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Spring clean your IT these holidays

Spring clean your IT these holidays
Cassandra Ball | 04-10-18

It’s the perfect time of year to dust off the that old IT list of things to do. Just like house maintenance or cleaning out your garage, your IT systems will hum after a tidy-up. Imagine feeling the excitement of a fresh start with new technology propelling your business to feats of greater productivity, steadfast reliability and protection in the face of today’s cyber dangers.    

IT Items that benefit from a little TLC to put on your checklist include: 

1. Updating your Disaster Recovery (DR) plan

Q: So, what would you need one of those things for anyway?
A: How about recovering all your files after becoming encrypted due to some criminal infecting your system and holding you to ransom.

We do bang on a lot about security and planning for the worst, and we often get the “that will never happen to me!” responses. But when you take into account that 516,380 Australian small businesses fell victim to cybercrime in 2017 costing Australian SMBs an average of $10,299, it highlights the high chance of your business being attacked and how crucial it is for you to take cybersecurity seriously.
 
Q: So how does a company prepare for the unexpected?
A: Don’t wait until you’ve been hit by a cyber attack to take security measures.
With a thorough DR plan, staff security awareness training, and IT best practices, you can markedly reduce risk & better protect your business.
 

Update your DR plan annually.


Things to check:

  • Do you have an offsite backup solution – if not do you have a good reason why?
  • Was your last Server Test Restore successful? – no would be a bad answer.
  • How far back in time do you need to recover certain files. Can you recover them? 
  • How quickly would you need to recover your files or your system? Have you timed it?


We run a DR test every 6 months for most of our clients. If you need assistance developing a DR plan to suit your requirements, let us know! 

2. Reviewing your backup system

When was the last time you checked that your backup solution was actually running correctly? We recently had a shock taking over the IT of a Perth business. They were confident that everything was working fine. Unfortunately, after we ran our induction IT Health Check we found that their backups were corrupted. They had been doing the right thing and swapping their external HD over, only to back up the corrupted files. 

Regular Test Restores are essential for any business. They will let you know how long it will take to restore your business from a crisis, check for any errors or corruptions, and ensure all hardware is functional. 

3. Out with the old, in with the new.

This is the perfect time to review & replace any dated hardware around the office. Once a PC reaches 3 years old, warranties expire, and it becomes increasingly harder to find parts to fix problems. Old server hardware may be near due for upgrade or renewal. And what about poor Glenda’s machine that takes 15 minutes to start up in the morning? You may be better off replacing hardware rather than fixing it. Yes, the upfront costs will be higher, but repairing a dying machine is just a temporary fix, and repeated repairs can add up. Imagine how much more productive Glenda (or Glen) could be!

Windows 7 is going end of life in Jan 2020, so we need to start replacing machines that have that operating system. Most machines that have windows 7 should be ready to retire anyway. Qbit can conduct an audit on all your hardware and let you know how old certain machines are, and outline areas in need of a refresh.

4. Tidying up your desktop & downloads folder

Let’s be real, in the IT world it’s a sin to use your desktop or downloads folder as a form of storage. It’s our worst nightmare! There is always that one person in the office whose desktop looks like a pool of forgotten icons. If your desktop is a jumble of documents, unused shortcuts and images, it’s time for some housekeeping. 

Your workplace has a central electronic filing system such as a file server or cloud storage of some shape or form (we really hope so), which is also backed-up in case of a disaster. You should be saving everything there! Any important documents saved to your desktop or in the downloads folder will not be backed up, and is at risk of been lost forever should your pc roll over and die. 

 

A quick solution is to:

 
  • Move all important documents into the filing system   
  • Delete or store files from your downloads folder
  • Check programs list for any old/unwanted apps that can be uninstalled


The good news is we can help! 

At Qbit we believe in giving you a framework of IT best practices to help you manage your own systems. We are always here to help you and want to see your business thrive.
 
If you’re not confident in implementing any of the suggestions above, you might be interested in a Qbit IT Health Check. Through this report, we can tell you everything about your systems - from how old your oldest machine is, when the last time it was turned on, and if it’s up to date with security patches. The IT Health Check will give you the information you need to make decisions regarding your hardware, security, users and so much more.
 
Have a chat to your account manager who will be able to explain the benefits in detail. 

 

 

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