Jamie Davis, VP, Education, Product Management, and Quality Control
If the three things that matter most in property are: location, location, location; then the three things that matter most in managing technology are data, data, data. Data is important. I still remember walking into financial institutions 5 years ago and having employees ask me questions like, “If the error message on my screen states I have a virus, is that something I should worry about because I have been clicking cancel on it for the last 3 months?”. With NetComply, situations like this happen much less often because someone is now being notified that there is a virus on the machine. It is no longer left up to the end user to take action on the virus alerts.
So data is important, but data alone is not the answer. The quantity of data is not the key. Data must be usable and in a usable format to be important. Every once in a while someone at Safe Systems will review a third-party Vulnerability Assessment that is filled with “data” but almost none of it in a useful format. The “thud” factor of the report is its most impressive attribute not the content it provides.
Now that Safe Systems has a way to effectively deliver information through our new web portal, TheSafe, our goal is to focus on what data to provide and how to best provide it. We are looking at adding new reports and tweaking older ones to make them more aesthetically pleasing and useful in content and layout. One change is not only showing you machines that have issues, but when possible providing details as to what the issue may be. We have already made this change to our Patch Management report. The latest version of the report provides a list of all machines that have settings or circumstances that are known to cause patch issues. The Managed Services department determined that a majority of the issues they found with devices not patching properly boiled down to a few simple issues. These issues are now listed across the top of a matrix and all machines that meet one of the circumstances are listed down the side. We hope you can now use this last page as a simple checklist to address these issues.
The latest report update is the CAPS report. This report now lists every machine and the status of each application that is updated. Additionally, the end of the CAPS report lists the machines with failures and the failure codes. Again, hopefully this becomes a simple checklist of machines that can be corrected and crossed off.
The next set of reports that we are working on are what we are calling Snap Shot reports. These will provide a weekly or monthly checklist to a specific job function at the financial institution. For example, a weekly admin Snap Shot may provide information similar this this:
Now this is just a prototype but this will significantly speed up the process of identifying the 5 machines that have issues.
There are also plans for a Monthly Admin Snap Shot along with possibly other Snap Shots for an ISO or Operation Management.
So over the next few months, look for the new reports and let us know what you like and don’t like. Make sure to provide us feedback so that we can provide you the data you need to manage your network in the most effective way.