As a business, you plan for everything from driving traffic to increasing revenue. However, one aspect that companies often fail to take into account their business plans is IT security. Without the right IT infrastructure and cybersecurity precautions in place, your company is at high risk of losing all your valuable information to technology malfunctions or worse, cyberattacks. And one cyberattack could set your business back in immeasurable ways.
Regardless of your business size, industry, or amount of investment in IT security to date, here are six common information technology mistakes that we see business across the board make, time and time again. Take a look to see which mistakes your company is making, and the steps that you should take to eliminate technology risk for your business.
1. Lacking centralized cloud management.
Recent years have brought about a wide range of IT solution in cloud-based, software-as-a-service (SaaS) form. Many of our clients are subscribed to SaaS offerings such as Office 365 in addition to many others to fulfill their other technology and security needs. However, a major mistake we seen any companies making is not managing all of the solutions they are using from one secure and centralized place. This carries with it the inherent risk of being very fragmented in your technology security efforts. Without a centralized cloud management system, you also lose the ability to create an effective, seamless environment of solutions from which your IT department and team members can access and operate all of your technology.
2. Not backing up properly and/or enough.
We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is: yes, there is a right way to back up. Many companies think that as long as they are backing up in one way or another, then all their bases are covered in terms of making sure that their information is safe and accessible in the event that their computers or databases crash. However, in order for your efforts in backing up to be truly helpful in those times of technology crashing crisis, you must be backing up in the proper manner – both in terms of where and how long you are storing your backups.
When it comes to backup location, you should be backing up to both to the cloud as well as local. We’ve seen often see businesses backing up to either the cloud or local, and thinking they’re covered. Then something crashes or breaks and it is a harsh reality learning that you are only completely covered if you back up to both. Additionally, you should also be determining how long you are storing your backups – or what we in the industry call “backup retention.” For example, if a virus corrupts a specific directory on your server and no one notices for a week, then this data has been completely lost if it has been replaced with the corrupted data. To make sure your data is safe, always back up to be ready for all circumstances.
3. Assuming macs don’t need antivirus.
If you think that Macs are almighty and impenetrable when it comes to viruses and cyberattacks, you are not alone. But unfortunately, you are also not correct. In many cases, companies will need their IT team to go on site to rebuild Macs from the ground up due to system viruses. Just because you are using a Mac, does not mean you don’t need antivirus software. If anything, you should take extra precaution to stay protected against virus attacks.
4. Not properly managing your antivirus software.
So, you’ve purchases and installed some antivirus software – maybe last week, maybe last year – but are you managing it properly? If you are like most companies, then the likelihood of proper antivirus software management is low. It is common for companies to purchase their own software, but drop the ball afterwards, assuming that just having it installed is enough for full coverage and protection. However, it is equally as important to manage the upkeep of your software – from how often it is scanning your computer, to the results of the scans, and maintaining the proper updates to the software and your computer.
Some additional benefits of being more hands-on when managing your antivirus software include: becoming more adept in assessing the viruses that are captured (versus the false positives), and getting a better understanding of the applications that may function slower or abnormally due to the antivirus software interference.
5. Not setting up your IT environment in a scalable fashion.
Many companies purchase one server and believe that one is all they need. However, in setting up the server they have not talked through the infrastructure of getting the solution set up. Whenever you’re setting up an environment, it is important to speak with IT experts to understand hardware and how you can set it up in a way that allows you to scale as you grow your business and team. The perception of many companies is that as long as they get one server, then all their IT needs will be magically handled. But then the server breaks, and they are not sure what to do; which could all be avoided with the proper planning when setting up your IT environment to begin with.
6. Not assigning the proper “server roles” if you have multipleservers.
And speaking of scaling IT environments, it is not uncommon for businesses to invest in multiple servers (be they physical or virtual) or cloud services. However, it is not the number of servers you have, but how you are putting them to use. The most successful IT environments have each server dedicated to a different IT business role. This way, if one server goes down, there is only one attached “role” that goes down with it, keeping the other functions in production.
For example, you have two different servers, one for your CRM database and another for your shared files. If the CRM database goes down, then your team still has access to the file server. Putting multiple roles on one server opens your business up to far more risk in the case of a server crash. Additionally, separating out your servers by role allows for the growth of IT functions, and ultimately, IT and security scalability for your business.
7. Not properly planning for disaster recovery.
IT is a production that needs to be constantly working, with effective measured through uptime and downtime. But how do you keep this production running and what happens if the production breaks? A company must have a strong understanding of how much downtime (which translates into lost revenue) it can endure. Answers to this, coupled with a strong IT foundation, are the recipe for success when it comes to recovering after an IT disaster.
8. Minimize Business Risk with IT
Cyberattacks happen. Systems crash. Computers break. Now that you’ve seen the most common mistakes that put your business at risk, take control of your IT and eliminate the risk. With the right IT infrastructure and team in place, you’ll be able to respond in a timely manner to the inevitable technology breakdowns. As a result, you leave your business less vulnerable to the possibility of lost revenue (due to downtime), stolen company data, or any other major IT malfunction.
Interested in exploring how you start setting your business up for success with a secure IT environment? Let us know. Our team of IT professionals is here to get all your technology questions answered.