Everyone who runs their own company knows the constant challenge of wearing many hats and trying to manage everything yourself. As much as you’d like to focus your time and energy solely on core business operations that drive revenue, other ancillary tasks often demand attention too, and keeping IT systems running smoothly is a frequent culprit. [Read more…]
Cyber insurance is essential for the internet-connected business. Yet, when was the last time you reviewed your policy? You may find new text outlining coverage for neglected software vulnerabilities. You may not even know what that involves. This article explains these vulnerabilities and how to avoid their associated costs. [Read more…]
How MSPs Support Employee Effectiveness
Employee effectiveness is key to business success. When your people can do the right things well, you’ll see improved results. That leads to the question: How can businesses improve employee effectiveness? A managed service provider (MSP) can help your employees meet their goals effectively and efficiently. [Read more…]
Four Strategies to Combat Data Sprawl
The advent of modern data has offered many advantages, yet all that data also presents a formidable challenge: data sprawl. When you lose control of your data, you risk compromising productivity, security, and compliance. This article shares strategies to help you address the thorny issue of data sprawl.
What does data sprawl look like?
You’re probably dealing with data sprawl if any of the following sound familiar:
- Your business loses track of crucial files.
- You don’t know who has access to what information.
- Employees use both personal and business tech to do work.
- People repeat work that’s already done.
- You can’t keep track of file revisions or who still needs to comment or edit.
- Employees leave necessary files at home on days when they work in the office.
- People send themselves emails with important files to ensure remote access.
- Various departments use different applications, which siloes data.
These examples capture what it’s like to try and work amidst data sprawl. These issues drain productivity and waste resources. Data sprawl can also leave you open to cybersecurity vulnerabilities and compliance concerns. After all, you can’t back up or recover data you don’t know exists in the first place.
Instilling a sense of order in your data
Regain visibility to control support, streamline processes, enhance security, and improve efficiency. The following strategies can help.
#1 Audit your data
Start tackling your data sprawl situation by mapping out your existing data landscape. Thoroughly assess your data sources, storage locations, and data repositories. Once you have an idea of where your data is:
- Categorize it by importance, frequency of use, and/or sensitivity.
- Identify and clean up redundant or obsolete data.
- Create a data catalog to improve visibility.
- Install access controls and permissions.
- Encrypt sensitive data.
- Establish clear data-governance policies.
- Train employees on data management best practices.
#2 Use cloud storage
Employees now work on-site, at home, and in other remote locations, or perhaps all three, which often causes data sprawl. A staffer might use their desktop computer in your office but their personal laptop at home. Even if everyone works in the same place, they might use desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
Migrating to the cloud provides access to centralized storage. Avoid version-control concerns with everyone accessing the same data, no matter where they are. You can also ensure data is securely backed up, no matter the user’s device.
#3 Install cloud applications
Another way to keep employees on the same page is to give everyone access to the same business tools. For instance, Microsoft Office or Google Workspace can simplify communication and collaboration, especially in a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) workplace. Cloud-based tools can create cohesion, as everyone logs into the same software to get their jobs done.
#4 Prioritize data control
In a data sprawl situation, it’s easy to lose track of where data lives and who has access to it. Then, when you move on to that next project, you might leave that old data unattended. If it’s breached, you might not even know.
Instead, track and log data to understand what’s where and who can get at it. When a project is over, have a policy in place for properly archiving or deleting data that is no longer needed.
Create a more structured and organized data environment
Is data overwhelming your business? Our IT experts can help. Contact us to support your data management strategies. We’ll get to know your systems and provide strategies to effectively combat data sprawl. Book an appointment today:
Smart Ways to Secure Your Laptop
Are you reading this on a laptop? Take a moment to imagine how you’d feel if your laptop were stolen. Maybe you looked away for a moment at the airport or coffee shop, or someone broke into your car or house. It could be disastrous.
Laptop theft is a real problem. Security software provider Norton reports that over 97% of stolen laptops are never recovered. Laptops are an easy and effective target for bad actors. Some 44% of thieves target laptops for their resale value. Meanwhile, 56% contain sensitive information. [Read more…]
Every day there’s some new malware or data leak or hacker exploit revelation. Your business is vigilant, but it feels like you always have to be doing more about cybersecurity to remain protected. Meanwhile, you want to balance security measures with usability, convenience, and cost. That balancing act puts you somewhere on the sliding scale of security. [Read more…]
Their name may not prompt anxiety, yet script kiddies are much more dangerous than they sound. These cybercriminals aren’t elite hackers, but they can still compromise your business. [Read more…]
Things Businesses Shouldn’t Share with AI Chatbots
AI chatbots can offer several benefits to businesses, as the technology can help you automate and expedite many business tasks, but be cautious about the information you share with AI chatbots. [Read more…]
How to Combat Cybersecurity Fatigue
When was the last time you had to change your password or received an alert to update your device for what felt like the umpteenth time? These are minor frustrations, but ongoing IT requests can add up to cybersecurity fatigue. You can’t stop securing your tech, but you can combat employee annoyance with the process. [Read more…]
Bet this sounds familiar: A screen full of legalese opens up when you download some new software. You immediately scroll to the bottom and click “I agree.”
Most of us don’t actually read license agreements. This is not a good idea for individual use. Worse, it’s a real risk for businesses. [Read more…]