Sometimes, businesses do not get returns on their information technology (IT) investment that match their spend. Such costs can run into tens of thousands of US dollars or millions of Nigerian Naira.
If you have invested in IT systems, there are benefits you should get to justify your money. These include:
- Being able to access your information whenever you need it: This may seem obvious, but you would be surprised at how often some organisations have downtimes. In some parts of the world, system downtime has become so normal that many businesses do not bother to say “we’re sorry, something is wrong” when such downtime occur.
- Only the people you have authorised should have access to your data and IT systems
- IT systems & information should be secure while stored and when it is being sent to others
Your business processes should be up and running with negligible downtime.
So how do you ensure the money you have spent on IT brings good returns and makes your more processes more efficient & productive?
A friend in the industry recently told the story of a client who spent a few millions on a server and other hardware and software. The company bought all they were advised to get Everything seemed okay, until they had problems with their “state of the art” server. Despite their best efforts they lost sizeable and important transaction data. She had to count her losses until she called-in Ade and his team, who were able to recover part of her “lost” data, bought the right equipment, installed, and tested it.
Problems with your IT systems can cause a major disruption to your business, costing you time and money.
Deftjobs can add significant value to your business
Information Security: Our team will help provide security & prevent the unauthorised use of your private & confidential information.
IT Support & Management: Get support for your critical IT systems. Enjoy business continuity & improved efficiency of IT dependent processes.
Here Are 4 Essential Tips To Get More From Your IT System
1. What Is Cloud Storage?
Cloud storage refers to the storage of data and files in remote (offsite) locations that can be accessed through the internet or private networks. With cloud storage, you can start work on your home computer and continue on your laptop in the office without the need to transfer files with a usb drive. But what happens when you do not have internet connection? Some of the cloud providers have offline features where local copies of files are made available offline access. This option is useful for those that are in remote areas or places with unreliable internet connection. Your work will be synced (updated) to the cloud when your internet connection is restored.
Cloud storage services with free storage options include Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Apple iCloud, Dropbox and Degoo. All these services offer free storage allowance, where you only pay when you exceed your free allowance (usually).
With cloud storage, you don’t have to worry about your computer crashing, getting stolen or lost. Your work ‘lives in the cloud’. Internet connectivity is also cheaper around Lagos, Abuja and other major cities around the world. Some broadband providers in Lagos, Nigeria now offer unlimited data at unbelievable prices. Using cloud services will save you the cost of buying a server and other running costs. There are several cloud storage options to choose from and many offer free allowance.
But what if your cloud storage provider gets hacked or someone gets access to your offline files? Encryption addresses this security concern.
2. What Is Encryption?
Encryption is a way to hide information by translating data into a form that appears to be random but can be understood by authorised persons. You can encrypt private and confidential files, such that, even if an unauthorised person gets access to them, they will be unreadable and remain confidential. There are several encryption services for cloud storage that use 256-bit AES encryption to secure your files. This is a strong encryption standard adopted by many including the US government.
Some service providers allow you to encrypt files locally on your computer before storing them in the cloud. This is different from services that only encrypt files when they are stored on their servers. A few service providers have chosen to implement Zero Knowledge encryption. This means they do not know anything about the files you store on their servers. Examples of providers that encrypt files locally with zero knowledge encryption are Boxcryptor, Cryptomator and ODrive.
When choosing an encryption service, it is important to note where the company primarily operates from, as government policies can affect the kind of service they provide. There are other factors to consider when choosing zero knowledge encryption software.
3. What Is Access Control?
Access control is a selective restriction of access to data. In order to decide who should be restricted, users need to provide authentication that proves they should be allowed access to various data and systems. The credentials to be authenticated are pre-registered and matched to data provided each time anyone tries to gain access.
Authentication methods include:
- Providing a username and password
- Providing a PIN
- Registering your fingerprint
- Providing clear voice samples for voice authentication
- Registering a scan of your eyes (iris scan)
- Providing a scan of your face (facial scan)
- Token based authentication
- Certificate based authentication
These credentials are checked for accuracy (authenticated) before allowing access to authorised persons. Very secure systems may require a combination of some of the authentication methods listed before access is granted, such as internet banking where up to three types of authentication methods are sometimes used.
Ensure your computers and mobile devices restrict users by enforcing access controls. Popular authentication methods for computers and mobile devices are usernames & passwords and fingerprint scans. If you use username and password, ensure you use strong passwords. Strong passwords are passwords that contain a minimum of 12 characters. These characters should be a combination of upper case, lower case, numbers, and special characters for example “%2Y0U&sAbi”. You can read more about how to create secure passwords and best practices to managing passwords.
4. Information Security
If you have a computer or mobile device that accesses the internet, you need to consider security. If you share data with family, friends, and colleagues, you also need to consider security. Get an ITsecurity professional to do a security audit Make sure your computer is always running a security software.
Computer viruses, malware, ransomware are threats that exist and affect devices, whether they belong to individuals or organisations (small, medium, or large). Without proper security you are at higher risk of viruses, hacking or other malicious software. Windows computers are shipped with Microsoft Security (formerly Windows Defender), and this should at the very least be enabled. There are several free and paid alternatives available that will provide better security than pre-installed Windows Security.
It is advisable to get information security from ‘reputable’ providers. Whichever one you get, make sure both the security software, operating system and applications are up to date. Some information security tools can check for outdated software and update them.
Implement the tips above and you will see higher productivity and better information security.
If you need help applying any of the tips above, reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help you.information