What IT and cybersecurity updates do you need to know as an SME this year?
The New Year might already seem a distant memory as we all get back into the swing of things. As owners, managers, directors in small businesses we can often start the year off with the intention of putting together a new business plan or strategy. And the day-to-day operations can sometimes lead to us putting this on the back-burner. But what IT and cybersecurity updates do you need to know as an SME?
As an SME ourselves we do understand. But we do also know that there are risks that can occur if IT and cybersecurity is put on the back-burner for too long. With that in mind, we’re highlighting a few key things that we recommend small businesses put on their radar for this year.
1. Keep your IT and devices up-to-date
If you don’t have a dedicated IT manager then thinking about your servers and hardware equipment – think laptops, computers and phones – can be a minefield. Understanding how updating your equipment can benefit your business alongside the risks of letting servers go past their end-of-life date is a lot to take on board.
Reviewing purchase dates, or the start of an IT solutions agreement, can be a good way to see if it is time for an update of your systems. Taking our cloud quiz is another option, we’ve put together a simple set of questions that can help anyone in your business to see if updating to a cloud or hybrid solution can benefit your organisation.
2. Start with the basics of cyber security: password management
Information Technology has expanded to cover more than just servers and hardware. And one of the key aspects to emerge is cyber-security. It can be one of those terms that we all seem to hear on a regular basis but not necessarily put into action. That’s partly because the scope of cyber-security is so broad and for an SME it can be hard to know where to start.
While the statistics vary, there are reports that between 88% to 95% of data breaches are caused by human error. With that in mind, our recommendation is to start on an area that includes your employees. This might be focusing on password management. Now one way to manage this is with a password management system but there is also the option to train your employees in what makes a good password, how often to change it, and how to keep it safe and secure.
As an ambassador of the West Midlands Cyber Resilience Centre, we’re looking forward to working with them and businesses across the region. For SMEs in the Midlands, they have a range of advice, support and events that will help you keep up to date with cybersecurity.
3. Investigate AI along with other options
Similar to cyber-security, you’d have to be living under the proverbial rock to not have heard of AI. But depending on the sector that you work in the options to embed it in your business not always be clear.
We’d recommend keeping an eye on your relevant trade press to see how others in your industry and using AI. But we’d also recommend keeping an open mind to wider options. For example, bespoke development. Now that might sound expensive but that needn’t be the case or make you think of new websites. However, development can be a way of combining software packages or other computer-driven operations in your business.
For example, you might be using Sage but it doesn’t talk to your EPOS. This is where development can be an advantage and reduce time spent on manual operations. While AI might take care of that in the next 10 years, development can be a way to solve challenges now.
A final thought on keeping up to date with IT trends: find a partner for your business
There are far more IT and cybersecurity trends that we can mention in one post alone. This is why our final thought is on finding an IT partner such as ourselves to help. A good managed IT solutions business will want to create a relationship with you and share pertinent information with you.
At EBS, we make sure that we provide you with IT and cybersecurity information that is right for your business. We focus on solutions that will help you grow, solve your challenges and keep your business safe. And our account managers do this in a way that is jargon-free and easy to understand.
Hopefully this post has helped answer: what IT and cybersecurity updates do you need to know as an SME? But if you want to know more, we’re always happy to have a no-obligation, free of charge chat, whether that’s via our live chat, on the phone, via email or in-person. Why not email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0121 384 2513 to find out more.