Noel
Rivera

An IT Manager’s guide to a peaceful holiday season

Noel Rivera

Dec 24, 2019

6 min read

Ho Ho Ho! It’s the holiday season again. And for an IT manager, this is going to be a very hectic time at the organization. The bedlam of this season can cause all sorts of a ruckus among the employees and due to the omnipresent nature of the IT department, the IT manager is responsible for solving some of these issues.

Here, we have compiled some of the most common issues faced by an IT manager during the holiday season. Don’t worry, we have also mentioned ways to solve these issues.

Watch out for holiday season phishing attempts

Always be on the lookout for possible Phishing campaigns during the holidays. The staff may receive emails laced with malicious attachments, fake coupon codes, party invites, etc. These are aimed at collecting sensitive personal or corporate information.

Since it is also the end of the year, do take this time to review your email and website policies, guidelines and procedures with your staff.

For you Hexnode users out there, there’s a way to double down on email security by configuring managed domains. This allows you, the IT Manager, to define approved domains. The emails received by the user from outside the defined domains would be flagged as out of domain messages. Plus, the files downloaded from the managed domain can only be opened using managed apps. This can be added as a seasonal policy during the holidays. This helps a lot in warding off possible phishing attempts during this period.

Review the IT policy

As the IT Manager, you should remember to check if the IT Policy in place has any dents that could be fixed. You should take into consideration your current policies and procedures, organizational structure and software and hardware to identify if there are any dents or exposure. This can be done by holding meetings with your staff members, performing a technical audit of the current IT infrastructure implemented in the organization and reviewing any existing documentation regarding the IT policy.
IT Policy

 

Enforce a better password policy

Devices are much more prone to a cyber-attack or a phishing attack during this time. To avert such happenings, set an alert for a change in the password for all devices, ahead of the holidays.

One of the most efficient ways of improving system security is through deploying Two Factor Authentication on all user systems ahead of the holidays. It adds an extra layer of security, along with a strong password.

A holiday policy can be configured in Hexnode MDM to make the staff adhere to strict password guidelines during this time. Ramping up the password complexity or failed login attempt requirements goes a long way into improving device security.
Password Policy during Holiday Season

Stay on top of updates

A few days ahead of the holidays would be an appropriate time to start a system audit and get an idea about any new upcoming software updates. It would allow you to recognize any shortcomings in the current functioning of the staff. Doing such an audit would also help you to brace for any new and upcoming security updates regarding your system.

Updates should be done as quickly as possible when a patch for a possible flaw has been released. When such security patches are ignored, hackers or other malicious entities tend to latch onto that chink in the armor.

Hexnode MDM lets you schedule software updates or push them right away to all the enrolled devices so that devices are up to date and secure.

Check your website for vulnerabilities

Checking for Vulnerabilities in your website is always a great idea, especially ahead of the holidays. Deploying manpower and resources during the holiday season can be hindersome. So, plan and check for vulnerabilities like misconfigured firewalls or malware.

Monitor data usage by staff members

Employees might tend to lose their focus on work during this time. This happens due to an abundance of holiday season content being pumped out on different social media platforms.

Hexnode MDM’s built-in Telecom Expense Management solution helps you cut down costs by setting data usage limits. Wi-Fi, and mobile data alerts, restrictions and per-app limits mean you can keep costs in check without hurting productivity or user experience.

Remember to follow the backup protocol

Cyber-attacks, natural disasters or even simple human error, corporate data is always under threat. These scenarios are unpredictable and hence it’s safe to be prepared. Timely backups are a sure-shot way of mitigating such risks. Not performing prompt data backups might lead to huge data losses. This could turn out to be very costly for your organization. So, don’t forget to do diligent data backups before or during the holiday season.

Always be on the lookout for human error

It is the holiday season and certain lapses, or mistakes are bound to happen from the staff members’ end. As an IT manager try to minimize these as much as you can. Some common errors that occur during the Holiday season include

    • Accidental sharing of corporate data: This is one of the most common blunders that happens in organizations, especially during this time of the year. If your company has a BYOD policy, then the risk of this happening is also high. One of the ways you could bypass this issue is by implementing Containerization. It essentially lets you implement a virtual wall between corporate and personal data in an employee’s device–stopping the accidental sharing of corporate data.
    • Unattended devices: Leaving devices containing sensitive corporate data unattended is a grave security issue. Such mistakes often lead to corporate data being stolen or some sort of malware being installed in that device. During the Holidays, between all the office parties and other functions, devices used by staff members might be left unattended. You can use Hexnode MDM to setup faster inactivity timeouts or enable remote lockdown so that corporate data stays safe.

Now, moving on to a much lighter note, A platform like Hexnode MDM can also be used to surprise and even delight your staff members during the Holiday Season. How? Let’s see.

Broadcast season greetings

Using the broadcast message feature of Hexnode MDM, you can send a message to all enrolled devices. Wildcards help personalize these messages and address individual users directly. This would be a creative way to convey your season greetings with all the staff members in your organization.

Spontaneous wallpaper change

Configuring a new geofencing policy with festive wallpapers would be cool. When an employee enters the geofence, the wallpaper on his/her enrolled phone changes into a seasonal greeting. This would undoubtedly surprise anyone and delight them to no end.

An IT manager in a company nowadays is essentially equivalent to a superhero. Working day in and day out in the shadows, even during the holiday season to protect the company from villains like malware and phishing. But superheroes need a break too. So, follow these guidelines and allow yourself a bit of a break, it’s holiday season anyway!

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Noel Rivera

Technical Blogger @ Hexnode. Existential and Curious.

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