Prioritize IT Gaps – Jan 2022

Technology Gap Review- Going beyond Cybersecurity

Today’s technology-based businesses must deal with multiple issues, including cyberthreats, head-to-head competition and regulatory compliance. Hence, keeping your technology infrastructure up to date is critical, and performing a technology assessment is the best place to start.

A technology assessment is more than just looking for cybersecurity concerns. It can assist you not only in understanding and identifying gaps in your organization’s security, compliance, and backup, but also understanding the overall health of your infrastructure. A thorough technology assessment can assist you in answering the following key questions:

  • Is your current IT infrastructure vulnerable?
  • Are there any unnecessary tools or processes that do not align with your goals and vision?
  • Are you in compliance with applicable regulations, prepared to defend against security threats and capable of restoring business capabilities in the event of a system outage or data breach?
  • What steps can you take to address the discovered vulnerabilities?

If you don’t have an IT background, the results of a technology assessment can be perplexing. You might be overwhelmed by the number of items that need to be refreshed or replaced, and you might be unsure where to begin. Prioritization and the Red to Green approach are particularly useful in this situation. Having a managed service provider (MSP) on your side will allow you to seamlessly assess and remediate IT issues.

The Red to Green Approach

The Red to Green method is a simple way of categorizing gaps or vulnerabilities into red, yellow and green groupings based on their severity.

RED: Address the highest risks and vulnerabilities first

Always have a clear idea of what to prioritize to prevent and deal with mishaps. Since most organizations cannot address all problems at once, it is critical to focus the most attention and resources on the most pressing issues first.

Any technological refresh should prioritize addressing the most severe infrastructure vulnerabilities. For example, if your company is dealing with a ransomware attack, updating or upgrading Microsoft 365 is a lower priority.

High-priority vulnerabilities that must be classified as RED include:

  • Backups that do not work
  • Unauthorized network users, including ex-employees and third parties
  • Login attempts and successful logins by users identified as former employees or third parties
  • Unsecured remote connectivity
  • A lack of documented operating procedures

 Yellow: Then focus on gaps that are not urgent

 There will be gaps that must be kept under watch but can wait until the most crucial issues get resolved. Although these medium-priority gaps may be acceptable in the short term, consider them when planning and budgeting for future technology updates.

The following vulnerabilities fall into the YELLOW category and are of medium severity:

  • Insufficient multifactor authentication
  • Automated patching system failure
  • Outdated antivirus software
  • Failure to enable account lockout for some computers

Green: If your budget allows, address these non-critical suggestions

These are the lowest-priority vulnerabilities. Implement measures to close them gradually after fixing the high- and medium-priority issues first.

The following are some of the gaps that fall into the GREEN category:

  • Accounts with passwords set to “never expire”
  • Hardware with operating systems that are nearing the end of their extended support period
  • Persistent issues with on-premises syncing
  • More administrative access than is required to perform essential duties

Importance of prioritizing gaps

You won’t have to deal with a situation where money is spent unnecessarily on a less critical issue if you prioritize gaps and close them systematically based on severity. Simply put, prioritization is advantageous for budgets.  Work your red and yellow items in over time.

Furthermore, you can maintain uptime by prioritizing gaps before refreshing your IT infrastructure because not all components will be down at the same time. This also prevents productivity and customer service from being jeopardized.

How Can Summit Help?

Not sure where to begin? At Summit, we can run you through a full assessment of your infrastructure, provide a full report of the health of your infrastructure and help prioritize technology gaps.  Our Red to Green Assessment can ensure you get the most out of your technology investment, help you budget and plan for upcoming projects.  All while ensuring you complete the projects cost-effectively with reduced downtime and loss of productivity. Contact us for more information on our assessment process.

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