One important subject matter we touched on last year was budgeting. Improper budgeting, or even a lack of, can delay and even halt important projects that you as a customer want to prioritize. And no one likes surprises. Budget development is an intricate task, but it is one of the many added features with UniVista Core and Comprehensive Agreements. General budget planning starts with the Q1 quarterly business review meeting, assuming your fiscal year starts in January. For government or other verticals, budgeting starts in the spring, it is pretty well developed by August, and it’s finalized by Oct 1st. An IT budget is most useful if it is a true representation of what is necessary for your maintenance, repair, replacement, and one time “project” expenditures. We work with you to put all of this on paper and allow for proper planning. Let’s touch on a few topics that are very important components of budgeting.
CyberSecurity training should be a top priority for all companies. Period. Instituting a 100% participation requirement is the only way to help protect your IT assets from cyber criminals and potential attacks. It only takes one click to wreak havoc on your network which will directly impact your customers, cause a loss of staff productivity, and potentially incur financial loss. The UniVista Cyber Security Suite is powered by KnowBe4 which provides high quality training, training validation, and evidence-based reporting. This means you can see the participation rate, push for 100% completion, and the validation testing shows the training effectiveness. You’ll know exactly who your “clickers” are! Remind your staff that no one wants to be the one who clicked and caused a security breach. Another important part of CyberSecurity is restarting your actively used computers and turning on spare computers periodically. It is imperative that users respond to reboot and power on requests from UniVista or Microsoft in order to keep your network and workstations protected. These steps allow for the installation of security updates. If you are currently on a Core Agreement, it may be time to talk to your Account Manager about working CyberSecurity training into your standard IT budget.
Business Continuity Planning & Disaster Recovery
Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. We have all heard it before. When it comes to planning for the worst, budgeting time and money is only prudent. You can build a human firewall with 100% cyber security training participation. You can keep all of your network devices such as servers, switches, firewalls, and access points fully upgraded. You can even be up to date with security patches and run intrusion tests. But are you ultimately ready if all of these precautions should fail? To be clear, we’re not trying to discredit the benefits of practicing preventative measures. However, the term “an act of God” exists for a reason. To prepare for such an act, you can budget the time and money it would cost you to build back from a disaster. Key items to be aware of include:
• What is your current backup procedure?
• Does your backup data reside in at least two places?
• Is one of those places offsite?
• How long does a full recovery from your backup take?
• Can you recover a single file?
• How much data can you afford to lose?
• What is your agreed upon backup recovery time frame?
While these questions may seem daunting, we’re here to help! Contact your Account Manager if you have questions about your current backups, CyberSecurity, or IT Budgeting. For further details on the importance of budgeting for a failure or disaster, check out The Ping: Disaster Recovery And Business Continuity Planning 101.
Your UniVista Team
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