In a small business mistakes will happen everyday. But some mistakes can have greater consequences than others. Running a small business offers challenges unlike anything else. You need to make sure you have the right systems and advice in place to make sure that your business runs smoothly.
It is very common for small businesses to make mistakes when it comes to their IT. Here are 7 IT mistakes small businesses often make.
Not Enough Technical Support
For many SMBs, technology challenges begin with the level of its support they receive, or in some cases do not receive. Many SMBs do not have internal IT resources and are solely reliance on outsourcing. The quality of outsourced IT companies can vary dramatically. If you are unhappy with your current provider, you may be thinking that now is time for a change in IT support.
Or, there may be a single internal resource responsible for looking after and fixing everybody’s IT issues. While this may work for some small businesses, if there is a period of growth, the resource is available may not be able to keep up with the increased demand for IT support.
Not Upgrading Technology
Many small businesses might go down the route of ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.’ For example if your Exchange 2013 server has been running without problems, you could be tempted to leave it in place for many more years. However, hardware such as Exchange servers will go unsupported after a period of time. In 2021 there was a cyber security threat around unpatched Exchange 2013 servers, where they were a potential entry point for hackers trying to gain access to business systems.
Buying cheap equipment
Not all IT equipment was created equal. With technology in many cases you pay for what you get. If you are going to buy cheap systems, you are probably not going to get the features whether that’s security updates, that you would expect to get from more expensive or premium software. It isn’t always easy knowing what you should prioritise spending money on and where you should perhaps look to save a few pounds here or there.
Not training staff
User education is probably one of the most important ways of preventing cyber threats. The majority of successful phishing attacks are down to users not recognising spurious emails. All it takes it’s for one member of your team to click a link in an email to potentially infect your systems with malware, ransomware and other types of cyber threat. And combining untrained staff with out-of-date systems is a recipe for disaster.
If you had to guess, how many individual logins do you think everybody in your organisation has across the internet? Hundreds? Thousands? Whatever the number is, what percentage of those logins do you think have unique passwords? The answer will be worryingly low. You should never reuse passwords across multiple websites, however tempting it is. Reusing the same two or three passwords is another recipe for disaster. There are many password manager options available. All your staff will have to do is remember a single master password so that they can access a vault with all of their saved login details. Just make sure that all the passwords are unique!
No reliable backup
What would happen to your business if you lost all of your data? And what would happen if you tried to load one of your backups only to discover that they had failed? Your data is your most valuable asset and you need to be sure that it is safe at all times.
Not having a plan
Planning your IT projects is an important task which should be done at the minimum once per year. Technology impacts your whole operation and any small changes can have massive consequences down the line. Every year you should be budgeting for new hardware and software and decide if you need to make major changes or not. You should work with an experienced technology partner for this who will be able to guide you through the process making sure your users face minimal disruptions.
Mistakes happen. But if the same mistakes keep happening over and over again, you may need to change something within your organisation. If you’re considering moving to a new supplier, get in touch with ACUTEC to see how we can help.