For most business owners, every new year sparks a renewed focus and new efforts on putting ideas into action that will scale their company. As you sit to brainstorm and consider diverse ways to handle things differently this year, you need to pay attention to the state or health of your tech systems.
Many manufacturing businesses depend on information technology to complete projects, make business decisions, and communicate.
Which strategies should your business adopt to conquer your business goals this year?
Here are some information technology tips to help your manufacturing business grow in 2019, and beyond:
#1: Train Your Employees on Cybersecurity Awareness
While you might have in place the best technical safeguards, your manufacturing business is still prone to a data breach, or cyber attack if workers aren’t conversant with cybersecurity best practices.
You need to set aside time to adequately train them on the fundamentals, such as how to avoid phishing emails. Moreover, you should expand your training program to include ongoing re-training so that your employees remain up-to-date on the most recent social engineering threats.
Investing in cybersecurity training brings with it the following benefits to your manufacturing business:
- Cybersecurity training increases employee retention.
- It has been shown to help create a better workplace culture.
- Security training saves money and time by reducing risk.
- A clean security record helps to retain clients’ trust.
#2: Implement a Patch Management Strategy
According to a recent BMC and Forbes Insights study, 44 percent of data breaches take place after fixes and vulnerabilities have been identified.
What does this mean? It simply means that effortless proactive maintenance such as applying software updates and security patches can avert close to half of the breaches.
The last thing you want as a business is to spend the entire 2020 handling all network patches manually. Since time is a valuable asset, you should avoid things that distract you from the affairs of the business.
After establishing a risk and assessing it, the next thing to do is to prioritize deployments. You’ll be able to know the patch deployment lifecycle as well as which systems you need to patch first. The ones to top the list are patches that fix main vulnerabilities and those that are mission critical. The final three stages are drawing up a patching policy, testing the patch policy, and, finally, executing it.
#3: Consider Email Encryption
You risk the privacy of your company’s operations if you dispatch any form of delicate information through email. 2019 is the year you execute an email encryption solution.
When sharing financial data or customer records with contacts outside the business, it’s prudent to send strictly encrypted files. Email encryption services offer a crucial layer of security that helps protect your business from inadvertent or malicious loss of valuable information.
So what should your encrypt? The three most important things you must encrypt include:
- Your archived, cached, or stored email messages.
- Actual email messages.
- The connection from the email provider.
Whenever you encrypt all email messages as a form of standard practice, hackers have a more difficult time accessing your sensitive information and data. This is because decrypting email messages one after another is a tedious and daunting task that even the most committed hackers might feel unworthy. Never forget that hackers are always looking to finding the easiest path to a quick buck; throw enough roadblocks in their way and they’ll move on to easier targets.
#4: Leverage on Disaster Recovery and New Backup Technology
Unfortunately, not many businesses in the manufacturing industry know or understand the noteworthy advances that have been made in disaster recovery and backup recovery technology. In recent years, investing in a full virtual disaster recovery solution has become much more pocketbook friendly.
This year and moving forward, you need to update your backup strategy in order to boost both the productivity and security of your business. Outsourcing data backups and storage is an efficient way for your business to capitalize on the high-volume savings an I.T. managed services provider can supply, rather than investing in expensive hardware yourself.
#5: Separate your Guest Wi-Fi from Internal Networks
Do you offer your guests access to Wi-Fi inside your office? If yes, it’s wise to completely separate the guest Wi-Fi network from your office’s internal network. If you don’t do that, outside parties may have access to your business data.
Network segmentation is basically the process of partitioning the network into several ‘’sub-networks’’ or ‘’segments.’’ It’s important because bunches of devices connected to the same network somewhat “talk to each other,” meaning they can potentially “listen” to one another as well, without any rules or monitoring in place. You may know and trust the people you know are connected to your guest network, but do you know and trust the people connected to your guests’ devices?
Through network segmentation, you’ll be able to achieve these benefits:
- Improved performance of core networks.
- More control of who can access what across your network.
- Enhanced security.
Before considering segmenting your network, consider the following four things:
- Establish the data security and network requirements of your business.
- Analyze all the data you intend to keep safe.
- Ascertain the people that need access to your network.
- Determine who’ll be responsible for monitoring and maintaining the network.
#6: Centralize Business Data in Vital Applications
One of the most common mistakes most manufacturing businesses make is the failure to streamline their workflows. The lack of consolidating as much data as possible does more harm than good to a business.
Fortunately, there a couple of cloud enterprise resource management solutions out there that combine different aspects of business planning and execution.
This means that it’s possible for your manufacturing business to shift from data siloed in spreadsheets to a more intuitive workflow with integrated access to vital business data.
Centralizing business data brings with it these benefits to your manufacturing business:
- Centralization improves data integrity.
- Centralization makes data maintenance to be much simpler.
- It enhances customer management.
- Investing in a great central data repository results in a higher ROI.
- It goes a long way in helping to enrich business decisions.
Information technology, when used in the right way, can take your business to the next level. 2019 should be a great year for your manufacturing business. With the right I.T strategies, you’ll be able to conquer all your business goals. Partner with JMARK to receive world-class I.T solutions to help increase profits, mitigate risks, reduce costs, and get ahead of the pack. Contact us today to schedule an appointment. Call 844-44-JMARK or email [email protected]