Measuring the success or failure of IT
Part of the improvement is seeing where you succeeded – and failed – to learn what works and what can be done better. No truer is that sentiment in IT and cybersecurity, two major hurdles which are headache-inducing for the smaller business.
We’re not going to repeat ourselves, you’ve heard it before: the digital world is filled with ravenous threat actors and cyber threats. The bigger question, rather, is how did you fare? How would you test this? And most importantly, why do it?
End-of-year assessments are nothing new, but when through IT concerns into the mix, you’ll note there are a lot of areas to cover. Funny enough, as you conduct this assessment, you’ll also discover how well (or poorly) your enterprise’s ability to track events is. How detailed are your reports? How effective are they? We’ll help break it down in this article while offering potential future solutions.
Your End-of-Year Cybersecurity Report Card
You can imagine your score like an end-of-year report card, with the distinction of passing or failing. How “well” you did is wholly unique to your organization, and doing “bad” in an area does not mean you’ve failed an arbitrary test. It highlights where your enterprise is faltering and needs attention to improve. Furthermore, what is considered a success or failure is completely dependent on an organization’s goals.
For example, one business may “pass” an area because they eliminated a type of malware threat. But for a different organization, their “pass” is simply reducing malware attacks by a certain percentage value. So, while there are goals to strive for in general, how you perform will always be unique to the business model.
With that said, the premise is to create a report card, highlighting the areas where you achieved goals, or failed them. To know how you performed, you’ll want to observe the company goals you set up at the beginning of the year. But if you didn’t, that’s okay, because you can still measure your overall cybersecurity and IT health by evaluating security events.
The Good and Bad
What constitutes a “good or bad” mark on your end-of-year cybersecurity report card? Measuring it against your goals and whether you achieved them is the go-to, of course.
Here’s an example:
The goal of the year’s beginning was to reduce downtime by 10 percent (or x amount of hours). If you achieved this goal, great, it’s good to examine the factors that contributed to its success. But if you “failed,” the same MO applies. Why didn’t the enterprise meet its goals, and what has to change?
Also, it’s very important to assure the data is honest. What if you say “we expanded our budget for IT and cybersecurity by x amount,” but it’s because of layoffs, a physical site closing down, or finding capital that wasn’t generated by revenue? In this hypothetical, is that a success? Don’t let your data get colored because you want a nice EoY report – be brutally honest and understand when goals aren’t achieved. Otherwise, you’ll cascade into additional problems and exacerbate the weaknesses in your enterprise.
However, as mentioned, if you didn’t chart out the year with a set of clearly defined cybersecurity goals, how can you clearly define where you succeeded or failed?
What are the positives in the Cybersecurity Field?
There are metrics in both IT and cybersecurity that are net positives. Some of them include:
- Expansion of staff, resources, and infrastructure for both IT and cybersecurity
- Reduction of intrusion or red flag events such as malware-caused downtime
- Reduction or elimination of ransomware threats
- Creation and effective deployment of a BDR plan and facility
- Education of best cybersecurity strategies for staff
Any of these achieved metrics is only good news for your enterprise, even if you didn’t directly set them as goals. It’s understandable, as some smaller businesses will adapt on the go, or only consider new cybersecurity-based policies after specific events.
Looking at the future
Times are challenging and economic uncertainty combined with global events can send shockwaves through the IT and cybersecurity industry. For that reason, it’s okay if you didn’t achieve your goals. It’s also okay if you “failed,” as it means you’ve got nowhere to go but up.
Preparing for the future – based on success or failure – means identifying trends, tools, and technologies which can directly benefit your business. Where were your weaknesses? Were intrusion events or downtime caused due to gaps in available experts? Is legacy infrastructure slowing you down? Do you lack meaningful resilience and backup options?
Taking a close, scrutinizing glance at where your enterprise needs to improve will better protect you against the tidal wave of digital threats lurking just around the corner. However, small businesses have limited resources. To circumvent this, you can seek third-party resources to help you improve your overall IT outlook.
Bytagig is dedicated to providing reliable, full-scale cyber security and IT support for businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups in a variety of industries. Bytagig works both remotely with on-site support in Portland, San Diego, and Boston. Acting as internal IT staff, Bytagig handles employee desktop setup and support, comprehensive IT systems analysis, IT project management, website design, and more. Bytagig is setting the standard for MSPs by being placed on the Channel Future’s NexGen 101 list.