Finger touching a tablet PCThe end of the year is the perfect time to perform some critical system upkeep and maintenance.  The following tasks are important in keeping your company running smoothly and securely.

1. Test your backup and disaster recovery plans

We’ve discussed backup strategies and disaster recovery plans in prior posts, but the end of the year is a great time to test the policies you’ve put in place.  Take some time to verify that you can retrieve data that you’ve backed up, and that everything restores and runs correctly.  You’d rather know now if there’s a problem with the backup, not when you’re looking for a critical file.  Similarly, be sure to test any disaster recovery scenarios you have.  This testing might be more cumbersome, but knowing that your business will function in the event of an emergency or disaster is worth it.

2. Change your passwords

It’s a good practice to periodically require users to change their passwords. Make year-end one of those times. Ensure that you have a good password policy in place, and that it is enforced consistently throughout your organization. Long, complex policies can be great for security, but be careful not to make them too hard for your employees to remember.  If everyone’s password ends up on a sticky note underneath their keyboard you may need to rethink your policy.

3. Revisit your Written Information Security Plan

Massachusetts has strict requirements for all businesses that retain personal information about MA residents which include having a written, comprehensive security program. Chances are your IT or office environment has changed over the year.  Update your security plan to accommodate any new changes you’ve implemented, or to remove any outdated policies. The state also requires you to provide annual training to all your employees covering your security policies and procedures, so if you haven’t had your training yet for the year make sure to get it on the calendar.

4. Review your software licenses/contracts

You may have already evaluated your licenses while preparing your budget, but if not then now is the time.  Your staff level or IT needs are constantly changing, so be sure you’re not paying for licenses or old software you’re not using, or make sure to purchase more licenses if you’ve outgrown what you had. Annual renewals or maintenance contracts can be easy to “set and forget”, so don’t get stuck paying for something you’re not using.

5. Make a departmental resolution

Take some time to reflect on what went well and what didn’t for your IT efforts in the prior year.  Identify at least one area where you’d like to change or do better in the upcoming year and make it a priority. Keeping your IT efforts fresh and exciting will have a positive impact on your company.

Related year-end posts:

If you have questions or would like to learn more, please reach out to Genesis HR Solutions at or 800-367-8367.

Genesis HR Solutions is the premier PEO provider for Massachusetts based businesses.