I hear it every day, excuses why small businesses deal with sub-standard IT services and out of date technology. What makes it ironic is this is a hole in the bucket where profits are leaking out of their companies. “It’s too expensive to update our website”, “What’s the big deal if my anti-virus is out of date”, “I don’t need a firewall, my cable company provides one with the service”, “Do I really need to continue maintenance on my router, what for?” and on and on. Whah Whah Whah - your killing me!
Ignoring all of these problems can have a lasting impact on your company.
Why it Damages Business Reputations and not just yours.
One reason why it's essential to protect your network, is because it doesn't just affect you, but your business and its reputation as a whole.
Lets take a look at some real life examples of problems that have plagued small businesses we have been called into help.
Out of date Anti-Virus definitions
Company A buys cheap consumer grade PC’s at the local big box retailers, they come with a free 90 day or even one year license to the consumer anti-virus program. The license runs out and the “nag screen” is repeatedly ignored until the user finally removes the program from the computer. The result. No protection from virus and malware infections on this machine. Every day new variants of malware and viruses are released into the wild and keeping AV definitions up to date is a real problem. The SANS institute has some helpful suggestions in their white paper on the subject. .
END RESULT: you can infect your companies network as well as your customers and prospects.
Disk Full Conditions
Your IT vendor has been telling you that your email server is full or you have exceeded the limits of your online email plan for the last 6 months. You have been working with him to clear just enough space to keep it going rather than invest in a new server or at least a larger hard drive. What you don’t realize is that every time your server gets full or you exceed the limits of your online mailbox storage is that your customer and prospects are getting a bounce message and you might not even know its happening.
END RESULT: Your company misses important communications with your customers and prospects.
Out of date Website Software
In “Aught 4” you paid a local website designer to build you a website on Wordpress, Joomla, Homesite or whatever and you haven’t touched the site or its underlying software ever since the golden age. What you don’t realize is that a Chinese hacker has installed a malicious payload in your website software so that every visitor to your website gets a bomb dropped on their PC and they infect their companies network. Even worse that just infecting customers and prospects networks, Google also turns against you and warns everyone searching for your company that your site is harboring malware and they should steer clear.
END RESULT: Your company looks like a joke, prospects today aren't going to the Yellow Pages looking for vendors, they search the internet. You are what you look like on your homepage.
Phishing and your ill informed users.
Having never taken the time to educate your users they are your companies biggest problem as far as information security goes. They are click happy and see every Fedex and EFax email as an important message that they need to click on. One person in accounting, clicks on a malicious email and infects your company with the crypto-locker ransomware. Because he or she has access to the financial shares on your network all your financial and HR data is hopelessly encrypted with crypto-locker. To make matters worse, sally in the front office who has been “changing the tapes” every day to get your data backed up was never told that the red light on the tape drive means there is an error on the unit.
END RESULT: Encrypted data resulting in a total loss and no valid backups for the last 10 months. Could be the end of your business.
Many customer think they have spam protection and most of them do have some sort of spam protection but 90% of that spam protection is inbound to protect your companies mailboxes and your users but many companies have nothing to protect themselves from embarrass themselves from having an infected user spam everyone in their address book. If a user in your network gets infected with something everyone in their address book is sent a spam message in order to infect more and more computers.
END RESULT: Your company is labeled as the spammer and the company that took down their network.
Overall, this is why it's important to look at the big picture. Protecting your network isn't just essential for you, but for your customers, and employees as well. For more information on how a qualified IT managed services firm can help your company, contact us today at PICS ITech. We work with our customers to make sure the critical things are taken care of in your companies IT environment and you are using technology to its fullest to increase profits and improve operational efficiency.