Five IT Lessons We Learned in 2020
COVID-19 caught us all off guard as we faced many IT scenarios that we just hadn’t planned for, or ever thought we’d face! The good news is that in the past several months, we’ve all had time to adjust to the new normal. As we march towards 2021 now is the time to put practices in place for the long-term.
Here are five things we learned in 2020 that businesses should adopt (if they haven’t already) for a successful new year!
1. Supply the Right Tools
As more employees are working remotely, it is important to provide the tools they need to succeed. If this wasn’t in the budget in 2020, be sure to plan for it in 2021. Devices should have up-to-date security and software in place. Cloud-based applications allow your team to access the software they need to do their job easily, from anywhere. A permanent switch to the cloud should be a key consideration in 2021.
2. Establish Acceptable Use Policies
This is a best practice that was often overlooked in 2020 – employers should have employees sign an acceptable use policy. These legal documents stipulate rules and regulations for accessing companies’ IT networks – like email and internet, and the use of company equipment. AUPs reduce liability and protect important company data.
3. Beef Up Cybersecurity
With the almost overnight shift to remote work in 2020, security was put on the backburner as the focus was on connectivity first. 2021 is the time to put remote security at the top of your to do list. Whenever possible, set up a virtual private network (VPN) to create a secure path between the user’s computer and office servers. Use encryption to prevent cybercriminals from intercepting data and deciphering it. Implement other security measures like multi-factor authorization, home router security, and advanced threat detection and prevention.
4. Optimize Virtual Collaboration
In 2020 we learned just how important connection and engagement are to building and maintaining a happy, productive team. A remote work environment can limit face-to-face meetings so it’s important to offer employees more ways to collaborate and connect virtually.
5. Train Your Team to Recognize Threats
Employees can be directly responsible for your business becoming a victim of ransomware, a phishing attempt, or data breaches even though they didn’t mean to. Verizon’s 2020 Data Breach Investigations Report found that some of the top malware vectors in data breaches were due to employee error from clicking on infected email links, unknowingly downloading malware and clicking on malicious email attachments. In 2021 it will be critical to train your team to recognize potential threats and warning signs before making a mistake that could put you out of business!
2020 has been the most challenging year ever for most of us. One silver lining is that there is a push toward new technologies and solutions that are transforming the way we’ll all do business now, and into the future.
Are you ready for the challenges of 2021? We can help! Contact us today and let us show our solutions that can help your business thrive in the new year!