Protecting technology and information through modernisation

How modernisation can make your estate more secure

Modernising an organisation’s estate (servers, desktops, laptops, network infrastructure etc) to newer, faster technology is vital to maintaining and improving daily operations – not only does it improve the efficiency of day-to-day business but it also strengthens security measures.

Operating in old environments

Running a business through legacy systems (those that are over a decade old) can be risky. By continuing to run applications in these old environments, organisations are using outdated security systems, making them more vulnerable to cyberattacks and security/data breaches. These types of attacks can result in the private information of the company and its customer’s being leaked, in turn causing reputational harm.

Although continuously updating technology is an important adjustment, it is common for businesses to avoid or delay it, even if they’re aware of gaps/non-compliances, as they are led to believe the process is complicated and time-consuming. Depending on the method, it isn’t always difficult and the end result is beneficial – clearer, less ‘patchy’ systems, achieving greater visibility of their overall estate. Not to mention, having and running a more secure estate and supported software.

Modernisation isn’t just about updating your systems once; organisations need to continually monitor for applications that may be coming to the end of their life, lacking support and security updates, and any other vulnerabilities in their technology. Identifying security flaws early can allow businesses to mitigate or cease issues before they arise – achieving greater security and smoother, uninterrupted operations.

Managing configuration drift

Misconfigurations are a common way for attackers to access an organisation’s devices – even though they may be unaware of any, ports left open on the internet are easy points of entry for attackers. Detecting these flaws before they can be exploited is an important step in heightening a business’ security procedures.

Configuration management tools can be used to avoid configuration drift by scanning an organisation’s estate and detecting and tracking the configuration of each device/software, determining what is out of date/non-compliant.

Some tools can automatically adjust any out-of-date configurations to their optimal form, covering any gaps for potential security breaches. These tools build and maintain resistance in technology systems while comparing changes over time and providing visibility and control of configuration flaws.

Using configuration management tools allows an organisation to modernise their technology infrastructure – ensuring the right processes are being used in the most effective and secure way while reducing the risk of cyber attacks.

Additional benefits of modernisation

The above points display the obvious benefits of modernisation for organisations: improved efficiency of daily business operations through newer, faster systems and reduced likelihood of cyberattacks. However, if an organisation chooses to modernise their entire IT infrastructure (so all departments are running on the same system), this will generate additional benefits. The main one is the ease of communication between teams while removing any siloes – providing smoother functionality and service to customers.

There are also monetary and timely benefits to operating on a single, modern system:

• Reduced training costs – a single training session/set of training tools would be required for all employees
• Increased efficiency – with all employees on the same system(s) there is less time spent converting files and/or manipulating them to work for each user
• Reduced operational costs – this may not always be the case, but it is likely to be cheaper to modernise all systems at once, rather than individually and with different providers/systems
• Less setup time – modernising all IT infrastructure at once and with the same provider will take a lot less time than doing it by department.

IT modernisation is key to a successful, secure business. With technology ever-changing, it is important for organisations to continually monitor their systems to remain compliant with security measures to achieve greater visibility of their operations.

About the Author

Mat Clothie is CEO and Founder at Cloudhouse. Cloudhouse is experienced in problematic application migration and config monitoring systems to fix the unfixable and modernise any IT estate – whether it’s run on-premises or in the cloud. With two proven solutions; Alchemy: Cloudhouse Application Packaging Solution modernises IT estates by fixing unfixable apps and moves them onto a supported operating system. Guardian is a vendor-agnostic monitoring tool providing insight and integrity validation alerts. Cloudhouse helps businesses make more of what they have.

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