“IT monitoring” is one of those vague items that most people don’t care much about until they experience a lack thereof. Much like a ship at sea, modern IT systems are on a constant collision course no matter what direction they “sail”. Unfortunately, even dangerous courses can often be followed for LONG periods of time before sometimes not-so-obvious issues come back to bite.
This is where IT monitoring comes in to play and helps you and your IT team navigate the cyber pirate-infested waters safely.
Here are 3 examples of IT challenges that require 24/7 monitoring:
1. Preventing Hard Drive Failures a.k.a. Downtime
Mechanical hard drives rely on a magnetic field to store information, and guess what; the strength of that field is constantly shrinking until areas of drive have trouble or stop being readable.
Without monitoring, you will find out that one or more drives have “gone bad” by the time some/all data is inaccessible and your computer or server will no longer run at all!
With monitoring, we can detect roughly 65% of single drive failures during the early stages and gracefully swap out the hard drive during a maintenance window with manageable downtime. Your server is typically built redundantly enough to survive a single drive failure, but it is critical to replace it before multiple drives crash and sink your business.
2. Detecting Backup Failures a.k.a. Preventing Data Loss
Great, you invested in a state of the art backup system and followed the 3-2-1 rule, but those backups are never going to run 100% of the time forever. They’ll run fine until aground on a digital “sand bank”, and time is now of the essence to get your data copies moving again before the cyber-pirates strike.
Without monitoring, you will discover that the backup system got stuck…err… WAY too long ago! You might even consider shelling out your hard-earned cash to pay ransom; encouraging even more cyber-pirates to go on the prowl in the future!
With monitoring, the sirens go off and a team of people start investigating ASAP. Your IT team conveniently also recently replaced a hard drive that was starting to fail and would have otherwise crashed shortly after backups stopped running, phew… close call!
3. Detecting and Preventing Cyber Attacks
Hackers are constantly trying to break into your network, and no, being a small business does not make you any less of a target. Quite the opposite, hackers pick the low hanging fruit and are more likely to get in because you have less assets in place to defend yourself. Having multiple layers of IT security and educating staff go a long way towards running a water-tight ship!
Without monitoring, you may find all your company data encrypted and held for ransom one morning because the crooks cracked the administrator password after finally getting it right. That is even a best-case scenario, they could also steal your company’s sensitive data and put you out of business for good once customers, regulators, or the media notice.
With monitoring, your IT security software is verified to be evenly spread across all systems, failed login attempts trigger alerts to deploy additional defenses, and vulnerable software can be removed or updated before the cyber-trojans come out at night.
Effective monitoring consists of having automated checks in place that either trigger automated course-corrections or sound the alarm for a technical person to intervene; after they’ve had their coffee and before it is too late.