Technology is an ever-changing part of our world today. Right as we seem to get the latest and greatest piece of technology, a newer and smarter model is hitting the market. With the constant changes that technology brings, it can sometimes be difficult to keep up with the issues that can arise. Technology issues can vary in impact, from being as small as a slow network to as large as a compromised computer. To avoid some of these technology issues, it’s essential to learn the most common IT problems that typically take place in a work environment so that it’s easier to control and resolve them.
We sat down with BerganKDV’s IT security expert, Robin Nelson and Technology Solution Leader, Dan Roling, to discuss seven common IT problems for businesses and how to avoid these mistakes.
1. What kind of security hazards are businesses at risk of right now and who is typically targeted?
Network security is considered one the most critical parts of keeping your business safe, having a secure network is important for any sized business, even if your company only has a handful of employees. Hackers don’t discriminate when it comes to attacking your business files and employee data. Sometimes, cybercriminals specifically target small businesses because they know a smaller business might not have a robust security policy or can be breached with as little as a friendly phone call to your staff. Be proactive with your cybersecurity measures by making sure your employees are well-trained in security principles, your company’s firewall is enabled, all company data is backed up, and you’re maintaining the upkeep of your passwords.
2. What are the benefits of a managed IT service provider if you have an in-house IT team?
Having an experienced group of IT professionals on your team is key to reducing security risk. One option to accomplishing this is utilizing managed IT services. Just because you outsource your managed IT services doesn’t necessarily mean you have to get rid of some of the members of your IT department. In most cases, it means your existing IT team members can focus on less technical issues that might be overwhelming for them to tackle on a day-to-day basis and free up their time to take on new projects. An experienced and knowledgeable managed IT services provider can efficiently assist and monitor email and web hosting, data storage, server, and network maintenance, and much more.
3. What are the benefits if having a data backup protocol?
A data backup plan is something every business should have in place, no matter the size of the company. Many issues can cause data loss, from hardware failure to human error, and without a solid backup strategy, you could lose valuable data. Failing to back-up your data can create hefty costs for your business. The costs associated with a data breach and data loss can cost thousands of dollars that could easily be allocated elsewhere.
4. How do businesses manage the security risk presented by mobile devices?
Mobile devices (business or personal), such as smartphones and tablets, can, unfortunately, create significant security and management challenges, especially if they hold confidential information or can access your corporate network. With as much remote work we all do nowadays, a mobile device plan is imperative when assessing common IT problems. Make sure you require all mobile users to password-protect their devices (change them regularly), encrypt their data, and install security apps. This helps prevent criminals from stealing information while the mobile device is on public networks. Since these devices are portable, be sure to set reporting procedures for lost or stolen devices and communicate this to your staff.
5. How can employees use better judgement when utilizing company technology?
Using smart judgment when using the internet is so critical in protecting your company and avoiding the common IT problem of an unsecured network. Ever see something like this?
“CONGRATULATIONS! You’re the 1,000,000 visitor to our website! Click here to claim your prize of $1,000,000!”
Advertisements like this are ripe with malware and other software that puts your computer at a high-security risk. Learning how to judge the relative safety of a website helps avoid those that may harm your computer. The reason that these types of email offers exist is because often times they work in securing personal information. If your organization is lacking in employee security training, they may not know what to do when being targeted by a potential scammer. By properly educating your employees and yourself on security protocols and internet best practices, you can help minimize the risk of a breach. Don’t be the next victim of a scam. Be cautious with the sites you visit and don’t view attachments or click links in emails that you aren’t expecting.
6. What are the benefits to safeguarding company data from employees and vendors?
Although it’s important that employees at your company are equipped with the tools, they need to do their job, there’s no need to give them access to things they don’t need access to, such as network passwords and information. Employees should only be given access to the specific data systems that they need for their specific job duties and should not be able to install any software without permission from you or the IT controller. It’s also key to have on record which employees have access to certain data for basic tracking purposes. Ensuring you know the location of where company data is stored is crucial to protecting it. Do you know for certain what your employees have stored on their company laptops? Monitoring what data your vendors have access to is important as well. More than half of all breaches occur due to third-party vendors, so it’s critical that you know who all your vendors are, what they have access to, and the risk they pose to your organization. Having controls in place for both employees and vendors protects your data from being shared and reduces risk of data breaches.
7. How important is it to have IT procedures in place and how can a managed IT provider assist?
There are certain things you can prepare for when it comes to IT, but not when it comes to a security breach or natural disaster. This is where having a solid IT with a managed IT services team is useful. Outsourcing your company’s IT needs is certainly a big move to make that takes careful consideration and planning. Having trained IT professionals on your side that can develop and maintain IT strategies that align with your company goals and protect your data from cyber threats can greatly prepare you for whatever the future throws your way.
Investing your time in knowing and understanding your office technology is important. The more you know about common IT problems, the better you will be at preventing in the future. If your IT team feels constantly swamped with the upkeep of maintaining security procedures, it may be time to consider a managed IT service provider such as BerganKDV. Managed IT services can save your employees time, your business money, and provide you with remote monitoring for a safer network. If you want to learn more about BerganKDV’s IT services, contact us here or download this checklist of 14 steps your organization can take to protect itself from cyber threats.