The Christmas IT Checklist
2021 may be the Christmas that we all collectively exhale and exclaim “Thank goodness this year is over”.
However, before you rush out the office door for Christmas time, mistletoe and wine, here are a few quick IT tips, to ensure you have a relaxing break.
Every season you’re going to need good support from IT professionals. Keep your technology in tip-top shape, and you'll have a happier holiday season.
Staffing and training:
Have you got your organization covered over the Christmas and New Year period? While everyone rushes off, it pays to ensure that your organization has adequate staffing levels, and/or availability of key resources.
If you are working on a skeleton staff, make sure that there is a backup contact in case of any information security or cyber incident. Also make sure that the staff running the show, actually know what they are doing! Many a security event has happened when staff are not adequately trained.
Business Continuity Plan:
This is also a good time to review your company’s disaster recovery/business continuity plans, to ensure they cover these scenarios:
Contact information for key people e.g. staff, suppliers, authorities, couriers, support.
Clear descriptions of responsibilities for individuals
Making important information readily available such as alarm codes, building access codes, passwords.
Have passwords and codes changed and has your plan been updated to reflect this?
A process for communicating important messages to your customers
Out of Office on:
Nothing irritates customers more than not getting a quick reply. Be sure to communicate your office hours clearly to your customer, along with clear backup contact numbers.
Start telling customers your availability as soon as possible. Communicate it via as many avenues as possible:
Ensure customers receive clear contact details, backup numbers, email contacts and clarity around dates.
Make sure your email 'out of office' is switched on (possibly for external emails only), and your message is clear.
Make sure your phone system is switched over to a 'we're closed for the holidays' message, so people don't leave a message and expect a call back within a few hours.
Add a temporary message to your mobile phone so you are not disturbed.
If you run social media accounts, consider archiving them for a few weeks so that you don’t have to ruin your summer monitoring social media.
Update and upgrade IT
If Christmas is a busy time for you, ensure that your technology can handle more traffic. Review system integrations to make sure front-and back-ends can communicate smoothly. Identify any issues or bottlenecks in advance to be able to upgrade or update any IT that needs help.
If you do need major IT upgrades or system changes, postpone them until after the holidays. Don’t mess with what works right now if you don’t have to do so.
Safeguard business data
Unfortunately, cybercriminals don’t seem to take a holiday. In fact, the holiday season is a ripe time for cyber-attacks, as people are distracted.
In 2020, the greatest number of daily attacks in the last quarter of the year was on December 31.
Make sure you are protecting systems, detecting threats, and defending against attacks. A security assessment can help determine what you are doing well and could be doing better. Please contact your GTB member to discuss your specific concerns.
Beware what you share!
Whilst social media is a great tool to share holidays snaps, it pays to remember Social media can be difficult to keep these connections private, with a potential audience of…um… the entire world! The impact on the privacy of your devices, your sensitive information and even your personal security plays a key disadvantage of social networking.
There is an abundance of fake accounts, trolls and fraudsters online, who seek to obtain and collect your personal information for possible criminal activity. Be strict with your privacy settings and be vigilant of the things you post. Avoid accidentally sharing information that could hint at:
Login Details – email addresses, usernames and passwords. For example, potential answers to security questions ‘What was your first pets name”.
Promoting that you’re out whilst your house/workplace is unoccupied.
If it is a slow time in your office, it can also be an ideal time to clear out old data and perform maintenance on PC’s such as cleaning out the dust, moving old data, and cleaning up user information. Take a break!
Some people will be working over the Christmas and New Year period, and if you are we’d like to THANK YOU for keeping the country running and services/goods flowing!
But for those of us who are taking a break – PLEASE – make sure you do get to switch off and have a real break away from your business / mahi. We all need to switch off for a while every year. Be well, stay healthy and return ready for an awesome 2022!
Plan to refresh your IT/Online strategy
Things are moving so fast, and IT/online technologies are moving faster. What opportunities can you create, or gaps can you plug, with a smart IT/online strategy?
Ponder on this and give us a call in the new year to discuss how information, communication and online technologies can serve you. The team at GTB wish you a happy Christmas and a wonderful New Year.