You’ve survived another busy season — congratulations on seeing it through to summer! While it’s definitely time for some much-needed relaxation, the summer is also a fantastic season to start on tech initiatives that have fallen by the wayside this year. Between heightened security threats and the transition to post-pandemic work life, you’ll want to be extra prepared for what the next busy season will throw at your firm. So, yes, while soaking up the sun at the beach is definitely encouraged this summer, so is bolstering your firm’s technology resources. Here are the top five tech projects to jump on this summer:
- Setup Two-Factor Authentication for All Critical Systems
With 81% of security breaches due to weak or stolen passwords, taking this extra step to secure your passwords is well worth the effort. Two-factor authentication ensures that potential hackers can’t access your accounts, even if they’ve swindled your password. It works by sending a secondary authentication method to your phone or email to confirm that it’s really you attempting to access your account. It’s effective for both in-person, remote, and hybrid work environments.
If certain accounts don’t already offer two-factor authentication, you can use external apps, like Google’s Authenticator App, to send you a code when you log in to your devices and accounts. And to up the ante on your firm’s password security, try using a password management software, like LastPass. That way, you can create strong, unique passwords for each app and service you use. It’s estimated that 61% of people use the same password for multiple services, which can lead to stolen passwords and security breaches.
- Email Security Training
You can never be too prepared when it comes to email security. Hackers breach more than 20 million Microsoft accounts every day — an amount that even the company itself admits is unreasonably high. Email security training mitigates the very real risk of confidential information being compromised.
You may consider implementing mandatory email security training in your firm. By requiring employees to complete a course, they’ll be better prepared to identify potential phishing attacks. Email security training is possible via attack simulation training, which emails employees simulated phishing attacks. If an employee opens the email and clicks on a link, they’re directed to a training resource that walks them through the warning signs they missed, as well as how to be better prepared for real attacks should they occur.
- Microsoft SharePoint
Every firm needs a secure, centralized location to store and easily access files. Enter Microsoft SharePoint, a cloud collaboration tool that can replace a file server and other file sharing services. It allows for real-time collaboration on the same document, empowering quicker work processes and less back-and-forth file sharing. SharePoint also enables secure document sharing by keeping all your files secure within the cloud server.
- Hardware Replacements
You replace hardware every year, but this year is a little bit different. With firms heading back to the office after months in lockdown, lead times on computers have reached unprecedented peaks, meaning it’s best to get your orders in as early as possible. Investing in computers with high-end specs tailored to your specific goals will lead to better performance, so be proactive about ordering the latest technology now.
What’s more, investing in new hardware can dramatically increase productivity in your firm. A simple installation of a dual monitor, for example, can boost workplace efficiency up to 40%. It’s also vital to install up to date networking gear in the office (or your home office, wherever you may be). It not only allows for faster connectivity, but also heightened security.
- Practice Management Software
With more and more employees working remotely, it can be difficult to keep track of where things are at in your firm. Using a project and/or practice management software enables you to de-clutter and manage your firm from pretty much anywhere. It’ll give you a finger on the pulse of where your projects stand and where you are in the tax season, as well as any urgent deadlines and tasks that might need attention.
Summer is Calling….
By taking the initiative to work on tech projects this summer, your firm will be better prepared for the busy season ahead. Whether that means replacing your networking hardware or signing up for an email security training program, the best time to start is now. If you’re not sure where to start, feel free to schedule an intro call with us. We’re happy to help you prioritize your technology projects and hit the ground running!