Getting Your Technology House in Order
It’s almost fall, when milder weather encourages us to open up, air out and declutter the house before a long winter. For businesses, it is also a good time to tidy up your digital house. Here are a few tips for refreshing and updating the technology stack to improve efficiency and enhance security:
Out With the Old
Outdated IT components have increased maintenance and support costs and can introduce new security vulnerabilities. For example, routers more than five years old don’t support the latest wireless security standard and are vulnerable to a variety of exploits. The FBI warns that hackers are increasingly gaining unauthorized network access via compromised routers.
Organizations should also regularly declutter their application portfolio. Uninstall software that isn’t being used. Unused and underutilized apps drain resources — even old, forgotten programs may be actively trying to update system files. In addition to improving performance, uninstalling eliminates potential vulnerabilities in these older programs that hackers know and exploit.
Spruce Things Up
Roughly 85 percent of all data breaches involve unpatched software, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Promptly install patches for all applications and operating systems to reduce the risk of infection from malware. Also consider modernizing legacy software to reduce support costs and ensure compatibility with new systems. Modernization can involve migrating old apps to the cloud, switching to cloud-native apps or developing new custom apps.
Servers, endpoint devices and other hardware resources also require regular patching and updates. It’s also a good idea to periodically analyze usage and performance data about servers. You may be able to consolidate workloads on servers with excess capacity to conserve resources and simplify management.
Tune Up the Network
As organizations become increasingly decentralized, they have employees connecting to a shared network from home, branch and main offices. That creates increased network congestion and bandwidth contention issues that put a strain on traditional network architectures. A software-defined WAN (SD-WAN) overlay can help address these challenges by virtualizing network services and allowing all network functions to be centrally deployed and managed from a single controller. This helps ensure that all employees have reliable access to the data and applications they need to do their jobs, regardless of their location.
SD-WAN also improves application performance across multisite operations. It is an application-aware technology, which means it can identify and classify apps based on a variety of characteristics and then apply optimization techniques to ensure peak performance. Software-based intelligence provides automated, policy-driven routing of traffic over a dynamic mix of connectivity options to eliminate network bottlenecks.
Get Your Storage in Order
Storing and managing data that has questionable or no value wastes money and resources, slows decision-making and increases risks related to security, regulatory compliance and e-discovery. Consider installing data governance software that imposes a quality-control discipline on the processes for assessing, managing and maintaining data. It will clarify who should have access to data and for what purpose, and it will ensure that compliance requirements are being met.
You may also need to rethink your data protection strategies. Having data in multiple data centers, branch offices, cloud repositories, edge servers and endpoint devices limits visibility and hampers backup management. Backup modernization addresses these challenges through the use of flash, cloud and hybrid backup solutions along with increased automation and data-reduction technologies. The latest solutions handle both cloud and on-premises workloads through a single dashboard while compressing the backup window and enabling fast and efficient recovery.
Craig TalbotSVP, Enterprise Sales
The Managed Network Services industry has definitely become more competitive. As much as broadband is now a commodity, we try to help the customer by making sure they get the best possible speed at the best price – and then help them manage the firewall and beyond. Regardless of who a customer chooses for large-scale broadband network, there will be challenges at some point in the relationship. It’s how SageNet responds that sets us apart.Get to know Craig
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