Key things to keep your business up and running

Disruptions are inevitable and disasters will hopefully never happen, but either way you’d be wise to prepare your business for them because there’s an awful lot at stake if you don’t, such as your data, your brand reputation, and your loss of revenue due to loss of productivity,

Five key preparations, together, could give your business the resilience it needs to keep running through any kind of disruption. Implementing the five preparations I’ve listed below will put you in good stead for the year ahead. Here they are:

1. Education

Make a formal effort to enlighten your staff on cyber security. Give your staff members the go ahead to register for an email course that will teach them the basics about staying safe online and thereby helping the business to avoid a data breach or other kind of cyber attack. Here is an email course that’s free.

Stat: According to Kaspersky Lab’s most recent research, there were more than 13 500 attempted cyber attacks in South Africa every day during the first three months of 2019.

2. Disaster recovery

Compile a plan of action that will enable your business to survive a disruption, small or large. A robust plan will include a set of policies, tools and procedures to keep vital technology running and systems going while you sort the disruption out.

There are plenty of tools online to guide you through the process of compiling a plan. Otherwise, you can enlist the help of a dedicated disaster recovery provider, who will tailor a plan for your particular business to minimise potential downtime and speed up recovery. This is called disaster recovery as a service.

3. Cyber security

Devise a cyber security strategy to protect your apps, operating system and data. Part of your strategy needs to include vigilant updating of your OS and apps as soon as patches and updates become available. This is easier said than done if you have more than a few employees, but slow patching leaves a bigger window of opportunity for cyber criminals to enter through the discovered vulnerability so it’s pretty vital to do it quickly.

You also need antivirus and anti-malware of course and, ideally, an automatic scanning system to detect threats before they become an attack. Panda technology does all of this using a single comprehensive solution.

4. Data backup

Sign up for an automated off-site daily backup routine. For the hassle and responsibility it saves in having a staff member remember to perform the backup, and the security it brings in having a complete copy of your data in a remote location it is worth the small amount you pay. It’s also more reliable, it’s easy to setup online and it saves you money because you aren’t going to lose data due to theft, downtime, loss or human error.

5. Hardware resilience

Think about ways to improve the strength of your on-premise server infrastructure. Your business information is your most precious resource and your IT setup is what holds it and keeps it safe.

If your server is old and needs replacing, it may be a good time to catch up with technology and consider a cloud server in the form of a VPS, or virtual private server. With this setup, your IT infrastructure is off-site and managed by your provider, meaning no hardware maintenance and upgrades, automated software upgrades and automatic backup. With this scenario, your devices become your screens and you can work from wherever you are.

These five concepts are modern-day strategies that culminate in a safer and simplified IT setup. Education helps to prevent data loss while a disaster recovery plan, a cyber security strategy, automated backup and a cloud server means that disruptions/disasters aren’t going to have too much bearing on your business’s capacity to continue running.

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