The IT-systems nowadays are the vital part of any small and medium-sized business. For most owners and managers it is the part of the business that they worry about the most because most of the times they do not understand all peculiarities connected with the computer networks. There are also many horror stories about what system failures may cause.
Of course the industry itself is to blame – it offers a lot of bad rumors and almost no information of how to avoid problems or increase the reliability of IT infrastructure. Here are some key moments that will help you to plan your work and to free yourself from most wide-spread problems.
1. Do the backups of critical data on daily basis. Every day! Without exceptions. The number of organizations that fail to do this is great. Only 23% of organizations do everyday backups of their data and less than 50% of organizations do them every week. There are a lot of problems that may lead to the loss of data.
2. Check your backups regularly. Often it is not enough to do the backups. In most cases the backups are made correctly but sometimes when the critical moment comes and there is the need to restore your data from backup, there is the case when the backup has been done not correctly. It may be corrupted or there may be some data missing. Check the correctness of backups and mind the regularity.
3. Update your antivirus and enable firewall. Most companies use no antivirus at all, use products with expired licenses or just disable antivirus program. This all makes business vulnerable to viruses that may be spread through emails, spam, different downloads or website visits. The files that are corrupted by viruses are not only harming your business, but may be even spread among your clients and contacts and this will influence your reputation in the end. Roughly, 40% of representatives of small and medium business are very convenient aim for hacker. There are even chances that managers of business are unaware of hacker attack. Hackers often search for open and vulnerable ports that they may use to get into the system and to put malicious code in it and harm files. This is why it is needed to make backups regularly. You should also install security patches regularly, change passwords, especially after some employees quit.
4. Monitor the hard drives of server. Overloaded hard drives may cause many problems – from server crashes to problems with email sending. Regular monitoring therefore may save on these problems.
5. Check critical logs often. The problems do not appear at once. Usually they develop over the time and become worse, causing more serious problems. Frequent check of your logs may allow to see the problem that you haven’t seen before and to prevent it from becoming critical and doing harm to your business.
There are many ways to manage your IT network. You may choose one of your employees to look after it. Also you may hire some IT specialist to do it for you. It doesn’t matter. Just make sure that someone takes responsibility for the tasks we outlined here and they are done flawlessly. This will help you minimize the risks and the chances that your systems will fail. Of course these five principles are not everything you will have to encounter, but they will help you to set a good basis for future fruitful work.