• Spring Cleaning Your Technical Environment

    Posted Mar 28th, 2011 By in fp, Tips With | No Comments

    This is a great time of year to spruce up around the office and prepare for spring’s business rush. While you’re at it, take a few moments to look over your workstations, servers, and network devices to ensure you’re not heading for trouble. Here’s a brief checklist of basic items to look through for each of you but also to make sure your technical house is in order. If you get stuck on any of this, give us a call and we’ll take care of it for you.

    Workstations & Laptops

    Your desktop and laptop systems are by far your biggest exposure, and this is a good opportunity to make sure they’re in good order. A little work now can save a lot of pain and cost later—an ounce of prevention instead of a pound of cure.

    • Take away administrative privileges. This is the #1 vector for mal-ware, Trojan, and virus infection. Your users don’t even have to do anything wrong to get infected—these days scammers buy advertisements on legitimate web-sites and infect victims through those ads. If your users are running as administrators all they have to do is visit a web-site and their machine can be infected.
    • Make sure Windows Updates are running. If your environment is behind on updates, you’re extremely vulnerable.
    • Make sure anti-virus applications are up to date. If your license has expired, you won’t get updates and you’ll be vulnerable.
    • Clean up old files—by erasing them! Do you really need last month’s YouTube sensation?
    • Change your password! Use something complex besides your name or your birthday.

    Well maintained workstations will serve you for years to come, and will also increase your confidence in the stability and

    Servers and Network Environment

    Your servers and network environment provide the backbone for your technology resources. When you share files, printers, or communicate electronically, and possibly by phone, you’re relying heavily on your servers and network environment. This means a failure here can be catastrophic for productivity in your organization. You should be regularly maintaining your server and network environment, but spring is a good time to handle certain annual chores.

    • Perform a test restore from backup. How do you know your backup is usable? An annual test-restore will reveal shortcomings in your disaster recovery plan so you can correct them–before you find out the hard way your backup isn’t working right. By the way, you still need to verify your backups are running on a daily or weekly basis, year-round.
    • Rotate Server and Domain Administrator Passwords. These are the keys to the kingdom, make sure they aren’t something stupid or easily guessed, because somebody will eventually try and succeed.
    • Check Membership in Critical Security GroupsThis is a good-time to re-evaluate which users have administrative access to your servers and/or Active Directory and Exchange environment.
    • Check event logs on all servers.Big problems don’t always start off as big problems. Often, especially with Windows servers, they start as small errors which nobody notices and, when left unadressed, mushroom into more serious, disruptive issues. By reviewing your logs regularly, you can prevent the worst disasters from occurring in the first place.
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