Business Disaster: What Threatens Small Businesses the Most? There are many threats to the integrity of a small business, and not all of them are as dramatic as a cyberattack or a hurricane. Every small business needs to do a risk assessment to determine all the threats that exist that could bring harm. External threats are the ones that get the the most attention. These can be big snowstorms or hurricanes that bring down power lines and network connections. They can also be man-made. A power outage due to a grid failure, or an act of terror. Also in this category are phishing...

Data Protection and Bring Your Own Device to Work BYOD refers to a firm’s policy of allowing employees to use their own personal phones, tablets and laptops for all their work applications.This is a pretty common policy, and it has many benefits, but it brings along risks. How are you addressing these risks? Here are some of the issues raised by BYOD A lost device – If you issue company phones, you have the ability to remotely wipe the unit clean if it is lost or stolen. With employee’s personal devices, do you still have that ability. If not, your data is at...

Are you under the impression that data loss is all about putting up firewalls to protect against evil cyber attacks? Some of the biggest sources of data loss include sloppiness, human error, and just plain forgetfulness. What are some of the unglamorous things that we do every day that leave us vulnerable? Passwords Old or easy passwords are a good first example. Employees set up simple passwords that are easy to crack. More importantly, employees may share passwords, and many often fail to create new ones on a frequent basis. Both of these represent critical breakdowns of good data...

Disaster Recovery Plans: Do You Have One? Disaster recovery and business continuity plans are issues that almost all small businesses fail to think about. More frequently, they decide they haven’t the resources to address such “unthinkables.” If your business was down for 1-2 days or more, what costs would you incur? Lost revenues and lost productivity. These are obvious. You won’t make the money that you would have if you remained open. This is especially true if you provide a service. Services are inherently tied to time, and time cannot be re-created....

Why Small Businesses Shouldn’t Avoid Making Disaster Recovery Plans. Entrepreneurs and small businesses, especially ones that are fairly new, often don’t think about making plans to recover in case of a disaster. However, it is the smallest business that most likely has the fewest resources to fall back on in case of disaster. Why does this happen? It isn’t on an entrepreneur’s radar – The challenge and hurdles of starting out are what drive small business owners. The excitement that comes with getting a new client or releasing a new product are...

Outsourcing? Really. Its OK: How it can save time and money Almost by definition, small business owners and entrepreneurs cringe at the concept of outsourcing. Those who start their own companies like the control and autonomy it provides them. Unfortunately, that preference for control and autonomy may have some bad side-effects when it comes to IT. Small business don’t have the resources to fully support all of their IT infrastructure needs. The present in-house staff is most likely very busy putting out day-to-day fires. One statistic suggests 65% of IT budgets go to nothing...

Run your Business, not an IT Company You went into business because you have an interest and expertise in some particular product or service. You began the firm to offer that product or service, but a dirty little problem came along with that new company. IT requirements. You need equipment, and you need networks, and printers, and data storage to keep the company up and running. As a consequence, you’ve become responsible for managing something you probably don’t care very much about or even understand especially well. Managed Service Providers can be a solution. A...

What is the Cloud: A Simple Analogy You use the cloud and don’t even know it. Do you go to Amazon and create a wish list? Do you have an email account on Yahoo? That is cloud computing. All your emails are stored on Yahoo servers somewhere. They are on physical servers, of course, but they aren’t on your laptop. The advantage is that when you spill your coffee onto the laptop keyboard, you haven’t lost all your emails even if you never backed up your hard drive. ( If you haven’t, shame on you, by the way.) Here is a simple analogy to explain how the cloud...

Loss of Data: Causes and Prevention The adoption of technology from the simplest of matters to the most complex problems has rendered us heavily dependent on it. We love paying our bills minutes before they are due. We enjoy seeing loved ones face-to-face on our computer screens. We can access and print our extremely sensitive records from government and financial websites in a matter of minutes instead of waiting for the mail for days. The time and resources that technology saves are invaluable, but this convenience has a very ugly side. This convenience brings costs, which could...

Be Proactive: How to Avoid Potential Network Failures For small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs), an IT network failure can be devastating because they don’t have the resources of large corporations to bounce back from such disasters. Preparation against such devastation may be the only course for them to avoid failure and survive with the least damage if failure occurs. SMBs must be proactive in recognizing the eventuality of a cyber attack or human error that can cause data loss and disrupt business continuity. This is what needs to be done to help prevent a potential...