The Importance of IT Infrastructure Health Checks

IT security evaluations for the health of your businessIt’s not uncommon for each of us to see our doctor once or twice a year—even if we’re feeling healthy. It’s simply a matter of maintenance to ensure we stay well. These checkups also allow physicians to discover potential problems early, taking a proactive approach to health and offering a better chance of receiving treatment and cures to any illnesses. If we skip these checkups, a problem could arise that puts us in a reactionary mode, and sometimes by then it’s too late for treatment. An IT health assessment, or IT security review, is a lot like this. It enables IT experts to assess the entire IT environment, from the technology to the operational processes, to ensure everything is running smoothly and the infrastructure is virus-free.

It’s tempting to think that if you’ve had your IT infrastructure examined once, you’re in the clear. But complex technology environments are always evolving, and if these changes are not addressed regularly, it can leave gaps within your infrastructure. These gaps put your organization in jeopardy and at risk for disaster, whether in the form of outages and performance disruptions, or malware, which is always looking to exploit weaknesses in infrastructure.

 

What Does an Infrastructure Health Check Entail?

To keep your infrastructure in ship shape, it’s best to have everything examined, from the largest piece of physical hardware, to the tiniest software package. Organizations should look at each of the following:

 

Physical Hardware

Probably your most expensive resource, this includes all desktop machines and servers. Some of the questions you’ll want to ask include:

  • Am I spending too much on server maintenance and upgrades?
  • Is there anything I can do to extend the life of my equipment?
  • Do I need to consider new equipment to better support my business?

Software

Software is often where the bugs find their way in, so it’s important to review all packages.

  • Am I using outdated software that’s hurting business efficiencies and making my staff less productive?
  • Are there upgrades, or newer versions with patches available to put me at less of a risk for a security breach?
  • Should I consider moving away from traditional software packages and adopt a cloud-based strategy?

Security

According to FEMA, approximately 50% of small businesses never reopen following a disaster; for larger businesses that can recover over time, disasters can still compromise data resulting in the loss of customers, customer trust, and money. Whether a threat comes in the form of a data breach, natural disaster, human error, or power outage, an organization’s security should be a top priority.

  • Do I have a solid business continuity plan?
  • How quickly can my organization get back up and running in the event of a disaster?
  • Are my employees knowledgeable about the threats of malware and viruses?
  • Do my teams have adequate IT support and expertise, or should I consider a managed IT services provider to offer additional help and security?

All too often organizations wait until there’s a problem to call in the professionals. This reactive approach to infrastructure health can be potentially devastating. Some of the warning signs that an infrastructure health check is needed include: repeated interruptions in service, performance or availability. While someone on the IT team may offer a temporary fix, the problem always returns, cramping productivity. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Have an infrastructure health check performed to keep your organization safe. Want to learn more about assessing the security of your IT environment? You can download our free eBook to learn more, or talk to one of our  IT security experts by contacting us today.

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