I know from experience that many businesses chug along nicely with their network running on autopilot. Then something happens; a computer crashes, a virus infects the server, a file is accidentally deleted. It is at times like this that many business owners will suddenly be acutely aware of how ‘hands-off’ they have been with one of the most critical parts of their business – their IT systems. As the saying goes, it is not a matter of if but rather when a network will have a problem. Here is a checklist of the most common IT questions that every business should be able to answer or should find an answer asap.
Backups – Protecting your data is at the top of the list. Do you have a reliable backup solution for your servers and workstations and have you tested the backups to be sure they work?
Antivirus – Are all of the workstations and servers on your network protected with an up-to-date antivirus and anti-malware application? How are you notified if a machine gets infected?
Inventory – IT equipment can become outdated or obsolete before you know it. An accurate and updated inventory of your network, including purchase date and warranty information is a valuable asset.
Firewall – The first line of defense protecting your company’s machines from the wild west of the internet is a firewall appliance. Some companies may be trusting the security features of the router provided by their ISP, but they shouldn’t. Investing in an enterprise-grade network firewall will beef up the poor protection of a simple internet router.
Updates – Software companies are constantly working to counteract malicious entities who are continually trying to find weaknesses in their products. It is very important that companies have a way of ensuring that security updates are installed on all machines in a timely manner. Do you have a way of knowing which machines have the latest security updates and which may be missing?
Software Licensing – Although many software companies are employing user or subscription-based licensing models, I have found some companies using bootlegged, cracked or illegal software. A good network-wide software inventory, which includes licensing information will ensure that every machine has a valid license and protect your company from possible legal ramifications.
Procedures – A company’s network is an ever-changing collection of workstations, servers, routers, switches, software applications and users – each with their own purposes, security requirements and procedures. Documenting your company’s IT policies and procedures with a method of changing them when necessary will help keep your IT infrastructure organized and under your control.
Infinity Networking can help your company with any of the items on this small business IT checklist. Please contact us today for a free consultation.