System changes put organizations at risk

IT is an ever-changing and adapting part of any business. But the way companies manage these changes could be putting their organizations at risk, a recent study has found. 

The 2015 State of IT Changes Survey, conducted by Netwrix, found that 70% of organizations make undocumented changes, putting their systems at risk of cyberattacks.

This despite the fact that 60% of IT organizations claim they have change management controls in place and 80% try to document all the changes they make.

Change without records

Any undocumented change made to systems can cause serious inefficiencies or put systems at risk. Consider that:

  • if changes are made without notifying others, it increases the chances of errors being made
  • undocumented changes can lead to problems with patching or updating systems, and
  • when employees leave your department, they make take the knowledge of these changes with them, making it more difficult on whoever replaces them on the team or their co-workers.

And while most (83%) of organizations say that they’ve never had a data breach or other security incident as a result of undocumented changes, there can be serious fallout from these events. According to a the survey, two-thirds (67%) of respondents have had system downtimes result from incorrect or unauthorized changes.

Organization size matters – but it shouldn’t

One of the best predictors of whether an organization had change management controls in place was the size. While 89% IT departments of 11 or more techs had systems in place, just 49% of those with two to five employees did.

And in IT departments of one, only 32% of organizations tracked changes made to systems.

It’s understandable that smaller departments may not think it’s entirely necessary to have formal processes – if you have a small, tight-knit bunch, you can always just ask the person next to you about anything you’re unsure of.

But creating and maintaining solid records is the best way to be sure that little changes don’t result in big headaches.

Whether you use tracking software or just make notes on a shared document, this little step can have a big impact on productivity and uptime.

Make Smarter Tech Decisions

Get the latest IT news, trends, and insights - delivered weekly.

Privacy Policy