Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have made a move towards remote-working, working from home, or by bringing in more flexible working arrangements; ready for when they go back to their place of work.
Ecommerce sites have popped up, online training platforms are growing, and the digital landscape has completely boomed almost overnight.
Naturally, this brings with it a different mix of priorities when it comes to IT.
Throughout this blog, we are going to give you five questions to ask yourself about your current IT situation. Ask yourself these questions and take note of any changes to make, or further queries you have. That way, you know exactly where you stand when it comes to planning for future business changes.
Moving your business online can open you up to many risks which you may have never faced before. That’s normal, don’t worry! The number one thing which should be on your to do list is to understand what those risks look like.
Will your employees become more reliant on things like productivity tools or web hosting to complete their day to day tasks? If so, assessing the cybersecurity of your organisation is key. You need systems and processes in place which are secure, giving you peace of mind whilst increasing the profitability of your work.
Where do I start, you ask?
1. Find your ‘Baseline’ – What technology are you currently using?
This first question is all about establishing what technology you access already, and who in the business is responsible for what as you and your team will already be working with/from an array of tech.
Having a clear understanding of ‘who needs what’ tech, and who is responsible for each asset, means you can understand each person’s needs.
You’ll also be able to put a clear action plan in place should any issues arise. It’s likely that some responsibility here falls to your IT service provider and knowing this could save you a lot of hassle later on.
2. Halfway there already – Do you use cloud-based software?
When working remotely, one of the main benefits is that cloud-based software, such as Slack, Canva, G-Suite and Mailchimp can be so easy to utilise, and is readily available.
Anyone with access to the internet and an account can log in from anywhere in the world and pick up where they left off.
When putting these in place within your team, it’s vital that considerations are made to how secure each of these platforms are. Is each account only accessible by the person who needs it? Is the data within this software protected and secure? Does the software really cover your needs, and those of your clients? A few things to keep check of here:
- Centrally manage who has access to software to ensure that people only have the controls they require for their job;
- Check the security claims that the platform publishes regularly – if there are none, question why this is;
- When users no longer need access, what is the policy for account removal;
- Ensure all users are made aware of appropriate use of any software or platform.
NCSC have a great review of the security of a variety of platforms like Mailchimp, Zendesk and Basecamp.
3. HELP! – Can you access IT Support if you need it?
Imagine if you were working away on a Thursday afternoon when suddenly your computer crashed and when you rebooted it, none of your files or software was there.
Picture the day where you log in to your computer to find out that one of your favourite platforms is being discontinued (RIP Windows Media Player!)
If you had IT support in place, these things could go from being a big problem to solve, to a small consideration, and wouldn’t that feel nice!
4. Lock it down – Do you currently have any cybersecurity measures in place?
NCSC provide five key steps to improving cybersecurity within the workplace, which if adopted should significantly reduce the chances of your organisation falling victim to cybercrime.
Those five steps include:
- Backing up your data (remember our 1-2-3 system)
- Protecting your organisation from malware
- Keeping your phones/tablets safe
- Using password protection
- Avoiding phishing attacks.
Running through these regularly showcases that you have a great starting point for your IT security policies.
5. Rules, rules, rules – What regulations do you need to follow?
Do you process people’s personal information on your website?
Do you take card payments online?
Do you run competitions on your social media?
If the answer to any of these is yes, then listen up! There are certain regulations which need to be followed when you do certain things online, and it’s your responsibility to make sure you’re following them.
Our final piece of advice – make sure you are explicitly clear on what that responsibility looks like, as well as how much of that responsibility falls on the heads of your IT provider.