Aside from human error and the work of bad actors, our data faces others risks. In particular, the failure of your hardware and software to protect as designed, and the numerous external threats that exist, largely beyond anyone’s control.
- Insufficient hardware and software protections – There are two categories here.
- Software: Constantly updated antivirus applications are a requirement, not just on servers, but on every device that connects to your communications network. Additionally, it is important to consistently upgrade all of your software whenever upgrades are released. Many upgrades are released to specifically address a vulnerability that exposes the user to a new virus.
- Backups: Failure to have a well-designed backup procedure for all of your data can mean your don’t have accurate backups if something happens. If your IT staff is limited, this is an area where consultation with an outside managed service provider may be of particular value. A daily, or weekly, backup to an external hard drive that is kept in a drawer is not sufficient. Also, not having plans for a quick swap-out for failed hardware can leave you dead in the water until new hardware can be ordered, delivered and configured.
- External events: Your customer’s data can be carefully protected against theft, hardware failure and human error, but it isn’t of much value if you cannot access it. The final step in protecting customer data is addressing the conditions that would limit your ability to use that data to serve your customers. Examples of these risks include natural disasters, terror attacks, and human-created events, each of which could cause physical damage to your business site, or limit physical access to it. Such events can also create power, broadband and/or telephony outages that make your data inaccessible, even if you have remote access.
You cannot always control external threats, but an MSP can do a risk analysis and propose disaster recovery and business continuity solutions to help get your business up and running as quickly as possible in the event of a hardware failure or a human- or nature-created disaster.