Risk can be reduced in a number of ways within an IT environment. Along with security-focused projects, defining standard software, hardware and processes and procedures can help to reduce risk.
Asset Management Platform
Implementing an asset management platform provides a clarity on the hardware and software assets in use within the company. Knowing about the equipment and software in an environment enables IT to quickly determine which computers need upgraded software, which ones have prohibited software on them and which ones need to be upgraded. This visibility within the environment gives IT the ability to budget and plan for software maintenance renewals proactively.
Data Loss Prevention(DLP) Software
A data loss prevention platform helps monitor the movement of company data and prevent data that meets certain criteria from leaving the organization. Data Loss Prevention software ensures that employees comply with policies describing how data should be accessed, manipulated and shared. A DLP platform also gives insight to company management regarding how data is being used. Often data security breaches are unintentional, but implementing a DLP solution can prevent that from happening at all.
Standard software and hardware allows for a level of planning that cannot be achieved in an environment that has a myriad of equipment and software in place. Having fewer types of hardware and software corresponds to a fewer configuration settings that IT needs to be familiar with and helps ensures that these settings are set accurately.
Backup Strategy Planning
Having a backup strategy in place for servers and data protects a company from loss of data should an emergency, theft or equipment malfunction occur. Backup strategies include a procedural component as well as a backup platform that can be configured to backup servers. Backup strategies ensure that companies comply with different industry standards (HIPPA, SOX, SAS70, PCI, ISO) as well.
Data Center Configuration Management
Risk is also reduced by the proper configuration of server and network equipment and data center (or server room planning). All equipment should have redundant power supplies that connect to independent power distribution units (PDUs) and to different power circuits. Ensuring that this configuration is documented clearly also helps IT teams determine which equipment/power circuits were impacted during power loss. Taking the time to plan and document these aspects of the environment also helps develop strategies for room cooling and power planning during growth periods.
Hardware redundancy should be incorporated into new equipment whenever possible. For example, server equipment should have two fans, two power supplies and have disks configured so if one fails, another one picks up without an outage.
Proactive IT Hardware and Services Configuration to Meet Industry Standards
If you work in Healthcare (HIPAA) or process credit card payments (PCI) it’s important that your IT strategy takes into account industry regulations from the start. Even if you are not required to meet all of the standards immediately, it’s a important to plan for the time that it does. Configuring servers and building processes per the standards from the start, makes you ready to take on the challenge of growth without hesitation. Besides HIPAA and PCI, other common standards and regulations that TenisiTech has experience meeting include SOX, ISO and SAS70 and CARF.
Computer Configuration Management
Configuring centralized antivirus and antimalware solutions, encryption platforms, and patching solutions provides a platform to show the status of an IT environment while also giving your IT team the reporting they need to show you are meeting audit requirements. Often times the requirement of a centralized management platform is overlooked and IT is unable to prove that computers meet audit requirements.
Proactive Systems Monitoring
Implementing a monitoring system is one of the first things that should be done in an IT environment. System monitoring enables your IT team to proactively fix issues before they become a major problem. The reality is that computer hardware fails. Monitoring solutions can give you an indication that something is not operating properly prior to it failing — giving IT the time to order a replacement part or swap hardware without the business impact of a major outage. Ultimately, monitoring is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of productivity impact and lost revenue.