An IT service desk that only reacts to problems after they occur is only partially effective.
Your company’s IT service desk should also focus on prevention of problems by identifying risks and addressing them. Here are 5 risks that your company can’t afford to ignore.
1. Loss of Data Due to Storage Crashes
A hard drive or server crash can cause major loss of company resources, whether the crash happens on a server used by many employees or on a single employee’s computer. The best prevention is having a strong backup policy that mandates archival of data in multiple places using multiple methods. Cloud services like SkyDrive keep copies on local computers as well as in the cloud, and they automatically synchronize. Departmental file servers should be backed up daily, and when they start filling up, it’s time to requisition more storage space. Of course, files can be backed up on portable storage media. This should not be the only backup method, however, because storage media are easily destroyed or lost.
2. Virus Attack
Computer viruses might be created by teenagers pulling pranks, or they might be developed by criminal masterminds. Either way, the results can be disastrous. On average, it costs 50 hours of labor and $10,000 for a company to recover from a virus attack. Antivirus software is absolutely critical for your company’s IT assets, and it must be kept up to date due to continual introduction of new types of computer viruses. Your company needs a clear policy about employee downloads and file sharing, as well as about how to address viral attacks, including how to quarantine infected computers.
3. Infiltration by a Hacker
Keeping your company’s network secure requires vigilant effort from you, your web developers, and vendors. Staying current on the latest hacks and testing tools helps keep network security at the forefront of your IT team’s minds. Relatively simple methods can prevent automated attacks from worms or from scripts designed to attack specific script types, but you also need other controls, like a network-based firewall that can detect and block attacks on web systems. A host-based web application IPS can detect web application and some database attacks in real time and cut them off quickly.
4. Malware Entering through Employee Mobile Devices
The BYOD environment giveth and taketh away. Employee devices may not have up-to-date virus protection, and may not be secured by the latest security patches. Employees can unknowingly visit sites with infected links or download personal apps that are infected with malware, and this can cause work computers to become infected quickly. Your BYOD policy should prohibit personally-owned devices and storage media (like USB drives) connecting to a USB port on a company computer or a company network cable. Some companies prohibit personally-owned devices from connecting to the company wireless network unless it’s a separate wireless network solely for internet access. BYOD can be safe, as long as clear policies are in place and everyone is aware of the risks and knows what they are and are not allowed to do with personal devices.
5. Major Catastrophes Like Fire, Flood, Criminal Destruction
Your company should have a disaster plan, and it should review that plan regularly to take into account new disaster prevention techniques and lessons learned by companies that have experienced disasters. Disaster preparedness is one reason so many companies are turning to cloud applications. Recovering from a flood or fire is faster with cloud applications than with on-site applications. It’s not fun to think about a catastrophe happening to your company and its assets, but you cannot ignore this risk and must have a disaster management plan ready at all times.
Your IT service management software can be an integral part of risk reduction. Samanage offers SaaS service desk and IT management software that continually scans your software and hardware inventory to detect risks like lack of virus protection, presence of illegal software, and missing security patches. It can even alert you to lack of free hard disk space, which can save employees from having to deal with a major crash. Samanage risk reduction features can notify the IT service desk of risks like the downloading of illegal licenses, P2P file sharing programs, or games. When you can identify such risks early, you can take action right away and prevent a major IT disaster.
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