Understaffed and overworked? Flying solo with the workload of a team of many? Are you spending all your time just trying to keep things running, with no time for yourself or for proactive projects? Are you reading this post on your phone while eating lunch at your desk because you don’t have time to take a break?
Yes to all? Then you are most likely the modern day equivalent of the Lone Ranger. It’s you against the myriad threats to your IT infrastructure – everything from silly user tricks and hacks to systems upgrades and new requests, and it’s all you can do to keep the help desk queue manageable.
You need a team, but management tells you that there’s no budget: “do the best you can”. Well, the ‘best you can’ without any help or tools is not going to get you very far.
Let’s take a look at five technologies that will help you ‘do more, with less’.
One of the most important tasks for any SysAdmin is patch management. Unfortunately, it is the first task to fall behind when an admin is overworked. One person alone cannot keep all the servers and workstations patched without some form of automated service. A patch management application is a must-have. It should allow you to patch operating systems and applications, provide detailed reports on system status and inform you when one or more systems are not up-to-date.
Inventory of assets
You cannot manage and plan ahead if you don’t know what hardware and software exists on your network. An asset tracking solution or service will help you manage licensing, hardware upgrades, what software is installed, versioning and so on. A proper inventory.
Know your enemy. Vulnerabilities are chinks in your armor and the best way to avoid a security incident is to identify a vulnerability before the bad guys do so first. To manage vulnerabilities successfully, you need an application that automatically scans your servers and workstations for potential issues, and helps you to remediate them quickly and automatically.
Vulnerabilities are not the only gateway into your network. Malware straight off the internet is of equal concern. Content filtering is more than blocking naughty websites. It allows you to scan downloads and webpages for malicious content, and block it before it can take down an employee’s machine or, worse case scenario, your entire network. The benefits are obvious – a safer network and improved productivity.
Antivirus alone won’t save your network but it would be foolish not to have a reliable AV product working in the background. Look for features like automatic updates, detailed reporting, and triggered scans to make the most out of this application.
It’s not fun when you’re the lone ranger and expected to perform miracles. However, with a suite of tools at your disposal, little miracles will happen. All the tools above are available as separate products but you can get a lot of the functionality described above in one cloud-based product like GFI Cloud – easier IT management and a great time saver.