“Who is in charge of your IT network?” seems like it would have an obvious answer. However, companies that do not have a full-time IT team often do not really have anyone in charge of their IT network. The network was set up and is left to run on its own. This is risky for any company that relies on its IT network to conduct business.
Networks can work reliably for a year or more after setup, but having the 'we'll just fix it if it breaks' attitude can leave your business very vulnerable. There are three primary risks:
Security vulnerabilities are regularly found and hackers frequently exploit them. If no one is regularly applying patches and updating anti-virus software, your network is vulnerable to hacking. In order to eliminate these security vulnerabilities, regularly update anti-virus software and patch other software to protect against known security issues.
If appropriate controls are not in place (something that is common in an unmanaged network), an employee with a little tech savvy and curiosity could access sensitive company information, such as other employee’s salaries or company financials. You can prevent this by only providing appropriate levels of access to your network and servers.
Backup systems can fail, whether it is one week or or 5 years. The big problem is that many companies don’t find out until they attempt to retrieve data, such as when a server crashes or data is accidentally deleted. At that point, it is too late to fix the problem. So, regularly check backups with test retrievals to make sure the data you think is getting backed up really is.
Whether you use an internal resource or an outsourced IT provider, it is important for your business to have someone manage your IT network and minimize your risks.
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