How to Prioritise Your IT Gaps | Spector

How to Prioritise Your IT Gaps

How to Prioritise IT Gaps
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Today’s technology-based businesses must deal with multiple issues, including cyber threats, head-to-head competition and regulatory compliance. Hence, keeping your technology infrastructure up to date is critical, and a technology audit is the best place to start.

A technology audit – or IT Audit – can assist you in better understanding and identifying gaps in your organisation’s security, compliance and backup. A thorough technology audit can assist you in answering the following key questions:

  • Is your current IT infrastructure vulnerable or lacking in any areas?
  • Are there any unnecessary tools or processes that do not align with your goals and vision?
  • Are you in compliance with applicable regulations, prepared to defend against security threats and capable of restoring business capabilities in the event of a system outage or data breach?
  • What steps can you take to address the discovered vulnerabilities?

If you have recently requested an IT Audit from an IT Support company, the result may have left you with more questions than answers. Most IT firms have the bad habit of speaking in a technical language that business people can’t understand. Plus, the report is often not actionable, which creates a confusing scene when deciding what to prioritise.

This is one of the fundamental things we decided to do differently in our own IT Audit – which we call The Gap Analysis. It’s an in-depth analysis of the essential parameters for organisational performance and growth, covering more than just the technical elements. We communicate the results in plain English, with an actionable plan and priorities clearly defined. If you’re interested in learning more, download our brochure and get in touch.

In this article, we’ll discuss the stoplight approach, which is particularly useful if you are unsure where to begin. It’s a simple but effective method to classify risk and prioritise what needs to be done first.

The stoplight approach

The stoplight method categorises gaps or vulnerabilities into red, yellow, and green groupings based on their severity. Everybody knows how a stoplight works, so this should be very straightforward.

RED: Address the highest risks and vulnerabilities first

Always have a clear idea of what to prioritise to prevent and deal with mishaps. Since most organisations cannot address all problems at once, it is critical to focus the most attention and resources on the most pressing issues first. 

Any technological refresh should prioritise addressing the most severe infrastructure vulnerabilities. For example, if your company has a massive security gap just waiting to be exploited, this has to be secured first! Other issues, such as updating or upgrading software to increase performance can be done afterwards, thus being addressed as a lower priority.

High-priority vulnerabilities that must be dealt with immediately are classified as RED, and they include: 

  • Backups that do not work 
  • Unauthorised network users, including ex-employees and third parties 
  • Unsecured remote connectivity 
  • A lack of documented operating procedures

More on some of these RED priorities:

How Backups and Disaster Recovery Protect SMEs
Identity Management and Access Control
Recommended Best Practices for a Secure Supply Chain

Yellow: Then focus on gaps that are not urgent

There will be gaps that must be kept under watch but can wait until the most crucial issues get resolved. Although these medium-priority gaps may be acceptable in the short term, they may soon become increasingly dangerous risks if not addressed. So be aware that despite not being the most urgent, these risks cannot be disregarded.

The following vulnerabilities, among several others, fall into the YELLOW category and are of medium severity: 

  • Insufficient multifactor authentication
  • Automated patching system failure 
  • Outdated antivirus software 
  • Failure to enable account lockout for some computers

More info on these YELLOW priorities:

Multifactor Authentication
Anti-Virus and Malware

Green: address these non-critical suggestions when you have the time and budget

These are the lowest-priority vulnerabilities. They can still potentially hurt your performance or pose security risks eventually but will likely not do so soon. Implement measures to close them gradually after fixing the high and medium-priority issues.

Most gaps classified as green in an IT audit will serve as recommendations for projects and upgrades to improve your technology performance. These will enhance productivity, collaboration and bring more efficiency to your team. You may also be advised about new security layers that should be implemented, and these are often a good idea. Just make sure that they will work with your existing suite and not interfere with your main security layers.

The following are some of the gaps that fall into the GREEN category: 

  • Accounts with passwords set to “never expire”
  • Computers with operating systems that are nearing the end of their extended support period
  • Persistent issues with on-premises syncing 
  • More administrative access than is required to perform essential duties 

Importance of prioritising gaps

Long story short: prioritising IT Gaps is a must. If you’re looking to save time, money, avoid imminent cyber attacks and be more efficient, this is how to do it. And to make sure you got your priorities right, you should hire a specialist firm to do your IT Audit before you begin.

Beginning your tech refresh without the audit puts you at risk of spending unnecessarily on a less critical issue or even spending on a solution that was not necessary in the first place.

Related Read: Refreshing your Business Technology Infrastructure in 2022

A tech refresh can bring several benefits to your business, but it has to be done right. If you think it’s time to improve your relationship with technology and leverage the power of IT, consider our Gap Analysis.

It’s the process we utilise to onboard new customers, and it brings powerful insight into how the tech is performing and how the users – your employees and customers – are interacting with it. After learning it, we can provide the best advice and a clear pathway to improving tech in your business. Read our brochure to learn more

Thanks for reading. If you have any more questions, feel free to get in touch. Our team will be happy to talk and understand your concerns. Follow us on Social Media for more content!

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