IT risks to your business: 5 ways to get ready | BDC.ca
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Technology risks to your business: 5 ways to get ready

Create a recovery plan to help you bounce back from a crisis

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If you’re like many entrepreneurs, you don’t worry a lot about risks to your technology—until something bad happens. It could be a fire, a theft, a natural disaster, a crashed server or a computer virus. Then, the losses can be devastating.

The right time to think about risks to your technology systems is now, before a crisis. A few simple steps will allow your company to continue running seamlessly, or at least minimize the costs of a major information technology problem.

Here are some tips to manage your IT risks.

1. Do proper backups

Backing up your data is one of the main things you can do to mitigate risks to your IT systems. You should be backing up your data to a remote location daily, so you never lose more than a day’s work in the event of an issue occurring.

To be even more secure, you can set up your system so it stores information simultaneously on two servers located in different locations. If the main server has an issue, the backup server can seamlessly take over with no data loss and little impact on your business.

2. Adopt a security policy

Your company should have an IT security policy that covers:

  • passwords
  • Internet use
  • downloading software
  • opening attachments
  • remote access
  • data retention
  • confidentiality of data
  • securing equipment outside the workplace

You should make sure employees are aware of and follow the policy. Regular reminders and audits are a good way to ensure compliance. Also be sure your security policy and practices satisfy any digital security laws and standards that apply to your company. Finally, you’ll want to regularly review and update your policy.

3. Create a recovery plan

What would you do if your office burned down or all of your computers were stolen? Many entrepreneurs haven’t given it enough thought. A recovery plan can help you bounce back from such a calamity.

Document what you would do in various scenarios to get your business back in operation as quickly as possible. Make note of things such as where you’d move your operations, where data backups are located and who would set up your new IT system.

4. Wipe old equipment

How do you dispose of old computers, mobile devices and data storage equipment? If you just throw them away, sensitive information could easily get into the wrong hands. Simply deleting data or formatting your hard disc isn’t enough. A computer savvy person can restore the information.

To clean old equipment, the safest options are physically destroying the hard drive, using disc-wiping software or hiring a computer expert to do the job.

5. Minimize physical losses

Think about precautions to minimize your risk of physical losses or damage to equipment due to theft, fire or water damage. Examples are installing fire and burglar alarms, using surge protection and not putting servers in a room with water pipes in the walls or ceiling. You should also make sure you have adequate business insurance.

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