The number one issue we discovered was problems with firewalls. One hundred percent of the small businesses we assessed operated with hardware firewalls that were either out of date or not performing to their utmost capability.
Microsoft Windows Updates and Patches
The number one reason for keeping Windows updated is for security; the next is to make sure the operating system is running at maximum efficiency.
Password and Internet Usage Policies
Forty percent of the companies we audited last year had their passwords set to never expire. This is a major liability. Never changing a password increases the likelihood it will be compromised and used to access secure information. Changing passwords routinely using a password protocol (and ensuring those updates are not predictable) will help your business stay ahead of the hacking game. Although your employees may feel that having secure passwords is difficult in a constantly changing environment, there are applications that can help.
Backing up – Do you Audit or test your backups?
Backing up servers is vitally important to any business. If something happened—a flood, fire, or malware attack—would you be able to recover?
Do your employees save data on their workstations or desktops that isn’t being backed up?
Do you know how often your backups occur? Do you know how to make sure they’re working? Do you know how to recover your data?
The capabilities of current computers versus even five years ago is astounding. Machines are much more efficient than they used to be in their processing and energy consumption.
If your hardware is five years old, you’re working on an ancient workhorse needing to retire.
Over 80% of our audits last year had issues with workstation hardware. If you’re on an antiquated machine, you probably notice the slow speed or glitches. Many businesses operate on a limited budget and may feel they aren’t ready to prioritize hardware purchases because the existing machines still work. Time lost due to slower machines, data lost due to hardware malfunctions, and potential risks of unsupported software are much more expensive than purchasing new hardware.
We found that workstations were less than half as likely as printers to be kept up to date and monitored. Computers should be replaced at least every five years to keep them up to speed and at their greatest security advantage. Your server’s functionality is no different. Just because you might not work on them every day doesn’t mean they aren’t working for you! It’s time to retire that old machine and employ a nimbler one to improve your day-to-day processes.
Do you think your company could be suffering with any of these issues?