Have you ever had a professional evaluation of your company’s network and IT infrastructure? You may want to schedule an IT assessment sooner rather than later. Taking this proactive approach helps your business reduce costs, avoid downtime, and prevent catastrophe by stopping problems before they start. In this post, we lay out the basics of an IT assessment and discuss five issues that are most commonly uncovered during the process.
What is an IT Assessment?
An IT assessment, otherwise known as a security assessment or a network assessment, helps identify areas of concern in your company’s IT infrastructure and configuration. A comprehensive IT assessment typically includes:
- A thorough review of your company’s IT hardware, software, and overall infrastructure
- An analysis of networks, existing storage options and protocols, and servers
- A data risk assessment
- Recommendations for essential improvements
5 Common Issues Discovered by an IT Assessment
At Qnectus, we use IT assessments as a critical tool for optimizing our clients’ IT equipment, infrastructure, and policies. In many cases, business owners are rightly focused on their core business activities, but IT maintenance, security, and updates sometimes fall by the wayside. Through an IT assessment, IT experts can determine if your company has fallen victim to any of these five common issues:
Outdated IT Equipment
Firms of all sizes sometimes rely on outdated hardware, servers, and operating systems, which slows productivity but can compromise network performance. As technology ages, it also becomes more unreliable and costly to fix. An IT assessment not only determines where hardware may need to be replaced, but it also provides recommendations for stronger lifecycle management of equipment.
Lack of IT Maintenance
Insufficient or sporadic IT maintenance is a typical issue many businesses face today. Running a business is challenging and chaotic, which can lead to an IT approach that is more reactive than proactive in nature. An IT assessment examines a company’s current approach to maintenance and makes suggestions about the timeframe, frequency, and resources needed for performing adequate maintenance. Shifting from a reactive to proactive approach can prevent partial or complete data loss, thus saving a company from catastrophe.
Many employees and in-house IT professionals put off updates that they perceive to be cumbersome or limiting to their productivity. As a result, important patches designed to fix security issues, zero-day vulnerabilities, bugs, and other performance-related issues go uninstalled. If your IT assessment reveals that employees and IT staff regularly overlook updates, this will be one of the most critical elements of your IT approach to improve.
Poor Access Management
Developing user and access policies for the devices and applications within your company is essential for good IT hygiene. Ensuring that employees are only able to access what they need helps keep a company’s data safe and secure. If an employee is terminated and still retains access to a company’s most sensitive information, they may be able to do irreparable damage overall. An IT assessment will be able to identify areas for improvement in user management, and your assessor will also be able to help you develop a management policy if your company has not yet created one.
Device Security Issues
Whether your employees work from your office, from home, or anywhere in between, having an ironclad approach to endpoint security is key. Many IT assessments discover that employees are accessing sensitive company information on the same devices they use for personal computing. While this is often harmless, cybercriminals may be able to access your network if your employee connects to public WiFi, visits illicit websites, falls victim to a phishing attempt, or downloads untrustworthy third-party applications. Your IT assessment will include recommendations for optimizing your device and security policies to help keep your company safe.
Whether you handle your IT needs in-house or already work with a third-party provider, requesting an IT assessment is an important step towards safeguarding the longevity and health of your business. An IT assessment can identify existing vulnerabilities within your IT approach and help you prevent issues before they arise. Contact Qnectus today to learn more about setting up an IT assessment for your business today.