How to Implement a Successful IT Risk Assessment

successful it

More and more companies are relying on the web, not only to be their premier source of customer interaction but also to carry out cloud-related tasks and functions associated with running their business. When a company is able to securely run their business, both management and production employees can focus on doing what they do best — ensuring the success of business operations. In this article, we will outline 8 steps businesses can follow to assess the level of risk associated with their current IT operations.

Thoroughly Define Vulnerabilities

Gone are the days when installing a good antivirus program on their computers meant that a company was protected from all threats. While companies should still require this, of course, there are many more areas of vulnerability. Assessing risk means defining all potential vulnerabilities such as fire, a natural disaster, theft, ransomware, phishing attempts, and more, in some instances. Anything that can compromise employee productivity, or negatively affect a company’s ability to adhere to compliance rules has the potential to be disruptive.

Communication is Key

As with any other successful project, communication is a key component to ensuring a successful risk assessment outcome.  When key players understand why they are being called to evaluate risk in their areas of function, they will be more successful in identifying areas that could pose a problem. When those players do report their findings, it’s just as important for those in charge of the risk assessment project to clarify any unclear points, so they have a clear understanding of the potential issues.

Data Collection

Both hardware and software must be evaluated to look for weaknesses. Operational data such as accounts receivable and payable, HR data, business forecasting, company salaries, etc. is also an asset. Any risks along the pipeline of handling this type of data should be evaluated as well.

Analyzing Risk

Once all potential points of risk are gathered and thoroughly understood, the next step is to analyze each potential risk.  The areas most vulnerable, the likelihood of some type of attack or interruption in operations, and the ramifications of such an event occur, should all be evaluated and categorized.

Make Recommendations, Then Review 

Those in charge of the risk assessment will also likely be the ones to make recommendations to address each security concern. As part of the process, department heads should have an opportunity to review the recommendations made by the risk assessment team and provide feedback. Once plans are solidified, each department can develop a strategy to address each of the security issues related to their specific function.

Implementation

Once everyone is on board with the solutions that address each point in the risk assessment project, it’s time to implement the solutions. Some departments may institute their solutions fairly quickly. Others may require more time to fully address complex functions. If roadblocks occur, feedback should be given to the risk assessment team so they can research and provide alternative solutions.

Mitigating Risk 

It’s not always possible to completely eliminate all risks when dealing with IT infrastructure, software, or data. Still, companies can achieve the goal of risk mitigation when they know they’ve done everything possible to reduce the potential of an adverse event. To help accomplish this goal, department heads should set specific benchmarks along the way, making sure they are meeting their own expectations of progress, as well as the expectations of upper management. 

Maintenance 

The only constant regarding information technology is that it is always changing. The same needs to be said about risk assessment. While putting solutions in place to deter security threats is the goal of risk assessment, the process must be regularly evaluated. New hardware or software can require changes in the way employees perform their functions, and the hardware or software itself can open up a security risk that did not exist previously. Early on, simple modifications may be sufficient to address changes. However, a full risk re-assessment is ideally performed on average, about every two years.

If you would like to know more about how to develop and implement an IT risk assessment plan, please contact us!

Do You Have the Tools to Track Your Fleet?

do you have the tools to track your fleet

In a very real way, the Internet has spoiled us, to the point that we fully expect an order to be in our hand in 72 hours – oftentimes, far less than that. Shipping speeds like these are now possible thanks to the use of advanced logistics. If you’re starting to incorporate eCommerce into your business, or distribution has proved troublesome, you may want to consider a fleet management system.

Understanding Fleet Management

Whether you’re talking about a taxi company or driving service, service organization, product distributors, or any of a wide variety of others, the businesses who get the most value out of fleet management solutions are the ones heavily engaged in transportation. The idea is to better manage a fleet of vehicles to more efficiently deliver the applicable goods or service, thereby reducing overall organizational distribution costs.

Fleet management can help you reduce the cost of owning the vehicles that make up the fleet, better enforce policies and procedures geared toward safety, and generally decrease your risk. All vehicle deployments are tracked by a fleet management system via GPS, and if integrated with a CRM, ERP, or other form of management platform, vehicle maintenance can be more effectively monitored and scheduled.

Let’s dive into some of a fleet management platform’s benefits a little more closely:

Driver Safety

Let’s discuss one of the most important factors of having a workforce on the road: the safety of your drivers. Fleet management solutions can help by ensuring they are tracked, and the events of the road are fully transparent, with devices like dash cams installed. Using these devices, drivers are both protected and can boost their efficiency on the road by altering their routes in real-time. This data can also be used to more effectively train drivers.

Fleet Tracking

It only makes sense that you would want to know the locations of your company’s vehicles. In addition to this obvious benefit, fleet management also enables you to create better routes to make deliveries more efficient, trips less strenuous on the vehicles, and more fuel efficient as well.

Driver Retention

Many distributors are finding it to be a challenge to keep their drivers on, especially with a current shortage of drivers available. As with any industry, turnover rates are expensive to a business. Incorporating a fleet management system is effectively working to improve workplace conditions by improving the relationships between administrators, and the drivers behind the wheel.

Maintenance and Vehicle Acquisition

A fleet needs vehicles, so it makes sense that you would want a system in place to help you predict when your vehicles need a little TLC, and when it is time to bring in new rigs. A fleet management system compiles the data necessary to inform your various strategies, like when to buy new vehicles and when to maintain the ones you have.

South Florida businesses know WheelHouse IT as their best option for technology services and solutions. For more information on how your business can help boost its operations and profitability, give our professionals a call at (877) 771-2384.

5 Monthly Maintenance Steps for Your Laptop or Computer

5 monthly maintenance steps for your laptop or computer

To keep your laptop running smoothly, it’s important to take care of some of its maintenance needs every week or month. Create a checklist of things you need to do on a regular basis. Here are five ideas:

Clean Out Your Computer

Clean out your computer at least once a month. A lot of junk files will accumulate, and storing too much data can slow down your computer. Uninstall unneeded programs and delete old files. Use the built-in disk cleanup tool to clean out your disk.

Clean Up Your Computer

Clean up your computer physically as well. Doing this on a monthly basis will prevent dust bunnies from accumulating in the fan and other internal areas, which can slow down your computer. In addition, wipe the screen so that it’s clear.

Update Your Software

Make sure that all of your installed programs are up to date. This will help keep your computer safe from viruses. In addition, check for any Windows updates that you may have missed and install them.

Do an Antivirus Scan

Do a deep scan of your entire system at least once a month. A deep scan will go through your entire system and check for any hidden viruses or Trojan horses in your system files. You can do a quick scan more often.

Backup Your Data

It’s important to back up your data regularly. Ideally, you should do it once a week or once a day, depending on the importance of your files and how often you update them. At the very least, do it once a month. This will let you recover your files in case your data gets lost to ransomware or for any other reason.

For more computer tips, contact us today!