To succeed in today’s business environment, technology-based companies must deal with multiple issues, including cyberthreats, head-to-head competition, and regulatory compliance. That’s why it’s so important to keep your technology infrastructure up-to-date—and a technology audit is the best place to start. Once you’ve completed the technology audit, you might be wondering how to prioritize closing your technology gaps.
If you don’t have an IT background, the results of a technology audit can be hard to understand. You might be a bit overwhelmed by the number of things that need to be refreshed or replaced, and you might not know where to start. Prioritization and the stoplight approach are particularly useful in this situation.
The Stoplight Method
The stoplight method is simply a way to categorize gaps or vulnerabilities into three groups based on severity: red for high risk, yellow for moderate risk, and green for low risk.
RED: Address the highest risks and vulnerabilities first
Since most organizations can’t address every problem at once, it’s important to focus your attention and resources on the most pressing issues first. Any technological refresh should prioritize addressing the most severe infrastructure vulnerabilities.
High-priority vulnerabilities that must be classified as RED include:
- Backups that do not work
- Unauthorized network users, including ex-employees and third parties
- Login attempts and successful logins by users identified as former employees or third parties
- Unsecured remote connectivity
- A lack of documented operating procedures
- Insufficient multifactor authentication
- Automated patching system failure
- Outdated antivirus software
YELLOW: Then focus on gaps that are not urgent
There will be issues that must be addressed, but it is best to handle them after you have dealt with the most pressing matters. It may be acceptable to allow these medium-priority gaps to exist in the short term, but be sure to think about them when planning and budgeting for future technology updates.
GREEN: If your budget allows, address these non-critical suggestions
These are the lowest-priority issues you need to address. You can focus on them after you have fixed the high and medium-priority vulnerabilities.
The Importance of Prioritizing Gap Closure
If you prioritize gaps and close them systematically based on severity, you can avoid spending money unnecessarily on less critical issues. In other words, prioritization is advantageous for budgets.
Furthermore, you can maintain uptime by prioritizing gaps in your IT infrastructure before refreshing, as not all components will be down at the same time.
Looking for advice on how to prioritize closing your technology gaps? Our IT consulting services team is always here to help.