The first snow has arrived so it is time to get ready for the winter months. Many people in the East are getting their snow tires put on their cars and doing winter maintenance checks, including antifreeze, batteries, and emergency car kits. It just makes sense to prepare for the unexpected.
Like your car, your IT systems need to be reviewed to be reviewed as business interruption is a factor in the winter months.
I am talking about a couple of scenarios that could prevent your business from running.
- Snow and ice storms. A heavy storm combined with high winds can prevent you and your employees from getting to the office- gas leak or fire in the area closing access to the building.
- Power outages in the area that lasts for a few days can prevent your whole office from working – see the case study Frozen out of the workplace
I have created a checklist of things to consider when winterizing your IT systems.
- Test the UPS systems. Make sure that the batteries for your UPS are working properly and monitoring is in place to alert you when the power is out.
- Do your critical computers have a UPS? What about the server?
- Review the Remote Access Security levels.
- Are all key employees able to access company data remotely?
- Have you checked the security levels for the remote access?
- Are employees using their own computers for access? Do they have the most up to date virus / Ransomware protection on their home computers? You do not want someone’s home computer infecting your business systems.
- Hackers are now using Windows RDP (Remote Desktop) as their favourite target to hack into company systems. Is the Remote Access protected with a business grade VPN solution?
- Don’t forget – Apple products have dropped support for the industry standard PPTP. So Apple devices need special routers to support L2TP
- Review your backup strategy. If power at the office is out, can you access your cloud data?
- Test you backups as you don’t have a backup unless it is tested.
- What happens if access to the building / or power to the building is cut off for 3 days?
How do you keep the business running?
- Have a list of contact numbers for all employees and your IT partner? (cell phones)
These are questions that you should be asking yourself along with your IT professional.
So take the time to get ready for possible winter business interruptions. A simple plan that is written down will go a long way to keep your business running if an interruption occurs.