Technology is great for business. It now plays a major role in most businesses because of it’s ability to save money and increase productivity.
Tech and IT helps employees across all areas of a business. New applications and software have had massive impacts on business processes.
These advantages do come with risks. Think of technology as a business partner. To often it is treated like a silent partner because a business lacks the resource to continually monitor and maintain it. When tech is left to run in the background things will go wrong.
Should it fail its not just an IT problem it becomes a business problem. Here are 5 ‘silent’ IT risks that are putting in your business in danger.
Your running a business not an IT department but whilst IT may not be top of your mind, it should never be out of sight. Your technology will need regular monitoring. This means you will be able to anticipate challenges before they happen.
A common problem we see with IT infrastructures is they don’t evolve as a company grows. Problems occur when a business grows and new technology is bolted on as it’s needed. Remember to take time to think what effect business growth will have on your technology and try to plan ahead.
Of course, in a small business environment this can’t always be possible so don’t be afraid to get help if you need it.
Password protection is only as strong as your passwords themselves. We’ve all heard the advice to avoid obvious passwords but it’s still being ignored. The NHS was victim of a massive cyber attack in early 2017, yet a new report says they are still at risk of cyber attack because staff are using very weak passwords.
Weak passwords leave your business at risk. The modern cyber criminal often has access to cracking software that can decode short passwords in seconds. Even if that equipment is not available passwords like “123456” or “password” can be guessed even by a novice.
Review your staff’s passwords strengths and identify weak spots that can be exploited by hackers. Use longer passwords that incorporate a variety of numerical, uppercase, lowercase and special characters wherever possible.
If your business lost a large chunk of its information, how much would it effect the company? It’s vital for businesses to protect their data. A recent Gartner study shows 43% of businesses experiencing a “major loss” of computer records were immediately put out of business, and another 51% permanently closed their doors within two years.
Backing up data is vital for all businesses but your work doesn’t end there. Once you are backing up your data you need to continue to test your backup processes. Make sure you are continuing to backup the right data. Over time the information important to your business can change. Or it can grow, so your backup storage maybe too small to store all that information.
Backing up your business information is important to the survival of your business. When setting up your data backup speak to a specialist to make sure everything is done correctly.
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
BYOD, allowing employees to use their own devices such as phones and tablets for work, is great for increasing productivity and lowering costs. There are issues that come with it though. These devices are open to loss or theft. Any information available to that device will become vulnerable to unauthorised access.
Consider using data encryption or remote data wiping to protect data access from lost or stolen devices. The best solution is defining a clear BYOD policy. A comprehensive policy educates employees on device expectations and allows companies to better monitor email and documents that are being downloaded to employee-owned devices.
With GDPR on the horizon many UK businesses are facing large financial penalties because employees are ignoring company policies around data.
Research from Sharp has identified “that 1 in 12 office workers (8%) has had access to confidential information that they should not have had, and nearly a quarter (24%) admit to storing work information in the public cloud even though they are not permitted to.”
Run regular compliance audits that allow your business to take corrective actions before any compliance issues can result in fines.
Resources may mean that technology just runs in the background but not being aware of these risks and others means your tech can become a ticking time bomb.
IT and its infrastructure is important to the success of a business. It is why so many companies who lack the time or resources to manage their technology seek help with their IT.
If you follow these tips they will help you keep a closer eye on the IT threats that can threaten your business. To discover other IT risks that are a threat to your business, download and read this free guide.