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As most of the world gets ready for a holiday break, many companies will be starting their IT change control freezes to ensure nothing breaks during a period of reduced staffing.

No one wants to return from the annual office party and find a last-minute change has brought their infrastructure to its knees.

But with the holiday season comes a fresh set of challenges which need consideration:

The “Holiday” Shift

As people start disappearing out of the office on shopping trips for presents and traveling to be with their families, making sure of a successful handover to the holiday support team is key.

Just as you wouldn’t leave your presents unwrapped under the tree, making sure that the state of the current infrastructure is documented and up-to-date makes a big difference – if you’re handing over your change management systems to on-call teams over the holidays, make sure it’s wrapped up neatly (bow optional!) for them!

The Emergency Change

You’ve planned all your infrastructure changes to wrap up completely before key staff members have booked their holidays, and all the testing and initial deployment went as smoothly as you’d hoped… but sure enough, after a few days of “real world” use, an issue occurs, and the need to roll back looms its ugly head.

Managing emergency change is a reality of any business, and documentation of the process is important too. That’s why file integrity monitoring can really help by providing both a reference point for historical states (before the upgrade) and after any emergency change, greatly simplifying both the maintenance task itself and the paper work afterwards.

Making New Year’s Resolutions

Many of us write New Year’s resolutions, and most are aimed at self-improvement, so fortunately there’s plenty of advice online on making a resolution that you’ll actually stick to. (Cutting back on mince pies works well for me at least until the next Christmas holiday!)

And better still, most of this same advice can apply to your security posture, too:

  • Keep your resolution simple
  • Make a resolution that can be tracked
  • Hold yourself accountable

These same philosophies are true for any foundational controls strategy, so why not add a New Year’s resolution about your security practices, too?