6 Important Rules for Maintaining Your IT Infrastructure
IT downtime means business downtime, which equates to loss of revenue and productivity. That’s why it’s vital to keep your IT infrastructure properly maintained.
Network and IT maintenance involve managing multiple facets of your technology infrastructure, especially its security. Just one data breach or ransomware infection can leave your Sydney business at a standstill for hours or days.
The average downtime incident costs Australian businesses over $762,000.
Maintaining your IT infrastructure also involves ensuring you’re upgrading hardware and software responsibly, so you’re not left paying more to run an outdated computer than a new one would cost.
What are the rewards of properly maintaining your digital tools and infrastructure?
- Higher productivity
- Reduction of cybersecurity risk
- More efficient processes
- More revenue earned per employee
According to a study of small and medium enterprises in Australia, companies that improved their use of technology earned 60% more revenue per employee.
Here are some of the most important rules for properly maintaining your IT infrastructure.
Regular security auditing of your network protections helps identify any vulnerabilities so they can be addressed. It’s a good idea to do these audits annually, so you can be sure that your network is safeguarded against the newest threats.
There were over 439,000 new malware variants detected in 2019 that had never been seen before. IT security auditing will ensure that your cybersecurity strategy is evolving along with the threat landscape.
Timely Application of Patches & Updates
One of the biggest risks to a network and its endpoints are unpatched system vulnerabilities. Code vulnerabilities in operating systems, firmware, and software applications are exploited in a majority of data breaches to gain system access.
It’s important to have an ongoing patch management program, such as those provided by managed IT services, so you can ensure timely application of all vital security patches for all devices on your network.
Strategic Backup & Data Recovery
Is all your company data being backed up into a system that will allow fast recovery if you need it? What about cloud data that might be in a platform like Microsoft 365?
It’s important for business continuity that you protect your business from data loss by having a strategic backup and data recovery plan. This means backing up all company data, wherever it may be:
- Mobile devices
- Cloud platforms
You also need to ensure your backup process is regularly monitored to make sure it’s not hitting any storage limits, software glitches, or other problems that would put your data in danger.
Firewall & Advanced Network Protections
Another important network safeguard that you should have to protect your IT infrastructure is a next-gen firewall with advanced network protections. Firewalls monitor all network traffic and are usually your first line of defence against a threat.
Advanced network protections add safeguards, such as:
- Automated threat response
- Application whitelisting
- Application ringfencing (to stop fileless attacks)
- DNS filtering
Endpoint Device Management (Mobile, Remote, etc.)
Today’s business networks have more devices attached to them than ever. There are the usual office computers and servers, plus multiple mobile devices, and IoT devices (wireless printers, sensors, security cameras, etc.). There are also remote employees whose endpoint devices are located miles away from the office.
If you aren’t managing and monitoring all these endpoints, you can easily suffer a network breach.
The easiest way to do this is through an endpoint device manager, such as Microsoft Intune (included in Microsoft 365 Business Premium subscriptions).
Some of the features you enjoy with endpoint device monitoring are:
- Ability to remotely grant or revoke device access to company assets
- Remotely update devices
- Monitor device tracking
- Track account login by device
- Remotely lock or wipe business data from a device
Upgrade Devices According to a Lifecycle Schedule
If you allow your business computers to get too old and keep them in operation, you’re not only slowing your employees down, you could also be paying more that you realise in ongoing maintenance and service costs.
A Pan-Asia SMB PC study released by Microsoft found that computers older that 4 years, were much more problematic and cost companies an average of AUD $3,700 per year to operate, roughly the cost of two new computers.
It’s important to have a life cycle plan for both hardware and software to ensure you’re updating devices before they become problematic and paying attention to software end of life dates. You want to make sure your upgrade plan includes migrating from older software applications before they lose vital security patch support.
Keep Your IT Infrastructure Healthy with Help from GKM2
Managed IT services through GKM2 can help you maintain a healthy and optimised technology infrastructure, which means a healthy and optimised business!
Contact us today for a free consultation. Call +61 2 9161 7171 or reach out online.