Winters in North Wales can be predictably harsh and cold. But every year we see on the news that after a storm hits many thousands of homes lose power and are relying on mobile phones and candles whilst the power companies do their best to return things to normal. These are predictable yearly events and shouldn’t come as a surprise.
Connecting this back to business our advice is wherever possible, plan and prepare yourself ahead as much as you can and make informed decisions on what you might need, budget accordingly and do it now and not later.
Old sayings such as ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail‘ are as valid today as ever. And equally remember ‘it’s better to have something and not need it, than need something and not have it‘.
As in business we like to advise our customers in three ways when looking at their cyber security needs. Regardless of size there are things they must do right now, things they should do and things need to think about and plan to do in the future – all of which will help their business and organisation protect their greatest assets, which are their people, their customers, their reputation and their data.
Likewise when winter storms are forecasted, you also need to take preventative measures in your home such as securing things down outside, bringing things indoors and have back up means to power and heat your home in the event of an extended power cut.
In terms of IT and Cyber Security the same principles apply. In the event of a data breach or active hack on your business (and yes, it does happen to many organisations right here in North Wales) then you equally need to be ready with tools, training and alternatives services to step in to help your core business management team continue to provide something as close to ‘business as usual’ services to your customers.
Similarly, in the home how much you spend and what you invest in to keep warm ahead of winter is up to you. But in this piece let’s focus our attention on the heart of many properties here in North Wales – the multi fuel stove or open fire place, which will keep many homes warm this winter.
Is this a sufficient amount of firewood to get you through a crisis? It certainly looks like it should be. But stepping back from this picture we need to know how big is your home, how many people live there, how many fireplaces do you have? How many logs per day would you need? And what if you live in an elevated remote area where deliveries might be impossible for several weeks, do you have sufficient contingency and capacity to weather it out? Or would you run out before you managed to secure another delivery? Think about the firewood supply chain – do you think firewood delivery is easiest in the height of summertime or just when a particularly icy storm hits? Timing is everything as well as capacity planning. Designing fit for purpose IT systems and making informed choices for the security of these systems and their capacities are no different.
You could well plan for all eventualities and even have sufficient stores for this winter and many more yet to come. But this level of investment comes at a hefty price, and means that monies you have invested here can’t be invested in other things you might need right now instead. So there is a balance to strike and the same thing applies to how much budget for security you invest in your IT systems.
Finally let’s connect this to benefits management. In IT terms we mean things like what is the customer experience like for the users, how easy are things to operate and use day to day? How likely are you to recommend to others the benefits? Again, our customers only become advocates and offer references to others when they see the benefits we provide them and their customers see in return. Only then can you relax and put your feet up knowing that you made a good series of choices and plans and this is your return on that investment.
In conclusion, please stay warm and safe this winter and make sure you are ready for what is coming and plan ahead. If you need any advice for IT and cyber security needs within your business, then get in touch as we’d be glad to help you.