Four Steps to Soar in 2024 (At Least When It Comes to IT)

Most of us start out a fresh calendar year with the best intentions, but sometimes our lofty goals fall by the wayside. Have you ever resolved to hit the gym more and then canceled your membership before Valentine’s Day?

Not this year! You’re going to make a real change — at least when it comes to your IT. 2024 is the year you stop pushing your tech to-dos off to the side and follow through.

We’ve put together a list of four IT needs to tackle this year to protect yourself and your business — or you might end up kicking yourself in 2025.

Four Steps to Soar in 2024 (At Least When It Comes to IT)

1) Make (or review) your cybersecurity plans

Cybersecurity is increasingly important to your business — and not just to your IT department. When cyberattacks hit, they affect the entire business. The first step is prevention, but they’ve become so common that you also need a plan for what you’ll do if one does occur.

Get ready for the year ahead by reviewing your backup and disaster recovery plan and your cybersecurity incident response plan. A backup and disaster recovery plan means creating policies and procedures for how you’ll protect your data by backing it up and how you’ll get back to business quickly if it’s lost.

While you want to protect yourself from physical disasters like weather or fire, ransomware is an ever-growing problem. That’s where your cybersecurity incident response plan comes in.

A December 2023 report by Apple and MIT revealed that the number of ransomware attacks increased by almost 70% in the first three quarters of 2023 compared to the first three quarters of 2022. Having a written incident response plan in place will help you act quickly and rationally if a cyberattack occurs.

Four Steps to Soar in 2024 (At Least When It Comes to IT)

2) Fix your password problems

Most people are pretty bad when it comes to password security — and it’s no wonder, considering the average person has 100 passwords to wrangle. Going with something easy to remember isn’t the solution, but recent research shows that the most common password is 123456. (No, really!)

As crazy as that might seem, no matter how great you think your password is, not protecting it properly can spell big trouble for you personally and for your business. The 2023 Data Breach Investigations Report shared that the vast majority (86%) of cyberattacks on web applications used stolen credentials (passwords).

To boost your password protection in 2024, start using a password manager to keep them safe. Go beyond your kid’s name or the year you graduated high school and use a string of four or more random words separated by punctuation — such as “Correct.horse.battery.staple.” That makes it both long and easy to remember. (Get more password management tips from our experts!

Four Steps to Soar in 2024 (At Least When It Comes to IT)

3) Update firmware across your network

Get the latest and greatest firmware installed on all the devices in your network — including PCs, servers, smart switches, and VoIP phones. Getting the newest updates ensures that you have the latest security patches and that your devices will function at their best. Also consider whether any equipment is nearing end of life and should be replaced.

For example, Windows Server 2012 no longer receives security updates, bug fixes, and technical support from Microsoft as of October 2023. Using equipment without these crucial updates could spell disaster for your business.

(If you’re a current Cenetric client, we handle all this for you. Not a client yet? Let us know how we can help you!)

4) Stop using workarounds

We see this a lot when we work with a new client — little things they deal with because “it’s good enough.” Whether it’s a faulty camera that’s ruining your Zoom meetings or a dead laptop battery that means you can’t work on the go easily, making do with bad tech isn’t the way to achieve your goals.

Start investing in new technology before it becomes a big problem. Our team monitors our clients’ networks to watch for 119 different issues, including servers and devices that are about to become inoperable. Regularly backing up data and replacing technology has saved our clients from days of downtime.

Get things in order in the new year

Don’t be too busy to make smart decisions. Make 2024 the year you take care of the nagging issues that stand in the way of your productivity and add frustrations to your day.

Cenetric is ready to help you tackle issues large and small and keep your team working safely and efficiently all year long. From setting up incident response plans to replacing that wonky laptop battery, we want to hear about it. Whether you’re in Kansas City or beyond, Cenetric has the experience to help.