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Common Technology Mistakes Committed by SMBs

Posted February 13, 2017 by Dan Madigan

Small and medium businesses, SMBs, due to their size, have vastly different IT requirements and challenges when compared to large enterprises. SMB’s IT resources, staff, and budget in particular are often highly constrained. Here are three of the most common technology pitfalls SMBs fall into when it comes to managing their IT. 

1. Insufficient Support

Many organizations simply go without IT staff altogether, relying instead upon an employee whose love of computer gaming may make him/her the office “computer guru.” These staffers reluctantly “wear the IT hat” and are forced to spend countless hours on IT issues taking them away from their actual responsibilities. Other organizations may depend upon a relative or a friend to provide technical advice or assistance when critical systems fail or accessibility is slow.

Support recommendations: SMBs need knowledgeable, trusted technology partners who are proficient with current technologies and willing to learn the intricacies of their operation. Professional IT management helps ensure a company's technology caters to its specific needs and doesn't result in wasted spending. 

2. Poor Backup Strategies

The second common SMB technology mistake often proves irrecoverable. Despite numerous choices, methods, and options, many organizations fail to adequately back up data and mission-critical applications. Statistics reveal there is a greater than a 50% chance an organization will cease operations immediately when critical data is lost.

Even SMBs that believe their data is properly protected may find themselves at risk. Rarely do they have a solid understanding of exactly what is being backed up or where it is being backed up. Most concerning is how little is known about the recovery process in the event of a system failure, malicious attack, or catastrophic event.

Backup recommendations: Fortunately, small businesses can follow simple steps to securely protect their data. SMBs should work with IT technology partners to ensure the right data and critical applications are being backed up. In addition, technology partners should regularly test backup sets to confirm the data can be recovered in its entirety.

3. Inadequate Security

Over 90,000 new ransomware attacks occur every day. 

SMBs, generally, don't see themselves as targets of cybercriminals, mistakenly thinking, "No one would be interested in our data." As large enterprises spend untold dollars on software to combat cybercrime, hackers are now targeting SMBs, who are much easier targets. At the end of the day, cybercriminals don't care what they steal so long as someone is willing to pay to get it back. 

Security recommendation:  Take a Network Assessment to get a better understanding of your security posture and vulnerabilities. During an assessment, a company could discover Uninstalled security updates, poor firewall and server configurations, outdated antivirus software, insecure password, and more. Once identified an organization can take action to close any security gaps and create policies to ensure they are covered in the long run.

Technology has the power to change an organization for the better but when left unmanaged it can quickly become more of a burden than a benefit. Four Winds can help you protect your network and get more out of your IT. 


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