Today's schedule: Finishing up 2014's jobs, planning and preparations

Today is the 2nd day of 2015. Not wanting to slack back, we are going to finish some overdue customer jobs that got delayed due to things cropping up (like upgrades?) and the rudimentary pause while the year was changing.

Sidestory time: At the exact moment the countdown for the 2015's arrival was happening, one of our sysadmins was peering over some server logs, trying to find out why the synchronization between the primary and the secondary systems didn't go as planned. As the countdown reached zero, there were the usual festivities. He heard a bit of noise, as if someone was trying to get his attention. Not a loud noise, someone was actually talking directly to him. He turned and was greeted with a "Happy New Year!" cheer. "Uh...what? Oh yes". That's the rudimentary pause. True story.

Back on the subject at hand. There are some unfinished customer jobs that need to be taken care of. Some hardware, some software. That will take up most of our day. As soon as the hardware ones are finished (Editor's note: hardware needs to go TODAY!) a few hours will be dedicated to taking care of the few software related jobs (Editor's note: never say few, you are making things worse). After that comes the dull part.

2015 will bring some hardware upgrades. We need to start planning on how to go about implementing them, and the hardware that needs to be stocked beforehand. A couple of customer facing servers will be upgraded to newer, beefier , shiny, "my preciousss..." (Editor's note: you are drifting off) hardware. This will allow us to raise the bar on the services we are offering. We are working on creating a new control panel for our hosted website clients, and this will tie in to that grand scheme.

Towards the end of the day we'll start preparing for our yearly security audit exercise. Every year (actually daily) we collect a big, no, huge, no, GIGANTIC volume of data related to the security of our systems and networks. Using that GIGANTIC volume of data, we perform a security exercise on the assumption that our systems have been breached without us noticing. Logs will be scoured over, coffee will flow abundant, cursing is mandatory procedure, eyes will turn red. The intruder is somewhere in there, got to find him! Reminder: THIS IS AN EXERCISE. We might get carried away a bit on our exercises, but we are simulating the real world scenario of a security breach. We ought to take them seriously.

As soon as the security team finishes playing their wargames, the GIGANTIC volume of data will be sanitized (not using soap mind you, sensitive personal data will be removed) and added to our collection. We use past years as a reference to spot trending attack sources, malicious users and bad hosts performing slow-lorry type attacks (attacks missed by automated systems because they are so small and/or carefully timed not to cause suspicion).

The exact date for the exercise has not yet been determined. It's usually done on a "TODAY! READY, SET, GO!" schedule. Helps us develop a habit of staying always on the alert for security incidents.