Let’s face the facts – while technology provides a measurable benefit to business of all sizes, it can be difficult for small business to know how much to budget, and where to invest in technology. With great benefit comes great responsibility, as well. Technology related security has become as important as a business’ physical security. If hackers can find out your financial data and that of your customers, that’s almost as bad or worse than having your storefront robbed.
So where do a lot of small businesses go wrong?
1. No Firewall / Non-Enterprise Firewall: You wouldn’t leave your business’ door unlocked, so why leave your computers unprotected? Having a Non-Enterprise Firewall or worse – not having a firewall in place is like leaving the lights on and doors unlocked while your business is unmanned, for anyone to come in and take or destroy whatever they want to. A firewall controls incoming and outgoing traffic to keep malicious activity out of your network, and it’s absolutely essential for any business.
2. No Offsite Backup and Recovery Plan: Your business’ technology may seem secure if you’ve done everything right, but data disasters can happen to anyone. Does your business have a plan to handle a server crashing, or the accidental deletion of needed data? It’s always a good idea to backup all vital data in case of an emergency, because it’s easier to prepare than to rebuild. It’s even better to have your data backed up offsite, in case of a fire, earthquake, or other local disaster.
3. Integration Issues: So you’ve just implemented new software or hardware that will solve all of your business needs. Do you know if it works with your existing infrastructure? Problems with integration can lead to inefficiencies and waste. This can be avoided by planning ahead. Take a close look at what you’re already using, and ask the right questions before making a large purchase.
4. Outdated Equipment: If your business’ operations don’t directly relate to technology, it’s easy to think you can get away with using old technology. Unfortunately, if you do, you’re probably not getting the best performance or reliability. Even worse, you’re leaving your company’s data at risk, once equipment reaches end of life. Once software updates cease, heightened security risks generally arise.
5. Reactive Instead of Proactive Solving: It seems like a common theme, for small businesses to wait until something breaks to address a problem. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s always easier to plan ahead than to rebuild. Think about the hours of waste that could happen if your entire operations have to halt for a technology breakdown. Wouldn’t it be easier to monitor predictively?
Is your business making any of these common mistakes? It might be time to reconsider your plan, and research the best solutions.