Top 5 IT Mistake Small Companies Make
Long, long ago, small businesses did not have to worry about being computer experts or technically savvy – it was just about business. Not exactly the same scenario in 2012, as organizations realize that in order to compete, they must be smart about technology and take precautions in avoiding common IT security and data protection problems.
That being said, while most companies recognize the necessitude of securing important business data, many companies today continue to making costly missteps.
Let’s explore five all-too-common technical blunders, so you can avoid them and save yourself a lot of time and money.
Mistake #1: Not Educating Employees
Implementing a proper IT training plan is essential for small businesses. Specifically on the topic of Security, Security, Security! Develop Internet security guidelines and educate employees about Internet safety, security, and the latest threats. Emphasize the importance of strong passwords (a combination of letters, numbers and symbols (e.g., # $ % ! ?). In addition, it is important to highlight the basics of computer security, such as how to avoid unsafe downloads or phishing, to name two.
Mistake #2: No Reliable or Improper Backup
A power surge. A computer crash. A stolen company laptop. Just one incident could lead to a loss of data. We’ve discussed the vital importance of backing up data in various Realware blogs
, but it cannot be stressed enough!
How important is it you ask? The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) found in a survey that 50 percent of businesses that lost data from a disaster and didn’t have a data recovery plan filed for bankruptcy. Scary huh? Even when backup methods are in place, there is still room for mistakes. For example, a mistake that is made all too often is not testing backups. If backups are not tested regularly, corrupted or incomplete backups may be overlooked until it’s too late.
Mistake #3: Virus Vulnerability
As you probably know, many computers come pre-installed with free trials of security offerings. This will keep the computers secure for a brief time, but many small businesses forget to update the software. As a result, malicious computer viruses can infect a system without the user’s permission or knowledge. This can lead to serious problems, even rendering a system unusable. In the book, The Dark Side of the Internet
, author Paul Bocjj estimates the average virus incident costs organizations $2500 in remediation and data recovery expenses. Thus, it is essential for small businesses to be proactive in installing cloud-based virus protection in order to prevent viruses, spyware, and other Internet-borne attacks.
Mistake #4: Choosing the Wrong IT Support
This can be a tricky subject with small businesses, especially for those just starting out and/or with limited funds. It can be tempting to call in your cousin or friend of a friend, but this is not necessarily a good thing and may end up costing more in the long run to correct mistakes. If you plan on expanding your business, it may make sense to enlist a professional IT company who can ensure things run smoothly. Servers and software need continual care so they can perform at optimal levels.
Mistake #5: Failing to Plan Ahead
This is perhaps the most common error small businesses make when building their technology infrastructure. When you’re just starting out, you may be just fine with just one server, a few desktops, etc. But, you want your business to grow right? Ignoring new technology is a sure way to miss out on innovations that may affect your business. Plan on mapping out your expected growth and preparing for the IT resources you’ll need to accommodate your company in the future. This will save you from being sidelined by disruptions that could prove costly.
Has your small business made any of these IT mistakes?