7 South Florida IT Support Mistakes for Small Businesses to Avoid
South Florida small businesses cannot afford to make costly errors with their South Florida IT Support decisions. For those small businesses that have elected to try to handle their IT needs internally or have taken the least expensive route of only calling an IT fixit person when there’s an emergency, we recommend finding a reliable IT Support company to support your small business every time. The following list contains common mistakes small businesses make with their IT that can cost them.
Running a successful small business is no small task, and IT is one area where you don’t want to cut corners or make silly mistakes. Having a reliable IT support team can make or break your business.
We can help you avoid costly blunders with this guide on common South Florida IT Support mistakes to avoid.
Poor Security Software
Having outdated hardware and insufficient security software is perhaps the biggest mistake you can make.
Older computers not only take longer to boot and are far slower with processing, they are also more vulnerable to cyberattacks. Older computers likewise may be incompatible with newer softwares.
One of the most important features of newer software is the patches and bug fixes that are designed to protect your computer from ever evolving viruses and spamware. Regular software updates on solid security softwares are your first line of defense in keeping you protected from hackers and cybercriminals.
In fact, 43% of cyberattacks target small businesses and only 14% of those businesses are well protected enough to defend themselves against those attacks. This leads to data breaches, business disruptions and consequently unhappy customers.
A solid South Florida IT Support partner like User Friendly Technology Services can help you make sure you have the right hardware and software to protect your small business against cyberattacks. We monitor our clients hardware environments, implement device management strategies and run regularly scheduled software updates. This along with a solid data backup strategy is your best defense against security breaches to your network.
Failures To Communicate
Do you have a clear line of communication between yourself, your IT team and your employees? Are requirements and rules clearly articulated so that everyone understands your objectives and protocols?
Poor communication can lead to inadequate security measures for your small business. This is even more pronounced with staff members working remotely from home on their own personal networks. It is important that you as a business owner are clear in communicating your needs with your IT team, otherwise you may not get all the support you need.
Having A Solid Password Policy
Hopefully you have a strong password policy in place for your staff. No one wants to get hacked for having redundant or predictable passwords like “password123”
Companies naturally put password policies in place to avoid security risks. But even if your team isn’t using the most commonly hacked passwords, you could still be hurting your company with your policy.
A password policy should strike a happy medium between the most basic and obvious passwords and passwords that are long and complicated.
Being extremely strict with password polices or requiring employees to change a passwords too often can backfire. Employees will often write down their passwords on sticky notes or other pieces paper so they can remember them. If they lose the sticky note or people see their password, it becomes a security risk.
The better solution would be to use a password manager application, which allows you to automatically create very complex passwords that are harder to hack and keeps them in encrypted cloud applications. All employees have to memorize is a master password to access all other passwords.
Two-factor authentication is also an excellent step for your company to take to enhance security on important applications that maintain more sensitive company data.
Failure to Backup Data Properly
Too many small businesses believe that by running periodic (or even nightly) backups that they are safe from data loss. Many leave an external drive connected via USB to their server to do this. This is a no-no, as a ransomware attack on your server will automatically translate to the external drive and now all your data is compromised.
Let me ask you this question…if you lost all your business and personal data right now, are you sure you would you be able to restore it? One of the biggest mistakes small businesses make is failing to set up a proper data backup system that covers ALL bases in the event of various types of breaches or possible data losses.
Imagine losing thousands of files and other irreplaceable company and customer data due to a server crashing, a natural disaster, a ransomware attack or theft. For most small businesses, it would be difficult to recover from a situation like this.
Using cloud hosted data backup services, in conjunction with redundant local backups, can help put your mind at ease and allow you to get your business up and running within hours if something does happen.
Talk to your South Florida IT Support partner or team to make sure you have a 360 degree backup strategy in place for your South Florida small business.
No Employee Training
Many businesses fail to consider that the biggest part of IT security comes down to what your employees do. Are you ignoring the human element of your IT security?
As mentioned above, employees may write down their passwords on sticky notes or select the auto-fill function for passwords on their business phone or laptop. Without a clear understanding of IT security risks, most employees have no experience with IT and the dangers of making mistakes like these. This is where ongoing employee training becomes essential in protecting your company data.
Again, invest in a Password Management tool to allow team members to create strong passwords and access them through a single master password. Urge them to never share passwords, even with co-workers. Employee education should also include teaching them about phishing and identity theft.
When working with a South Florida IT support services partner, they should be able to help you set up a clear communication policy and IT security protocols for your business. Once established, you have to ensure that you’re communicating those protocols with your employees and that they are properly trained on how to follow them. What do they need to know about your IT system and strategies, and how does it impact them in their day to day work responsibilities? A solid IT security plan requires the buy-in of your staff to help support your goals.
Using A Paper System
Does your business still rely on a paper system? If you have file cabinets filled with invoices, patient files, financial records or other sensitive information, you may be putting your business at risk.
It is safer today to use a digital system because digital files can be encrypted, making them inaccessible to anyone that shouldn’t be looking at them. Going paperless also means it’s easier for you to back up that information or search for specific information through a query-based system.
Industries such as healthcare, law and finance are the most at risk of getting hacked since they have such sensitive information that is of interest to cybercriminals. If you’re in an industry where you possess sensitive financial or client information you should absolutely be making the move to a digital storage solution.
We are not saying the switch to paperless will be easy, but an experienced IT team can help you through the process and it will be well worth it in the end.
Lacking A Mobile Device Strategy
Do your employees have passwords stored on their company phones? If they were to lose their phone would your company data be protected? This scenario happens more than you might think.
Using mobile devices for work may boost productivity, but you absolutely need to have a mobile device strategy in place if that is the case. Having a mobile security policy in place will protect you from critical mistakes like leaving a device at a public table while they go to order a coffee or use the restroom.
How Can You Fix These Issues Today?
If you want your small business to be safe and successful, you must take IT security seriously. Avoid making any of these common South Florida IT Support mistakes…talk to one of our helpful pros at User Friendly Technology Services today and learn how your South Florida small business can get up to speed with IT best practices without breaking the bank.
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