Unless you are a technology company or a computer geek, you would likely be better off focusing on what you do best and leaving your Orange County business’ IT matters to a professional. The problem is, neither your budget nor your infrastructure is large enough to warrant hiring a full-time IT person. In situations like these, managed IT services can fill the gap so your system remains stable, secure and up to date. If you’re new to the idea of managed IT, the following quick primer should help.Continue reading
Businesses today rely more heavily on technology than ever before—but unfortunately, many companies still operate on a “wing and a prayer” when it comes to their IT services. They cobble together a system that works only somewhat—largely because they don’t understand the technology itself—and they only call an IT professional when there is a problem. However, by being more proactive with managing your IT services, you can save your company a lot of money and grief, letting the technology work for you instead of against you. Let’s look at a few aspects of your IT for which you should set up effective management as soon as possible.Continue reading
Small and medium sized businesses today are relying more than ever on IT systems to efficiently run their business, support customers and optimize productivity. These systems house sensitive digital data ranging from employee and customer information, to internal emails, documents and financial records, sales orders and transaction histories. This is in addition to applications and programs critical to daily business functions and customer service.
While corporate-level data losses and insider theft are well publicized, many smaller businesses have also become casualties of data loss and theft. Following a significant data loss, it is estimated that a small-to-medium sized business can lose up to 25% in daily revenue by the end of the first week. Projected lost daily revenue increases to 40% one month into a major data loss.
According to The National Archives & Records Administration in Washington, 93% of companies that have experienced data loss, coupled with prolonged downtime for ten or more days, have filed for bankruptcy within twelve months of the incident while 50% wasted no time and filed for bankruptcy immediately. Finally, 43% of companies with no data recovery and business continuity plan actually go out of business following a major data loss.
Still, a survey conducted by Symantec SMB revealed that fewer than half of SMBs surveyed backup their data each week. Only 23% of those surveyed said they backup data every day and have a business continuity plan in place.
Businesses play on a much bigger playing field than they did two decades ago. Any disruptive technological event – even the smallest of incidents – can have an amplified impact on day-to-day business and profitability. Being proactive with data recovery solutions, and having emergency response procedures in place prior to a disruption or data disaster, is the only way to minimize downtime and soften the impact of such events.
According to Symantec SMB, 50% of SMBs admit to having no backup and disaster recovery plan in place. 41% of those surveyed confessed that they had never even given much thought to implementing a disaster recovery or business continuity plan. If you are one of them, then you really need to think about whether you can afford the status quo. Answering these questions will help you decide.
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) is an inexpensive, feature-rich service that allows businesses and individuals to make and receive phone calls over the Internet. Approximately 70 percent of businesses now utilize some form online communications, leading many people to speculate that conventional land lines may one day be a thing of the past. Perhaps you’re thinking of joining the masses and switching to VoIP for your accounting firm in Orange County, CA. While the advantages of doing so are many, there are also a few drawbacks to consider. Let’s take a birds-eye view of some of the pros and cons of making the switch.
A favorite hacking technique among cybercriminals is simply to discover and use existing passwords. Weak or easy-to-guess passwords can be cracked in minutes using software, and stored passwords left unencrypted can easily be mined if the wrong person gains access to your computer or desk. As a small business owner, you must protect your interests not only by creating robust passwords, but also by managing those passwords safely. Let’s explore a few proven principles for creating and managing passwords effectively and safely.
The most vulnerable part of every door is the key that unlocks it. We need our keys to get in and out, but we must also protect our keys to keep bad guys from getting hold of them. By the same token, your passwords—your online set of keys, if you will—represent the most vulnerable point in your online accounts. If you create passwords that are too easy to guess, or if you leave your passwords where people can access them, you could open your small business up to an online catastrophe.
Password mismanagement comes in many forms. Let’s look at a few of the most common.
Many small business owners not only assume they are safe from hackers due to their size. Let’s continue exploring some true-to-life cybersecurity horror stories of small businesses that might convince you otherwise.
Go-Cart Racing Business Victimized by Phishing
Phishing scams can be very clever and can frighten business owners into giving out personal data under a false sense of urgency. Entrepreneur Rick Snow testified before Congress that he became such a victim, causing his Scarborough, Maine go-cart racing company to come up short on its payroll. As Fox Business reports, after receiving a fake email convincing him to update his banking passwords, Snow woke up one morning to find his business account completely drained—on a payday when his employees were expecting their checks. “We were supporting a number of families, many of which live paycheck-to-paycheck…” he said. “I was also very worried about our business’ reputation since a restaurant nearby had just bounced their paychecks and the company never recovered from the bad publicity they received…Phishing can happen to anyone, phishing attacks are meant to scare you and make you act without thinking.”