The New Year provides a great opportunity to truly reset, and to think of a plethora of ways you can make this year better than the last – whether that’s through financial changes, a focus on better health, or perhaps something less intense like simply living more in the moment!
For many, goal-setting can often link to professional situations, too. And with technology playing such a crucial role in today’s SME and wider business landscape, taking control over your data and enhancing your organisational skills might just make your working life easier throughout 2022.
So, without further ado, let’s dig in to five tech resolutions SME owners should be committing to over the next 12 months…
Regularly back up your data
If you take one piece of advice, let it be this – online cloud storage is your best friend.
Not only is it easy to use, but it also plays dividends in the event of inevitable data-loss scenarios – from system crashes and malware infections to power outages and full-blown hard drive corruptions. And, because most backup services offer automated and encrypted protection, data on the cloud is more secure than ever.
When looking at Microsoft Office 365, in particular, be sure to speak to your technology partner about the security they offer for this, as having a multi-level archiving and backup solution in place will allow your organisation to prepare and migrate safely, efficiently and economically.
But the most effective cyber security strategies require multiple layers of protection and diverse approaches to match the sophistication of threats. Therefore, if you don’t already, it’s also a good idea to enable extra security protocols such as two-factor authentication to access your cloud data, to enhance security even further.
Start using a password manager
No matter how great your memory is, overburdening your mind to recall passwords is no joy for anyone. And with the growing need to intensify the strength of log-in information in the face of increasingly complex cyber-attacks, the task has become near impossible.
Password managers offer a central storage hub for your data – automatically filling in information when you’re ready to log into an application and providing support to improve the power of your existing credentials. With that being said, it’s important to note that utilising a password manager is no overnight solution – getting started requires a lot of manual labour to input your details, although the time and trouble it saves in the long-run is invaluable.
Stop delaying infrastructure updates
How many times have you clicked ‘remind me later’ and postponed a vital software update? Although it might seem like a tedious, unimportant exercise, keeping your devices up-to-date plays a crucial role in protecting yourself against security risks and ransomware attacks – and is one of the easiest ways to do so!
Your operating system can be a particularly vulnerable target for hackers, as it manages all the functionality of your device. To keep on top of increasingly sophisticated threats from perpetrators, you should maintain regular updates by manually checking for availability in system settings, enabling automatic updates, or even opening your devices out of hours to mitigate disruption.
When it comes to software and hardware updates though, your IT partner should be checking in with you regularly about the requirements for your business, and how your systems can be enhanced – making operations seamless and downtime minimal.
Why not speak to your service provider regarding implementing an automated patching service? That way, no important security updates will ever be missed, and you can also provide evidence that your business is fully up to date and meets compliance requirements.
Give your email inbox some TLC
Whether you’re an SME owner that’s inundated with emails or hasa steady flow of messages in your inbox, having a strategy is a great way to stay on top of your workload – and what better way to start 2022?
It may seem like a daunting task but taking the time to implement a structured approach to email organisation is a quick-win that will create a host of efficiencies in your day-to-day routine. Start by unsubscribing from unwanted communications that clutter your dashboard and addressing the flagged emails that you’ve neglected, before harnessing the true power of filtering.
You can also save yourself a few extra minutes per day by creating pre-set signatures, scheduling emails, and learning keyboard shortcuts to power through your inbox more efficiently.
Here at Central, and in partnership with Barracuda, we can provide a complete email protection portfolio in a single bundle that is easy to buy, implement, and use. This offers comprehensive security against business email compromise, account takeover and other advanced developing email threats, all delivered as a cloud-based solution with direct integration to Office 365.
Think ahead about cyber security
Of course, there are plenty of simple ways to mitigate the risks of a cyber-attack, but your security strategy should extend across every day of the year and form a fully comprehensive approach – not just act as a casual, of-the-moment management solution.
To make life easier for your internal tech teams, and to create efficiencies across the board, you could consider outsourcing some or all your IT support to a third-party expert. This strategic partner can proactively monitor and remedy any issues before they even arise – keeping your operations running seamlessly. By sourcing a security operations centre (SOC) service, for example, vulnerabilities are constantly monitored to ensure rapid response to any incidents that slip through the radar.
Cyber security certifications are also available – such as the government-backed Cyber Essentials scheme – to give peace of mind that your defences offer effective protection against a range of common attacks and to enhance your knowledge on securing IT systems. This is one of the many ‘business protection’ services we offer at Central, so please contact us if you’d like to find out more.
You can discover everything you need to know about outsourcing your IT support in our recent blog.
Central Networks wishes you a happy, successful, and well-protected 2022!
Central Networks are a strategic technology partner. Excellent technology is a given, customer service, trust and long-term relationships are what drive our business. We support CEOs, Heads of IT, IT technicians and transformation directors to ensure technology provides an edge to their organisations.