Person with a telescope looking a screen with a lock on it.

Essential Out-of-Office IT Security Practices

This piece was originally published in anticipation of July 4th, 2023, but we’ve updated it for the upcoming holiday season.

In today’s interconnected world, maintaining a secure IT environment is paramount for businesses to safeguard their sensitive data and protect their operations. Knowing that holidays tend to be times when teams take time off, bad actors are more active than ever, so it’s important to make sure your systems and people are ready.

Hear what Nicolas Ponce, VP of Operations and Security here at Addigy has to add:

With this in mind, it’s crucial to implement proactive measures and develop comprehensive security strategies. We have six key practices that can help organizations and internal security minimize potential risks this upcoming holiday.

  1. Promote User Vigilance: Employees play a vital role in maintaining a secure environment, so encourage users to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities or potential security threats they encounter. By fostering a culture of security awareness, organizations can detect and mitigate risks in a timely manner.
  2. Implement Automated Backups: Automated backups stored outside the main environment are critical to any robust data protection strategy. Regularly test and verify the integrity of backups to ensure they can be successfully restored if needed.
  3. Maintain IT Hygiene: Just like you lock your car and house, lock your IT Infrastructure, and perform IT best practices. Maintain a comprehensive IT coverage plan to ensure uninterrupted support and response to critical incidents. Clearly define roles and responsibilities, including on-call schedules for IT administrators. By having a well-defined plan, organizations can address issues promptly, minimizing the impact on operations.
  4. Conduct Response Drills: Practice response drills to test the effectiveness of incident response procedures. Simulating various scenarios helps improve coordination, communication, and decision-making during high-pressure situations. Regular drills enable IT teams to fine-tune their response strategies and identify areas for improvement.
  5. Communicate with Customers: If your MSP or IT department receives customer tickets, ensure automated communication is in place to inform customers about the company’s holiday schedule or any potential delays in response times. Transparent and timely communication fosters trust and manages customer expectations.
  6. Monitor for Security Advisories: Similar to reading the newspaper, keep an eye out for breaking news related to Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Events, with the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agent (CISA), you can even subscribe for notifications.

The IT security community truly works together to ensure safety across the internet, and organizations implementing robust security practices are key to that safety. 

Remember, staying vigilant, practicing response procedures, and maintaining open communication are crucial elements of a comprehensive security strategy.

To the holiday security warriors on call, we salute you! Enjoy your holidays safely.

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