Beware The Risks Of Your Growing Reliance On Tech

Digital technology is taking over the average office and the average modern business in a big way, if that wasn’t already obvious. Our reliance on tech, and increasingly complex forms of it, only becomes clearer as time goes on. But with that reliance also comes the fact that it can be a major vulnerability. Poor management of your hardware, software, and data can lead to a wide range of risks, including security problems, inefficiency, and major cases of downtime. Here are a few risks worth noting and what you can do to fight them.

 

 

The lack of an IT team

We’re going to look a lot deeper into the many different tech problems that can arise in business. However, you’re going to have a hard time responding to any of them if you don’t have an IT team to help you manage it all. Whether you build a team internally or look to outsourced services, you need professional and qualified experience on your side to help you respond to crises and to make better decisions. Not only will your IT team help you keep everything in working order, but they can be highly valuable sources of advice when it comes to further expanding your tech scope, choosing hardware, software, networks, and so on. It’s dangerous to go ahead without a team you can rely on.

 

Stop your hardware from failing you

Though managed services can help you better respond to needs if you’re having problems with your office hardware, you rarely need a computer science degree to make sure that your tech is well taken care of. Neglect to put in place a thorough hardware maintenance schedule and your tech will begin to slow, and be much more likely to fail you at some point or another. We will look at ways to work around said failures, but you can do a lot to prevent them, too, ensuring your PC is kept updated, that your applications are patched, that it’s kept free from dust and dirt, and more. Besides avoiding costly failures and replacements, this can ensure your equipment stays speedier and more efficient than it would otherwise.

 

When your tech goes down

It happens to the majority of pieces of hardware at some point or another, and happens much quicker to those who don’t ensure the proper maintenance of their devices. We’re talking, of course, about equipment failure. When a device simply fails to turn on, it can mean that at least one of your workers is left entirely without the ability to work. Having a responsive IT team that can help get things up and running again is naturally vital, but it could be useful to ensure that your team is ready to respond flexibility to the loss of tech they may normally use. A BYOD policy, for instance, can ensure that your team can continue to work even when their usual tools won’t let them.

 

 

Ensure your team has their tools wherever they are

Not only should you be concerned about losing access to the hardware used to do your work, but the software that’s on that hardware is just as important. Even if you lose access to a device with the resources you need, however, Cloud software solutions might just have your back. SAAS options are increasingly allowing business owners and their team to access the tools they need from any device, any location, and any time, providing they have an internet connection and the right authorization details. As such, continuity of work can be maintained even if your team isn’t always using the same devices, making for a much more flexible workflow.

 

Losing your connection could be the worst of all

Even if you are using Cloud software and your team can use whatever devices they bring to the office, that still leaves you potentially vulnerable if you lose just one thing: your internet connection. There are a range of solutions to this. Some businesses will rely more on remote workers so that losing a connection in-office still means they have team members who can continue their work. However, if you’re not able to be that flexible, you should instead look at acquiring a backup internet connection, instead. Simply put, if one network goes down, you might be able to get up and running on another.

 

The risk of a data breach

If you’re like many modern businesses, then you may have gotten into the habit of collecting and collating data related to the business. Big data can help you develop insights in marketing, sales, customer relationship management, as well as in making internal processes more efficient. However, without a comprehensive data security policy, it can be one of the biggest vulnerabilities your business is faced with. Data breaches are becoming increasingly serious due to the amount of potentially sensitive customer data businesses are storing. Not having a data security specialist protecting your servers could result in heavy fines or even closure of the business following a major breach.

 

 

The challenges of mobile devices

Mobile devices are allowing employees to work more flexibly, and helping business owners manage things no matter where they may be. However, they can also create major security, management, and communication problems. Having a mobile device action plan in place is essential. This includes making sure that any devices that access business data are password protected, having the highest quality digital security apps installed, and that they encrypt their data. Furthermore, you may want to make it clear that any devices used to access business software or data are not allowed to have any unauthorized software on them. It’s easy for employees to end up giving permissions they shouldn’t to apps that may take the data on those devices.

 

Ensuring you can handle your data

Having your data stolen isn’t the only risk of gathering more and more of it. Your data analysts need to be able to access and go through data with ease in order to gather insights that can help transform the business. However, if you aren’t updating the database tools you use to manage that data, it can become much harder. As an analogy, it’s much like having too much inventory in a warehouse. Everything becomes cluttered, it’s much harder to find what you need when you need it, and data can get entirely lost in the process. Make sure you compare SQL databases and data storage solutions to make sure you always have the most effective data management tools at your disposal. Otherwise, your data analysts will find it much harder and slower to do their work.

 

Be better able to spot security threats

As your business grows bigger, its reliance on different IT systems, such as hardware, servers, and networks, will also grow. Multiple systems in the network are going to all produce security logs, which can help your IT team find events that are suspicious and warrant a closer look. It’s important to be able to collect and collate these events across multiple logs. The bigger your security scope, the easier it is for hackers to infiltrate it if it’s not being effectively monitored. Log management systems can help you pull in event logs from all over your scope, helping your team more quickly recognize and react to the symptoms of a breach.

 

 

The risks of staying on legacy systems

It becomes easy to not remember every piece of hardware and software your business relies on, especially as that arsenal just keeps growing over time. Not only are you missing out on the more efficient and better equipped competition that might be on the market, you could be putting your business at some serious risk. When a piece of software or hardware loses vendor support, it also loses security updates. This is why, for instance, Microsoft is encouraging all Windows 7 users to migrate to Windows 10, as they are no longer providing security updates for older OSes. Other risks include licensing non-compliance, which could result in legal fines to the business.

 

A lack of access control

The more software systems and networks you rely on, the more it becomes important to ensure that employees have access to the tools that they need to do their job. However, you should make sure they don’t have too much access to go with it. With every new tool introduced to the workplace, you should take the time to decide what level of access your employees have. For instance, some managers and leaders will need to be giving administrative privileges so that they don’t have to constantly come to you when they need to make access changes for personnel they’re responsible for. Make sure your other employees only have the access they need to data and tools that are relevant to their duties. Furthermore, when an employee leaves a position, make sure that all of their access privileges are revoked.

Underestimating the challenges that can come with a lot of tech is an easy way to get your business in trouble. Follow the tips above and make sure you don’t take on more tech than you can reliably handle.

 

 

 

 

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