Today’s technology-based businesses have a multitude of reasons to make sure their technology infrastructure is up to date, including cyberthreats, head-to-head competition, and regulatory compliance. Because of this, it’s crucial to routinely identify and address gaps in your IT infrastructure.
When it comes to finding and prioritizing your technology gaps, a technology audit is the best place to start.
Perform Regular Technology Audits To Identify Gaps
A technology audit can help you identify and understand gaps in your organization’s security, compliance, and backup systems. A thorough technology audit can answer the following key questions:
- What vulnerabilities exist in your current IT infrastructure?
- Are you using any unnecessary tools or processes that do not align with your goals and vision?
- Are you in compliance with applicable regulations and prepared to defend against security threats?
- Are you capable of restoring business capabilities in the event of a system outage or data breach?
- What steps can you take to address the vulnerabilities you’ve uncovered?
If you don’t have an IT background, the results of a technology audit can be confusing and overwhelming. The sheer number of items that need to be refreshed or replaced can leave you feeling unsure of where to begin. The following approach to prioritization has proven to be particularly useful in this situation.
Prioritize Fixes With The Stoplight Approach
The stoplight approach is a simple method of categorizing gaps or vulnerabilities into groupings based on their severity. Prioritizing your gaps like this can help give you a clear path to bringing your technology infrastructure up to date.
RED: First, Address the Highest Risks and Vulnerabilities
Since most organizations cannot address all of their problems at once, it is critical to focus your attention and resources on the most pressing issues first.
Any technological refresh should prioritize addressing the most severe infrastructure vulnerabilities first, before making less important updates. For example, if your company is dealing with a ransomware attack, updating Microsoft 365 will be on the low end of the priority list.
High-priority vulnerabilities that should be classified as RED include:
- Backups that do not work
- Unauthorized network users, including former employees and third parties
- Login attempts and successful logins by former employees or third parties
- Unsecured remote connectivity
- A lack of documented operating procedures
Yellow: Next, Focus on Medium-Priority Gaps
There will likely be gaps that must be kept under watch but can wait until the most crucial issues get resolved. Although these medium-priority gaps may be acceptable in the short term, consider them when planning and budgeting for future technology updates.
The following vulnerabilities fall into the YELLOW category:
- Insufficient multifactor authentication
- Automated patching system failure
- Outdated antivirus software
- Failure to enable account lockout for some computers
Green: If Your Budget Allows, Address Non-Critical Issues
These are the lowest-priority vulnerabilities. Implement measures to address them gradually after fixing the high- and medium-priority issues first.
The following are some of the gaps that fall into the GREEN category:
- Accounts with passwords set to “never expire”
- Computers with operating systems that are nearing the end of their extended support period
- Persistent issues with on-premise syncing
- Accounts with more administrative access than is required to perform essential duties
The Importance of Prioritizing Your Technology Gaps
If you prioritize gaps and close them systematically based on severity, you won’t have to deal with a situation where money is spent unnecessarily on a less critical issue. Simply put, prioritization is advantageous for your budget.
Plus, you can maintain uptime by prioritizing gaps before refreshing your IT infrastructure because not all components will be down at the same time. This also ensures that productivity and customer service are not jeopardized.
Not sure where to begin? A managed service provider like SOL-IS can help prioritize your technology gaps so you can get the most out of your investment while ensuring uptime and productivity.