Many IT professionals, in-house or outsourced, are so busy fixing problems that they do not have time to check daily tasks. Here is a beginning list of some items to check.
Just like pilots perform a pre-flight check before every flight, every morning someone needs to spend 10 minutes verifying items such as:
- Backup report(s) – check for any errors in the logs
– If the errors can be corrected by excluding files that do not need to be backed up anyway, then exclude those files and folders
- Operating system and application high priority security patch status
– See list of machines needing updates
– If a machine needs patches, they need to be applied as soon as the patch can be tested
– Hopefully all patches are tested and applied the same day they are released!
- Anti-Virus and Anti-Spyware
– All machines have scanned all files within the last 24 hours – or on whatever schedule you use
– All machines have an updated signature file and Anti-Virus program version
– You decide how often remote users need to connect to be checked: daily, every 2 days, etc.
- Appliances and servers used for Intrusion Detection Systems / Anti-Spam / Web Filtering / etc.
– Software firewall program version
– Any errors or messages that need attention
- RAID array utilities – verify integrity of RAID arrays
- Main Firewall error log
- Event viewer log consolidation tool
- Any other appropriate checks
Moreover, even better than having someone check these manually, is when each service automatically sends a short and complete report via e-mail to an IT professional every single day.
You may choose not to check every single item, and you may choose to add even more. Just please make yours a conscious and informed choice.