information technology risks range from the very apparent to the silent and hidden. The majority of businesses mitigate the most obvious risks: only an irresponsible IT operation will do without network firewalls in place or skip on regularly updating operating systems and software. Yet it is the less obvious risks which can trip up even carefully run IT functions – and which can cause progressive or indeed sudden harm to your business.
Being cautious is not a bad thing. But if you’re overly cautious of a perceived risk that’s actually non-existent or not as bad as you think, it can prevent you from taking advantage of opportunities. Cloud computing offers huge opportunities through increased cost-savings, business agility, and availability. But because of fear-mongering, some businesses are unfortunately holding back on cloud migration and missing out on those opportunities.
In this post, we discuss some of the fears surrounding cloud computing that are really based on myths. By debunking these myths, we hope you can have a more positive outlook on cloud technology and be able to take advantage of the many benefits it can offer your business.
Based on the 2016 edition of Ponemon’s annual Cost of Cyber Crime report, phishing is now one of the most prevalent cyber-attacks today. Should you be worried about it? It depends. If you think any of the consequences of phishing attacks outlined below can impact your business, then maybe you should be.
Tarnish your company’s image
Most phishing attacks are designed to steal personal information. The way cyber criminals do this is by crafting legitimate-looking emails that compel recipients into disclosing their personal details.
Data centre optimisation and consequential benefits for businesses
With so much focus on hacking and internet security, many firms of 10 - 100 people will feel that they have put a lot of effort into making their data as secure as possible. Unfortunately, internet security is a moving target, where the threat may be characterised as agile and continually evolving. Consequently, it is impossible for networks to remain impenetrable.
Standard IT best practice, such as upgrading and patching operating systems and applications, and maintaining a reliable backup and Disaster Recovery capability, are all layers that help to ensure that a firm is in a position to resume normal operations within an acceptable timeframe, should it be the victim of an attack.
Continually reviewing your vital signs
Remote monitoring is one of the most powerful IT support tools available. Most importantly, rather than just detecting hardware and software faults in real-time, it is also able to provide the capability to predict failure.
By analysing log files created by hardware devices and active services, remote monitoring applications are able to identify events and conditions which precede failure. This is exceptionally beneficial because it frequently allows remediation of minor problems that are precursors of bigger failures.
Companies who require high levels of availability need a reliable disaster recovery strategy. For many organisations, that usually means adhering to the 3-2-1 backup rule, where the 1 refers to keeping 1 backup copy offsite. Traditionally, that copy is stored in a dedicated, company-owned and/or managed disaster recovery infrastructure. Lately, however, businesses have started turning to cloud-based disaster recovery solutions. This article explains why that strategy is better.
What is the 3-2-1 backup rule?
The 3-2-1 backup rule is a highly recommended backup strategy that says you must:
- Possess at least 3 copies of your data;
- Store copies on two different kinds of storage media; and
- Keep one of those copies offsite.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery are almost inseparable these days. Some people even use them interchangeably. But did you know that, while they’re closely related, they’re actually not one and the same?
Knowing the difference between business continuity and disaster recovery is important. You’ll need it when you set out to address risks to your business’ availability and uptime. Will you be needing a business continuity plan? Or just a disaster recovery plan? Before seeking support from management or the board of trustees for your BC/DR project, you need to know exactly what you’re talking about.
What if your firm was asked to improve productivity by 5% this year? To achieve that level of productivity improvement, you need to know all of your options. Improving your technology capabilities by adopting cloud services is one of the best ways to improve your productivity as an accountant.
What Are Cloud Services?
Let’s take a moment to define our terms before continuing further.
You walk into your office tomorrow. Before you can get a cup of coffee, one of your managers tells you that your IT service contract is going to expire in two months.
You've been frustrated with poor service and technology for months. Now, you have an opportunity to improve the situation. Your IT manager stands at the ready with a few recommended IT service providers. Are you equipped to sort through the options and call them?
Before you sign on the dotted line to renew your IT service contract, go through these questions. Investing an hour today could save you months of effort, risk and frustration.
While there may be a few businesses that don’t need to embark on cloud migration, they’re really more the exceptions than the rule. If you’re still pondering on whether it’s already time to move to the cloud, here are some tell-tale signs your company is ready for it.