Whatever line of business your company is in, you’ll use technology. Whether that is for record-keeping, running databases, or as part of a manufacturing process, you’ll need to ensure you have the right computer system in place.
Not only will you need the right systems in place, but you will also need to consider whether you have the right security in place.
Did you know that 43% of all cyberattacks are aimed at small businesses? This shocking figure illustrates the exact reason why you should invest in the right protection for your small business IT system.
In this article, we’ll talk about how you can set your small business IT systems up and keep them safe with this handy checklist.
Figure Out Your Business Objectives
One of the most significant decisions that you’ll need to make when it comes to the technology that you use is what you will need and how it will be implemented. It is useful to align your IT strategy with your overall business plan.
When determining what technology you need, start by examining your business objectives and decide what you’re trying to achieve. From this, you will be able to work out what type of technology you’ll need to help you meet these goals.
Whatever your objectives, there will be a way that technology will be able to help you achieve this.
For example, one of your objectives may be to improve customer waiting times. This can be met by using AI chatbots on your website, by using a VoIP phone system with auto-attendants, and with email autoresponders.
Evaluate Your Resources
When it comes to implementing your small business IT solutions, you must factor everything in so that you can budget accurately.
Not only will you need to acquire the technology and the software licenses, but you will also need to think about the cost implications involved in having trained staff to install the new technology.
In addition to this, you’ll need to think about the lifetime costs of owning and running the technology. This includes any additional employees who will operate and maintain the IT equipment, as well as all costs associated with servicing, repairing, and upgrading the system.
Protecting Your Valuable Data
All of your valuable and sensitive company data must be safeguarded. You will, no doubt, handle a lot of information that would be appealing to cybercriminals. In addition to the threat of a cyberattack, you should think about protecting your data from a natural disaster.
If your business suffered a power surge due, or even a flood, fire, or any other natural disaster, all of your systems could be destroyed. Any data that you had stored on your systems would be lost forever.
This could include customer and employee records meaning that there may be a direct consequence of this loss of information.
Instead of storing your data on-site, consider looking into cloud-based storage. This will see your data accessible via the internet. That would mean if your IT system was physically destroyed, your data would be safe.
All of your information will automatically save itself to the cloud, too, meaning that there is less risk of someone forgetting to save their work.
You may have legal requirements associated with protecting certain data that you may hold. For example, if you have any medical information on file, then you may be subject to HIPAA regulations.
It is essential that you understand any data protection regulations which apply to your organization and that you put all required procedures in place.
Protect Your Small Business IT System
Your IT security should be of paramount importance. Make sure that you implement a robust cybersecurity system. This should include antivirus protection and firewalls.
This security should extend to every part of your IT infrastructure. If there is one device on your network that is not fully protected, then it is a weak link.
Hire a Managed IT Service Provider
By hiring an IT consulting firm or a managed service provider, you’ll get expert help with your system security.
Some of the services offered by an outsourced IT security company may include:
- Full system audits
- 24/7 system monitoring
- Disaster recovery
In addition to this, having the right support could be invaluable in the event of a ransomware attack.
Invest in Employee Training
Malware accounts for around 35% of all cyberattacks. Often, malware can be spread through emails. It is, therefore, essential that all employees take care when opening emails.
With phishing scams being so prevalent, it can be easy for employees to get duped into clicking links in genuine looking emails. However, the risk of this happening can be greatly reduced by carrying out regular employee training.
Invest in making sure your employees know how to spot a phishing email. Keep them up-to-date with the latest cybercrime risks, particularly those that affect your industry.
Manage Your Passwords
Access to specific areas of your IT infrastructure should only be granted to those that have a need.
Make sure strong passwords are used and that employees are not sharing them with anyone. You should also have everyone change their password every month.
Use multi-factor authorization. By requiring a second form of authentication, you’ll be able to ensure that even if a password is compromised, only those with permission will be able to access your systems.
Keep up With the Latest Technology Trends
Managing your small business IT from a safety and security point of view means that you’ll need to continually review the points in this checklist and look for developments in technology trends.
New equipment and software will help you streamline your processes, while new threats may emerge. Keeping ahead of the game in any business means updating your systems wherever required.
For more informative articles to improve your small business, keep visiting the site.