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As businesses scale their operations, they're likely experiencing growing pains in adapting to new technology standards and processes. But if companies are unable to smoothly transition and implement regular updates to network and software, then it can be costly. Updates are necessary to resolve poor network security, outdated software, access control, disaster recovery and storage limitations on cloud infrastructure. If there is not a quarterly and yearly review of the software used, as well as its practicality, then IT issues can hinder business growth.
Businesses often turn to software-as-a-service (SaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions to mitigate these issues. SaaS helps companies to negate a range of tech issues by eliminating the need for installing and running applications through several subscription model software platforms.
IaaS allows businesses to access, monitor and manage remote data center infrastructures. IaaS also enables companies to pay for storage, network hosting and more on a case-by-case basis. Examples of IaaS solutions that enhance data center infrastructure include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Cisco Metacloud.
The 5 Most Common IT Issues
As businesses continue navigating through their digital transformations, several online threats arise. Cybersecurity, however, can be streamlined through SaaS and IaaS solutions if business permits. These solutions safeguard sensitive data and network hosting, keeping cyberattackers at bay. Cloud-based solutions improve the monitoring and tracking of attacks, often offering 24/7 monitoring and tech support, and enhance website performance by enabling a content delivery network. Training your staff on the following IT issues and the technology that helps prevent them is key.
Poor network security is one of the most critical IT issues businesses face today, as it leaves them vulnerable to viruses, data loss and ransomware, a type of malware commonly spread through phishing emails or by landing on an unsecured website that encrypts a device or its files. The hacker then denies access to the encrypted data until a specified ransom is paid. Hackers commonly target small businesses that have lax security measures, do not schedule backups and have no firewall protection. With ransoms often in the thousands, ransomware attacks can be devastating to a small business, especially if decision-makers are not well-versed in cyber threats. Therefore, having a secure network is paramount for any business, regardless of whether the company has three employees or thousands.
There are many components to improving your network security. It’s important to ensure all devices connected to the network are secure by implementing company-wide security software and standards. In addition, all employees must exercise good judgment to avoid falling victim to phishing emails or scams, and the email service provider used should also be top of mind. Gmail and Microsoft Outlook provide advanced security measures to limit email deliverability of suspicious email addresses.
In the case that a virus, ransomware attack or other malware threat does infect the network, it's crucial for businesses to have regularly backed up all devices so they still have that data elsewhere. Finally, and most importantly, make sure your firewall is activated and up to date, as this can serve as a significant tool of defense in network security.
2. Outdated Software
Technology is rapidly evolving, so it's easy to become complacent with the outdated software you're accustomed to. But continuing to use obsolete software can pose a serious risk to business continuity. Outdated software is a common IT issue across all industries, and the best way to solve for it is by implementing as many new technologies as possible and — more importantly — by training your employees on how to use them. Once staff becomes familiar with a new platform, designate an employee to oversee updating software in the future so your organization’s technology solutions stay up to date.
3. Access Control
Giving all employees access to all company information can cause issues down the road. Of course, employees require access to certain data and the tools necessary to do their jobs, but access to sensitive information — such as network passwords — should be carefully guarded and only accessible by key staff in an organization. Therefore, it's crucial to set access limits to employees based on their job requirements. Additionally, employing an in-house system administrator can help prevent employees from installing software that may compromise IT security.
4. Disaster Recovery
Every business must have a disaster recovery plan in the event that the unthinkable happens. This plan should involve a set of tools and procedures that facilitate the recovery of IT infrastructure following a crisis. A disaster recovery plan to ensure business continuity is especially important during crises, as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reports that "roughly 40% to 60% of small businesses never reopen their doors following a disaster."
Disaster recovery plans allow a system administrator to restore data and network hosting while also being able to restore remotely. Before disaster strikes, business owners must identify risks, determine critical documents and resources and arrange for offsite storage procedures. Without these measures, the recovery process after the disaster will be prolonged.
5. Cloud Infrastructure
Cloud infrastructure refers to the applications and data that support the daily operations of a business. Cloud computing — or simply, “the cloud" — is quickly becoming fundamental in both our professional and personal lives. Cloud computing provides businesses with more data storage, security, flexibility and collaboration to improve decision-making and lower costs.
Cloud issues usually arise during implementation, which is when vulnerabilities may be left unchecked. This can lead to compromised credentials, broken authentication and data breaches. That's why it's essential to verify that the cloud SaaS provider has secure user identity management and authentication, as well as access control mechanisms in place. Popular cloud security solutions include CipherCloud, Sophos, Qualys, SiteLock and Proofpoint.
Prepare your Organization to Combat these IT Issues
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