Business Risks. Did You Know?
Your business depends on intelligence. But can you count on your technology? You may not be in the intelligence technology business, but it’s probably impossible to imagine your business without IT. Today, computing technology plays a vital role in the way you serve, work with, and communicate to your clients. Thanks to advances that have made technology more powerful yet less expensive, even the smallest practice can enjoy capabilities – in everything from marketing and sales to delivery and fulfillment – that were once the sole domain of large enterprises. But today’s big IT advantages come with major risks. Your networks and systems serve as your silent partner in operations. Should they fail – and when they do, it’s usually without warning – you’re exposed not just to an IT problem, but to a potentially large business problem.
Risk #1: “Ghosts” in the machines
There may be “ghosts” haunting your networks – inactive users or inactive computers that remain part of your system, even if they are no longer contributing to your productivity. While the threat may not be immediately obvious, defunct computers represent an expense you don’t need to carry. Worse, inactive users may reflect open accounts (perhaps of people who are no longer employed by your business) that could present security holes for unauthorized access. Run audits that show you what’s active or not, then clean house – and close security loopholes – by burying the “dead” devices and accounts.
Risk #2: Who’s knocking at your backdoor?
Your business isn’t limited to your own systems. Thanks to access to outside servers and systems, you can leverage potent tools like Gmail and Dropbox to communicate with customers, share files and more. While these cloud services increase your capabilities without busting your IT budget, it’s important to remember that every connection that reaches out from your network may open an opportunity for someone else to reach in. Protect your portals: run an external vulnerability scan that reveals every “backdoor” through which an intruder might break into your network.
Risk #3: Weak passwords
Your password protections are only as strong as the passwords themselves. Having no passwords – or using obvious passwords such as “12345” – undermines the very protection you seek. Yet employees often fail to establish passwords or, when they do, frequently use ineffective ones. Review your passwords’ strength to identify weak spots any unauthorized user could punch through.
Risk #4: Whoa, back up
If you lost a significant chunk of your data right now, how much business would you lose as well? Too many businesses run without sufficient policies, plans and procedures for backing up critical data essential to their ability to operate. If your business depends on manual procedures that are executed inconsistently, you’re exposed to unnecessary losses; it’s time to look for automated backup solutions that are always at work – even when employees might be forgetful.
Risk #5: Show me the compliance
Sensitive data demands special attention. In many businesses, the law obliges you to preserve client confidentiality – and demonstrate that you have processes in place to ensure compliance. The best way to prepare for a regulatory audit is to run regular compliance audits of your own that allow you to take corrective actions before your operation is called into account.
Are you sure your IT is a sure thing?
We all depend on IT. Given the stakes, it’s important our confidence is well placed. Are you sure the technology you rely upon is adequately protected? In our experience, nine out of ten companies have undetected vulnerabilities that could lead to data disaster.