The pursuit of advanced technology is a truly wonderful endeavour.
Every day my team and I have the privilege of working in and contributing to an industry that breaks new ground daily, relentlessly challenging the status quo with novel and innovative approaches to the conventional. We aren’t alone in this, the technology industry certainly has the greatest reach and impact of the moment.
Tech is a gravitational force pulling the world toward our version of the future; the cloud, remote working and the promise of a productivity nirvana that arrives at the intersection of personal freedom and workplace harmony. Without the tools developed and deployed to achieve these laudable ambitions 2020 would doubtless have been a yet more challenging time for business. I’m pleased to say that our business and industry has played a critical role in supporting our clients and communities throughout the pandemic. It’s been a joy to see so many embrace modern tech tools, but more so to discover that after the initial bump that they actually enjoy them; didn’t see that coming in 2019!
Against the difficult backdrop of COVID there have been wonderful moments or realisation; that so much travel was unnecessary and expensive, that home is your first investment and family, friends and community your greatest asset. I like to think of 2020 as a valley with old habits on one side and new on the other, 2021 will be the year we start to bridge the gap and I’m sure technology will play its part as we marry our want for shared spaces, experiences, inspirations and security with the freedom, creativity and focus that remote working allows.
As we move in 2021 with the promise of relief on the horizon and we turn our minds to the future we want to shape its worth taking the time to consider the technological foundations for our ambitions and ensure that they are robust, responsive and secure. Tech tools are often complex, vast in scale and increasingly interconnected. If you want to maximise
the gains you can make bringing these tools in to your organisation you need to ensure you build secure foundations, starting with the people and the basics;
1. Understand the risk. You should start with a risk assessment, consider what’s at risk, how it is at risk and what you would do if you were attacked (who, what, why, where, when). This is an invaluable exercise and one you should repeat frequently. It will enable you to prioritise first and place the software and systems within those priorities, not the other way around. You need to be in the driving seat when recovering from an attack.
2. Is everyone involved? Security is only as strong as its weakest link. Throughout 2020 attacks have focused on the individual, from phone calls and text messages to the familiar phishing emails and links to click. Involve your entire team in your security strategy and response from the top down.
3. Test yourself. Keep up to date with the latest threats, act on information and advice received and have an external party test you.
4. Test your systems and partners. Hire an independent to regularly test, challenge and feedback. A quality provider will welcome the test as an opportunity to learn, react and improve.
5. Make if difficult. If it’s harder for you its harder for the bad actor. Every users’ passwords should be complex and use multi factor authentication wherever possible. Patches and upgrades should be completed every time and critically you should trust your intuition; if it looks suspicious be suspicious.
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When you successfully engage your team in these basics you’ll find that the technical responses are easier to frame, understand and budget, that the possibilities, opportunities and challenges are exciting and rewarding. The businesses I have seen flourish in 2020 are those that have most successfully adapted to the challenge; the future is a technological one
and the more you understand the challenges the more benefits your business will reap.
As we start to bridge the gap between old and new I’m excited to work with new and existing clients as they challenge themselves and us to achieve more with the technological tools at their disposal.