Can you count on your technology?
In today’s world, it’s difficult to imagine your business without IT. It plays an important role in the way you serve, work with and communicate to your clients.
Although there are a lot of advantages, we shouldn’t ignore some of the major risks. Your networks and systems serve as your silent partner in the operation of your business. Should they fail – and when they do, it’s usually without warning – you’re exposed not just to an IT problem, but to a potentially large business problem.
Below are 10 silent threats that might be quietly undermining your operations now and one quick and easy way to bring these threats under control quickly.
1. Wrong keys in wrong hands
One of the first steps toward security is to be sure the right people have the right level of access to the right applications and data.
2. Bring your own headache
The new “bring your own device” (BYOD) environment brings new headaches to the table. Although they can save the company money, these devices are easily lost and stolen. When they are, any information available on the device, including confidential company and client data may be vulnerable to criminal access.
3. Who’s knocking at your backdoor?
Your business isn’t limited to your own systems. Thanks to cloud services you can increase your capabilities without busting your IT budget, but it’s important to remember that every connection that reaches out from your network may open an opportunity for someone else to reach in. Protect your portals: run an external vulnerability scan that reveals every “backdoor” through which an intruder might break into your network.
4. Weak passwords
Your password protections are only as strong as the passwords themselves. Having no passwords or using obvious ones such as “12345” undermines the very protection you seek.
5. Whoa, back up
If you lost a significant chunk of your data right now, how much business would you lose as well?
Too many businesses run without sufficient policies, plans and procedures for backing up critical data essential to their ability to operate. If your business depends on manual procedures that are executed inconsistently, you’re exposed to unnecessary losses; it’s time to look for automated backup solutions that are always at work – even when employees might forget.
6. Show me the compliance
Sensitive data demands special attention. For most businesses, the law obliges you to preserve client confidentiality and demonstrate that you have processes in place to ensure compliance.
7. Printing (lost) money
Despite high hopes for the “paperless” office, the reality is that businesses spend lots of money printing, faxing, copying and scanning paper documents. Consider the maths: paper plus toner plus maintenance plus employee time etc. It’s possible to bring these printing costs under control, but the first step is to discover who prints what, how often, and why. By monitoring your multi-function printers, you can limit access to authorised users, discourage unnecessary or wasteful usage, and encourage less-expensive options – such as scan to email or scan to file directories that save time and money.
8. “Ghosts” in the machines
There may be “ghosts” haunting your networks – inactive users or inactive computers that remain part of your system, even if they are no longer contributing to your productivity. While the threat may not be immediately obvious, defunct computers represent an expense you don’t need to carry. Worse, inactive users may reflect open accounts (perhaps of people who are no longer employed by your business) that could present security holes for unauthorised access. Run audits that show you what’s active or not, then clean and close these security loopholes by burying the “dead” devices and accounts.
9. When IT can’t keep up, your business goes down
Smart businesses and wise managers protect their critical networks with redundancy: backup servers and routers that are designed to kick in should the main system go down. But the contingency plan is only as good as the processes and practises behind them. If these are not in operation, your business will not maintain continuity in an emergency. To safeguard your business, analyse your network before disaster strikes to be sure that devices such as your designated backup router or alternate domain control are online and ready for action.
10. Hiding in the dark
You want to run your businesses, not an IT department. While IT may not be at the top of your mind, it should never be out of sight. Lack of vision into the true status of your technology, and the quality of your defences against attack or failure, may leave your business vulnerable to disruption, legal consequences and loss of revenue. By implementing regular monitoring and review procedures, however, you can anticipate challenges before they become problems, and take adequate measures to ensure the smooth running of your business.
So, is the technology you rely on adequately protected?
We all depend on our IT network, so it’s wise to make sure it’s adequately protected.
Take a moment to complete this quick self-analysis. If you can’t answer yes to every question, request our FREE network assessment to give yourself and your business the confidence you deserve.
- Have you assigned appropriate access levels and authority to restrict data and applications to the right people?
- Can you create and review permission reports that tell you which devices and personnel have access to which data and applications?
- Are the connections you use to access online services protected against backdoor invasions by unauthorised intruders?
- Are your data and applications password protected and are your employees using sufficiently strong passwords to ensure security?
- Do you use automated backup programs for data protection, rather than random and irregular manual backups?
- If the regulators arrived at your door, are you confident you comply with legal and regulatory mandates for your data?
- Can you monitor and control printing, faxing, scanning and copying to lower costs?
- Is your system cleared of ghosts users and computers that waste resources and expose your network to unauthorised access?
- Can you verify that your data recovery and network restoration plans are operative and ready to work in an emergency?
- Do you have timely and actionable visibility into your IT status, so that you can intercept problems before they interrupt your business?
If you didn’t answer “yes” to all of the above our network assessment will give you insight into the true status of your IT system and advise of some actions you can take to secure your business effectively and efficiently.