When it comes to IT, the golden rule is to prepare for every eventuality. No matter how careful you are, something can and will go wrong. From a fried computer just before a client presentation to a data breach on your server, IT issues are legion. Some are relatively minor and will cost you nothing more than a headache, but others are potentially disastrous and could push your business into administration. In this article, we are going to examine how to plan for IT disasters, so you are not caught sleeping on the job.
Your first task is to perform a risk assessment. Do a full evaluation of your IT department, make a list of your assets, and consider what could potentially go wrong. Use a traffic light system to color code each item in terms of risk to the business, with green = no-risk and red = high risk.
Next, look at how you can minimize your risk and, if possible, eliminate it altogether.
Your first task is to educate your employees on the dos and don’ts of managing their devices and software. Start with passwords, as this is one area where all businesses are vulnerable. All it takes is one lazy employee to not use a password and then download an infected third-party application on to their company laptop. Before you can blink, your network is locked down by ransomware and some guy in Nigeria is demanding $10k in return for the unlock key.
Implement a protocol advising employees on password protection for their company computers, tablets, and smartphones. Ban all personal devices from accessing the company network if you have sensitive data on there.
Remind employees about the dangers of leaving devices unattended on public transport or in cars. If devices contain sensitive data, have risk management plans in place in case a device is lost or stolen.
Data backup is another area neglected by many businesses until the worst happens, and they lose everything in an IT meltdown. Sign up for a cloud backup service. Ensure all internet-enabled devices are connected to the backup service and that they are set up so that backups run in the background daily. This will ensure that all data can be restored should a device fail, or your office burns to the ground.
GDPR legislation has forced a lot of companies to re-examine how they protect client and customer data. Penalties for non-compliance are steep, so it is in your best interests to protect sensitive information at all times. For example, if you hold client data on a server, make sure this data is encrypted.
IT Backup Solutions
Unless you have a bespoke IT department, it is sensible to have an IT troubleshooter on a retainer, so they can ride to the rescue when something goes wrong. Look for a company that can handle everything, one that offers a pickup service for problem assets, and that you can trust.
Don’t stick your head in the sand. Sooner or later something will go wrong. How you handle it is critical to your company’s survival.