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Mistakes that Small Businesses Make when it Comes to IT

Over the years we have noticed small businesses tend to make certain mistakes when it comes to their technology. Businesses are relying on their IT systems more than ever, so it’s more important to have these systems managed effectively, be secure and up to date. Here’s a look at these common mistakes and how business owners can avoid them.

Back-up: Failing to back-up, failing to back-up regularly, and failing to check back-ups is something that we have seen way too many times. Tape back-ups and physical removal of data tend to have a high margin of human error, tapes can also be lost, damaged and unreliable. The Gartner Group has stated that about only 50% of tape back-ups restore successfully.

Not having a well thought out backup strategy could have dire implications for your business. Let alone the incredible data loss and downtime, recovery can be incredibly expensive.

Work with your IT Provider to develop an effective backup and recovery strategy and look at automating the backup process to remove the potential implications of human error.

Anti-Virus: Viruses are an ever increasing threat. Relying on employees to manage their own anti-virus software on their workstations could compromise your network. Just like the manual back-ups, the risk of human error can put a business at greater risk. It could simply take one of your employees to avoid updating their anti-virus because they forgot or didn’t bother to make your business that much more vulnerable and open to threats.

As the number, the varieties and types of threats increase, so do the costs to recovery after virus exposure.

Firewall: Having a robust firewall is undoubtedly integral when it comes to protecting your network and decreasing its vulnerability to intrusion. What we have seen too many times are businesses that stick with the firewall that came with the router that they had purchased from a local computer store. What they didn’t realize is that these store bought purchases tend to be rudimentary firewalls, not providing business grade protection.

With the level of sophistication growing and hacking, having basic, not properly managed and configured firewalls could put a business at a huge risk.

Up to date Hardware and Software

Having unreliable hardware can be nuisance but it can also end with the company spending more money on maintenance and support than it should. On average, PC’s have a shelf life of 3-4 years and going beyond that will typically lead to greater spend on support and repair of those systems. Older hardware can be inefficient, create employee frustration and increase downtime likelihood.

Software licensing can seem complex to many businesses, so relying on an IT Provider to guide and identify what they need and don’t need can go a long way. For example, some organizations do not understand the differences between OEM, retail and corporate licensed software. Because of this, many have put themselves out of compliancy and have pirated software. Putting your business in a vulnerable position where you have illegal software could put you at risk of an audit, with the risk of receiving fines if your software is not properly licensed.

Businesses can protect themselves against software licensing errors penalties, by working with an IT Service Provider that can carefully document software license purchases and their deployments.

A you can see, there are many mistakes that we have run into along the way when working with small businesses. These are common mistakes that can be managed and rectified by an IT Service Provider. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the above, contact us, we would be happy to help!

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