Things to include in your 2020 IT Budget

It’s no surprise that IT spends increase year to year, as technology options continue to evolve at rapid rates. With technology continuing to evolve, there are almost too many options when it comes to deciding what to include in your budget. The following are some critical items you can consider.

Upgrading old servers and desktops

Microsoft has announced that they will no longer be supporting Windows 7 and Windows 2008 operating system in 2020. The specific end of support day for Windows 7 was on January 14, 2020. After that, technical assistance and software updates from Windows Update that help protect your PC will no longer be available for the product.

The major concern with continuing to use Windows 7 and Window Server 2008 is that it won’t be patched for any new viruses or security problems once it enters End of Life, and this leaves you extremely vulnerable to any emerging threats.

What’s more, if a large number of people continue to use Windows 7 after the End of Life date, that could actually be a big incentive for malicious users to target viruses and other nasties at Windows 7.

Upgrading to stable and reliable internet

With more Australian businesses adopting cloud application services (e.g. Xero, MYOB), File storage (OneDrive, Dropbox), Backups and Business critical applications, the need for high speed internet for business has never been greater. NBN cannot always deliver the best result depending on the type of NBN available to you.

The National Broadband Network (NBN) has been touted as the key to making Australian businesses more competitive on the world stage. Originally the NBN was planned to be Fibre to the Premises (FTTP), meaning the network would have used fibre optic cable from the exchange all the way to the premises, which would have delivered on the Labour Governments promises.

However, due to a change in government the NBN has now become Fibre to the Node (FTTN), which uses an optic fibre link from the exchange to a local ‘node’, and then uses the original copper telephone wires between the node and the premises.

Consumer-grade NBN services are not suitable for running business critical applications, voice or video with a larger workforce. Consumer-grade NBN is an asymmetric service with higher download speeds and much lower upload speeds. It is also a shared or ‘contended’ service currently without Service Level Agreements (SLA).

Business-grade fibre provides consistent and reliable symmetrical connectivity with high-capacity and high-speeds from 4Mbps to 1Gbps to power your business-critical applications. Contention ratios are guaranteed with business-grade SLAs.

Business grade anti-virus software and email spam filters

90% of cyber-attacks begin with a phishing email (according to Sonicwall).

Implementing spam filtering is extremely important for any organization. Not only does spam filtering help keep garbage out of email inboxes, it helps with the quality of life of business emails because they run smoothly and are only used for their desired purpose. Spam filtering is essentially an anti-malware tool, as many attacks through email are trying to trick users to click on a malicious attachment, asking them to supply their credentials, and much more.

According to Radicati Research Group, email spam costs businesses up to $20.5 billion each year, and that number will only continue to rise. Spam filtering prevents these spam messages from ever entering an inbox in the first place, keeping organizations from adding to the growing statistic of lost revenue.

Security training

According to a report from Positive Technologies, hackers continue to target the weak link in any company’s security posture: Humans.

“95% of security breaches caused by human error, educated users are the first line of defence.”

“27% of employees clicked an emailed phishing link, making it the most effective method of social engineering.”

Employees are often the first line of defence in your cybersecurity strategy—and the weakest link. Most people just don’t know what to look for, especially when threats change so quickly.

To make your organization less vulnerable, be sure to include cybersecurity training and testing in your 2020 budget.

Multi factor authentication

According to Microsoft, enabling MFA blocks 99.9% of automated attacks. 

Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is a method of computer access control in which a user is granted access only after successfully presenting at least two separate pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism – typically of the following categories:

  • knowledge (something they know)
  • possession (something they have)
  • inherence (something they are)

A common example of this is having a password and a one-time token or PIN that is provided via software on your smart phone or via a text message.  Without having both pieces of information, a user would not be able to log in successfully.  Many organizations today offer MFA, including Google, PayPal, and most financial institutions.

The best way to protect your company is to implement multi-factor authentication (MFA) for your users—think of it as the antivirus of today. It helps to protect your account if someone gets your password.

If you don’t already have it, add multi-factor authentication to your 2020 budget and plan to get it turned on as soon as possible.

IT Management

One of the major challenges in maintaining a computer network is trying to predict what will fail and when. A well-maintained network and server system are key to handle an enterprise business activities smoothly and effectively. As just an hour of downtime may sometimes adversely affect the business and can cause you loss, it is imperative to keep your systems up and running. Below are some benefits to implement IT management:

  • Keeping pace with the demands for IT expertise
  • Enhanced Compliance and Security
  • Allows Staff to Stay Focused on Core Business Goals
  • Controlled and Predictable Monthly IT Costs
  • Greater scalability

Please note: This list isn’t comprehensive. You still need include your usual IT costs: things like equipment and IT support. If you currently don’t have any IT support or your current IT company is not providing you with satisfactory assistance, we are here to help. If you need any advice about your current system, we would be more than happy to provide your office with an obligation free systems assessment.

Contact our friendly team today for an obligation free systems assessment.

(02) 8381 0000 | Info@hsmit.com.au | www.hsmit.com.au

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