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EMPLOYEES: YOUR BIGGEST ASSET – YOUR BIGGEST THREAT
When we think of cybersecurity, oftentimes our minds go straight to the bad guys. The hackers, cybercriminals, and the dark web. The truth is, while these are the instigators behind the attacks, they are not our biggest threat. As shocking as that may sound, our biggest threat is our employees – including you. Oftentimes owners, supervisors, and IT staff are some of the worst offenders.
Sure, our employees are good, honest, trustworthy people. After all, we trust them with our corporate finances, client interactions, and day-to-day operations. But they are, after all, only human and unfortunately, that puts our cyber safety in jeopardy every day.
Human error is the leading cause of most cyberattacks. This has less to do with employees being vindictive or malicious and a lot more from curiosity and carelessness. No longer is it safe to assume our employees know or even understand our company’s cybersecurity protocol or best practices. It’s a matter of taking responsibility to ensure they know, comprehend, and agree to adhere to it.
Let’s explore a few ways we can educate our team to be our best allies and defense rather than the gateway to attacks.
- Email Education
Phishing scams and malicious links sent through emails are the two most common areas for errors to happen. A study in 2019 by Webroot revealed that nearly 49% of employees admit to clicking a link from an unknown sender that they didn’t request. Even more startling is that 29% admitted to doing this more than once.
It is no longer enough to rely on spam filters and quarantines. Employee education must be at the forefront of all cybersecurity plans.
- Web Browsing
Many companies either can’t or don’t limit their employees to internet access. There are many positions that require free reign to research, make purchases, communicate with customers, etc., making restrictions a bit of a hindrance. The flip side of this is that employees can visit malicious websites without even realizing it.
Like emails, it is imperative that employees learn to avoid clicking links, to steer clear of unknown websites, and to only enter personal, corporate, or financial information on trusted sites.
- Password Strength
Humans are notorious creatures of habit. We tend to park in the same vicinity every day, we have morning and evening routines, and even choose the same passwords for multiple accounts. Bad password habits create whole new levels of vulnerability and risks. By implementing password protocols and even password management, you are able to reduce and mitigate some of that risk.
The Networks Plus team understands this might not be at the top of your daily to-do list. That’s why we have a group of experts available to help and assist you in not only getting these protocols in place but in educating your employees on these best practices.
If you want help helping your team, call us today!
RISK MANAGEMENT: CYBER INSURANCE AND YOU
Cybersecurity insurance, also referred to as cyber insurance or even cyber liability insurance, is in many ways, similar to flood insurance for your homeowner’s policy. It provides you with additional coverage in the event of a catastrophic event. In this case, a cyberattack, data breach, etc.
Cybersecurity insurance is relatively new and still viewed skeptically by some. However, it is important to remember that any business that uses technology or collects data is at risk of a cyber-attack. Many small-medium sized businesses (SMB) cannot afford the catastrophic costs to rectify a breach on their own. This is where cybersecurity insurance steps in and becomes a game changer.
We’ve heard time and time again from SMB owners that they are too small to be hacked. However, think about Grandma Jones sitting at home playing ‘Words with Friends’ online. A “friend” messages her and they begin chatting daily. She gets convinced to send money to this “friend’s” account and gets swindled out of thousands of dollars. She, not unlike your SMB, thought she was under the radar and an unlikely target. Hackers don’t discriminate on size, gender, age, etc. Everyone online is potentially a target!
Our partners at DataStream Cyber Insurance recently released an article discussing how our focus is now not so much on the IF it happens, but more so the WHEN it happens. DataStream explains, “The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a paradigm shift in how businesses operate and the accelerated shift to digital and online operations.
With that shift has come, sadly but inevitably, an increase in the number of businesses that are being targeted by cyber criminals.
The statistics for 2020 make for uncomfortable reading. Last summer at the height of the pandemic, the FBI reported it was now receiving more than 4,000 complaints about cybersecurity attacks each day – up 400% from what they were seeing pre-covid. Interpol, too, reported a huge surge in reports of attack attempts aimed at SMBs, major corporations, governments and critical infrastructure.
The most worrying increase has come in the form of corporate ransomware attacks, where criminals hold your company’s data (including customer data) or network hostage until they get paid money. Ransomware attacks have crippled businesses, with Security Boulevard reporting that 58% of businesses ended up paying off the attackers just to get control back of their systems.
Unfortunately, most cybersecurity experts – including DataStream’s own team of analysts – now position corporate cyber-attacks as an almost inevitable event that businesses should prepare for. Even with the best and most expensive cyber security technology protecting your systems, the chances are a cyber-attack can and will find its way through at some point.”
To read their article in full, click HERE.
Networks Plus’ CISSP and Certified Ethical Hacker, Jerry Horton explains the importance of cyber insurance from a different point of view. Jerry explains, “Risk management is more than a buzzword: it is a foundational practice to keep a business operational.”
Jerry emphasizes that once risks have been identified, there are four things business leaders can do with them:
- Avoid the risk – simply stop doing what is creating the risk
- Mitigate the risk – this is the core of cybersecurity. Technical and administrative controls are put into place to prevent the risk
- Accept the risk – when a business practice comes with unavoidable risk and the cost of mitigating outweighs the potential impact, business leaders can simply accept it and pay out of pocket if the risk causes an issue
- Transfer the risk – this is where insurance comes into play.
Transference is always a secondary step as business leaders need to insure against practices that can’t be avoided and for which risk mitigations have already been put into place. By way of example, we all carry insurance for our vehicles and the operation of them. We can lower our rates by mitigating risks such as ensuring that vehicle operators are properly trained and licensed, obeying traffic laws, and avoiding operating vehicles in dangerous environment when possible. However, we can’t avoid chips in a windshield from a piece of gravel thrown up during operation or avoid incidents such as a tree falling on the vehicle, scratches and dings in a parking lot, or even a multi-vehicle accident. We purchase insurance to guard against the loss such incidents will incur.
Cyberinsurance is the same concept – transference of risks with your data and systems. Just like insurance on any other property, you, as the business leader, have a responsibility to make certain that you have mitigated as many risks as possible. More importantly, cyberinsurance is an essential part of a business’s strategy to maintain a healthy and stable financial state.
Why would cyberinsurance do that, you might ask? Consider this, ransomware is the most common risk faced by every business, accounting for more than 54% of all of cyberinsurance claims in 2020 (up from only 13% the year before or over a 400% increase). This only shows part of the picture, however. Not only are ransomware attacks increasing in frequency, but the ransoms demands are also rising dramatically (the current average ransom is $170,000!) and the cost of cleanup is even higher. Estimated costs for recovering from a ransomware incident are calculated as roughly 10 times the ransom demanded. In short, this isn’t a risk that can be avoided or accepted; a portion of this risk has to be transferred to keep a business viable.
In Jerry’s words, “Make no mistake – cyberinsurance is only a part of your risk management strategy.” He strongly encourages you to have a strong cybersecurity program in place, including cybersecurity training for everyone involved in the business, so as to mitigate as much as is possible.
He adds, “Please contact one of our top-notch Business Consultants to talk about your current state of cybersecurity. We will help you get cyber-ready and, through our partner DataStream, cyberinsured against the potential disasters of our online world.”
SMBs Are Being Targeted for Cyberattacks
SMBs are constantly under attack. Don’t let yours be next!
When you’re running a small to medium-sized business, you may think that you’re not going to become a victim of a cyberattack. Maybe you think that your data and files aren’t valuable enough to be stolen—or even worse, that your current cybersecurity strategy is strong enough to protect them. But nothing could be farther from the truth.
In fact, cybercriminals are becoming smarter every day, and since their methods are constantly changing, your security needs will also need to evolve. To stay safe, adopt a comprehensive cybersecurity solution that protects your entire organization.
Why Are SMBs Top Targets?
- They often lack comprehensive protection
- They don’t understand the magnitude of their risk
- They underestimate the value of their data
- They are unprepared to battle cybercriminals
Our sophisticated cybersecurity solutions protect all of your business environments, including your brick-and-mortar and your cloud. You’ll also need to secure any home offices, mobile devices, hardware, software, and cloud-based apps like Microsoft 365.
Would Your Business Survive an Attack?
Hackers will stop at nothing to get to your valuable data, and it’s up to you to protect your business. Ignoring cybersecurity may work in the short term, but the time to be proactive is now.
Did You Know…
SMBs Account for Over 60% of all Attacks
Is Your Guard Down?
- 69% of SMBs have not identified and documented cybersecurity threats
- 43% do not have a recovery plan in the event of a cybersecurity incident
- 57% have not informed or trained all users on cybersecurity
- 48% have not analyzed cybersecurity attack targets and methods
Your Cybersecurity To-Do List:
- Understand the Risk
While you’re busy trying to beat out the competition, cybercriminals are busy hatching schemes to infect your devices with malware, take you down with a business email compromise attack (BEC) and steal your valuable data. You can’t let that happen. It’s a cost you can’t afford to bear.
- Take Responsibility
After reading up on the latest cybersecurity threats and understanding how easy it is for a small to medium-sized business to fall victim to an attack, tackle the challenge head-on. With so much at stake, you need to come up with a plan that gets your security on a strong foundation. Bring in the professionals.
- Assess Weaknesses
You won’t fully understand your risk until you meet with security experts who can conduct a thorough security assessment and diagnose structural weaknesses. To truly protect your business from cybercrime, you’ll need to undergo a cybersecurity evaluation to identify vulnerabilities.
Close Gaps in Security
You can’t secure your organization until you understand your risk.
Security for a Remote Workforce
Mobile workers are playing a more important role in operations than ever before. While empowering your remote workforce with the right technical tools will drive productivity and success, the work-from-home (WFH) era is also introducing new security risks for small to medium-sized businesses. In addition to providing IT support for remote workers, you’ll want to defend your business from common cloud computing risks and cybersecurity threats.
- Mobile Devices: Protecting and monitoring smartphones, tablets and laptops is harder in the bring-your-own-device era. Enter mobile device management.
- Remote Access: With employees working outside of the office, it’s important that they have secure remote access to your network.
- Identity Authentication: It’s easy for bad actors to impersonate your employees—keep the hackers out with identity authentication management.
- The Company Cloud: Storing and transmitting data in the cloud makes conducting business a breeze, but it opens up a lot of risk, too.
- Cloud-Based Apps: Collaborating in Microsoft 365 or G-Suite is simple, but that doesn’t mean it’s secure.
Why Partner with a Managed Services Provider (MSP) for Security Solutions?
Once you understand what’s a stake, it’s hard to put off cybersecurity any longer. When you’re ready to prioritize security, it’s time to bring in the professionals.
There’s never been a better time to work with top-tier security consultants who are united around one common goal: Keeping your data secure. Let industry insiders protect your business with an all-encompassing approach to cybersecurity that will help you avoid falling victim to an attack.
Benefits of Professional Cybersecurity Services Include:
- Comprehensive Cybersecurity: Benefit from layered security solutions that protect your business from every angle and anticipate future challenges.
- Nonstop Monitoring and Support: Let security experts stand guard 24/7/365, identifying suspicious behavior and providing around-the-clock monitoring.
- Future-Oriented Business Plans: We’ll assess your current cybersecurity risks and make sure your new strategy evolves alongside emerging threats.
- Protection for Cloud-Based Suites: Our team of security professionals can protect your Microsoft 365 apps, including SharePoint, Teams, and OneDrive
How We Can Help
- High-Level Security Assessment: Let us provide you with a detailed picture of your cybersecurity health and security exposure, including scanning your information on the dark web.
- Custom Cybersecurity Report: Following the security assessment, we’ll create a detailed report on your vulnerability, allowing us to assess how we’ll proceed to keep you safe.
- Industry-Specific Action Plan:We’ll work together to create an action plan that will start securing your organization and its technology. This includes monitoring threats on all managed devices, servers and firewalls.
- Compliance IT Solutions: After closing gaps in security, we can support compliance guidelines and make sure your data stays out of harm’s way. Maintaining compliance is easier with security analysts on your team.
- We Leave No Stone Unturned
Take the first step and get your free security assessment today.
This Checklist Can Make Your Business More Secure
[ ] Verify all software patches and updates have been installed. Not just laptops and servers, but firewalls and other network devices (routers, switches, APs, office equipment, etc.)
[ ] Implement access control to manage who can access data and restrict from where that data can be accessed.
[ ] Change passwords for network devices; when possible, require multi-factor authentication (MFA)
[ ] Upgrade end of service versions of software your company is using and supports
[ ] Document and train employees on the process for reporting suspicious activity
[ ] Test backups and put at least one version offline monthly (or more often)
[ ] Enable employee multi-factor authentication (MFA) everywhere
[ ] Remove internet-facing management consoles (internal access only)
[ ] Verify everyone in your company has completed security awareness training
[ ] Implement Managed Detection & Response (MDR) on computers and servers to monitor and respond to threats via both technology and human expertise.
[ ] Implement security information and event management (SIEM) software for additional visibility, when possible
[ ] Review cybersecurity policies and corresponding procedures, especially incident response plans and updates have been installed. Not just laptops and servers, but firewalls and other network devices (routers, switches, APs, office equipment, etc.)
YOUR SECURITY CODE WILL EXPIRE IN…
The facts about why MFA is so important to your business
Created in collaboration with Brad Jepson, service team lead at Networks Plus
“All I want to do is pay my credit card bill online, but I can’t do that without jumping through, what feels like, a hundred hoops to prove it’s me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the financial institution wants to protect my information, but seriously, who besides me is going to make that payment?? I don’t understand why I have to wait for the text message or phone call to get a code when I have already entered my password. Can someone please just tell me the point of this?!?”
If this has ever crossed your mind, you aren’t alone. Multi-factor authentication, more commonly referred to as MFA, essentially adds an additional layer of security to your account. Simply put, it requires two or more factors to prove who you are, what you know, or what you have, in order to authenticate your account.
While it may seem superfluous, it is becoming quite imperative to adhere to the requests. The truth is, cybersecurity threats are so advanced it is no longer a question of if your credentials get hacked, it’s when. Just take a moment to let that sink in. This isn’t just your Facebook or Instagram page getting hacked. Sure, that would be an inconvenience, but what about the big stuff? What about your credit cards? Your personal or business banking account? Your social security number? Your client’s data? What price would you place on your company’s reputation? When you have MFA in place and a hacker gains access to your password but does not have access to your fingerprint or your cell phone – they cannot gain access to your accounts. All of a sudden that extra step in paying your credit card bill no longer seems pointless, does it?
Hacking isn’t something that is centralized to a particular demographic or region, either. It is quickly becoming a global issue and therefore, MFA is also being adopted all over the world. It is becoming increasingly important for businesses and organizations to add MFA to their cybersecurity plan. Imagine if your company’s email accounts were continuously hacked. What would that do to your brand’s image?
When you think in terms of damage control, the hassles of push notifications seem minor in comparison, doesn’t it? Even if you don’t think you have critical data, the amount of downtime to recover from a breach is substantial. The Denver Post has even reported that a whopping 60 percent of small businesses who fall victim to a cyberattack are out of business within six months.
We realize that forcing your employees to enter codes multiple times a day can be overwhelming and time-consuming. The last thing a security measure should do is waste valuable time. However, the importance of implementing MFA is an inherent necessity. If your concern is causing frustration for your staff, there is a single sign-on (SSO) solution, which allows a single multi-factor authentication to allow access to any of your capable platforms.
As a group of cybersecurity experts, we don’t like things getting in our way of productivity either. Since downtime is really not an option for anyone, it is always best to add as many layers of protection as we can. Think about going outside in subzero temperatures. You dress in pants, socks, boots, a sweater, a coat, a hat, gloves, and a scarf. You’ve added layers of protection to your body to reduce the risk of external threats. MFA is essentially the same thing – only, applied to your data.
To learn more about MFA we invite you to contact us at 800-299-1704. We love to talk about cybersecurity – so make our day by giving us a call!
Event Features Homeland Security Expert
TechFest: A Conference to Educate, Prepare, and Arm Businesses for Cyber Threats
Networks Plus, a managed IT services leader in Manhattan, Kan. will host TechFest 2022, featuring cybersecurity best practices and advice from industry experts. Readily available resources will be provided to all businesses attending the conference on April 19 at the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Manhattan.
The Manhattan-based company has teamed up with leaders from all across the country to deliver a comprehensive, easy-to-follow format with practical take-aways which can be implemented immediately. TechFest 2022 features speakers from Datto, Watch Guard Technologies, Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development, and the United States Department of Homeland Security.
Regional Cybersecurity Advisor of the Unites States Department of Homeland Security, Geoffrey Jenista warns, “If you are connected to the internet, you are Ukraine and Russia’s neighbor. CISA [Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency] encourages organizations of every size to have their ‘shields up’.” Current events regarding Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have significantly emphasized not only the importance of having business operating systems protected and backed up, but the significance of taking those precautions immediately.
TechFest 2022 will be held April 19 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, Kan. The event will kick off with a pre-conference workshop on Microsoft 365 Business Premium from 10 a.m. – noon with the full event picking up at 1 p.m. and concluding at 5 p.m. The company will host a social networking event immediately following. Registrations are due April 8 and space is limited. Business owners, managers, IT professionals, and office administrators are encouraged to attend. Click here for additional information.
Questions Every Business Leader Should Ask Before Choosing MFA
Multi-factor authentication (MFA) is an essential piece of security for any modern business. Whether you’re trying to meet compliance requirements or trying to increase the security of your business, MFA can help. By implementing MFA, you can help secure your company’s assets, confidential information, and accounts – especially if you have remote workers, privileged users, Cloud applications, and employees that access corporate resources on their laptops. Implementing MFA also minimizes the risk of a breach and the reputation damage, legal fees, and other consequences that come with that.
A warning – not all MFA is created equal. By asking these questions, you can better determine whether a potential MFA solution will provide the security you need or if you need to look elsewhere.
- Does your MFA solution use SMS-based verification as the primary or default authentication option?
SMS-based verification is less secure than other methods because it is vulnerable to hijacking. It is acceptable as a back-up method since using multiple factors of authentication will always be stronger than using just one layer of protection. However, SMS-based authentication should not be the primary or default method used. If it is, look elsewhere.
- How is the user experience for end users?
A good user experience is critical to ensure successful MFA adoption. If end users feel that the particular solution impedes productivity and prevents them from accessing the resources they need, it will not work. Ask the service provider to walk you through the user experience and question any parts that you predict will frustrate your employees (e.g. certain hardware tokens that are easily lost or forgotten). Ask the service provider if there are features that help with end-user adoption or if they have any recommendation on gaining end-user adoption.
- Does it support offline authentication?
If you have employees that travel for work and that need to access their laptops while on the airplane, you’ll need to ensure that your chosen MFA solution supports offline authentication. There are other instances, such as when you are connecting to hotel Wi-Fi or public Wi-Fi or when an Internet connection is spotty, in which offline authentication is required. Ask the service provider about offline authentication options and be sure that their solution is easy, secure, and doesn’t require helpdesk connections.
- Does the solution support secure Web Single Sign-On (SSO)?
Web single sign-on not only makes the solution easier for the end user, but also makes it more secure. It’s essential that Web SSO into Cloud applications is supported by any MFA solution you are considering. If your company uses many different Cloud applications and each of those apps require users to sign in and create passwords, then the user experience becomes very complex. It also means employees will need to reset their passwords more often and may require helpdesk support more often. This can be avoided with single sign-on, which enables users to sign on just once to access all their Cloud applications. This ultimately provides a better user experience and is an important motivation for user adoption.
- What is the MFA vendor’s business model?
When purchasing MFA, it’s not just important to make sure the solution meets your needs, but that the solution provider is the right fit for you as well. Ask the solution provider about their business model to get a feel for how much they’ll be able to support you beyond just the purchase. Will they be able to support all your needs during deployment? Do they have local partners to provide support if there are ever issues? Does their pricing model accommodate how and when you want to allocate license?
- Is the solution localized for end users?
End-user facing applications should be localized. While the management interface does not need to be localized, the language of the UI should be appropriate for all applicable regions. This is critical for end-user adoption of any MFA solution. Remember that an MFA end user is most of the time not a cyber security expert.
- Is the solution easy to manage?
Management and token allocation should be simple, quick, intuitive, and web-based, even for non-experienced operators. How easy is it to set up and start using the solution? How fast can you add a resource to be protected by the MFA solution? How fast and easy can you provision authenticators for the users? Is the admin interface easy to understand and use? Seek solutions that provide a comprehensive interface for what you need without requiring you to be an expert.
- How much does the solution cost?
Asking about pricing is a given, but we wanted to bring it up because MFA pricing can be unclear and sometimes there are hidden costs. How is it sold: per user, per authenticator, or even per protected application? Is support included – both technical support and subscription management support? Are there any other hidden costs that may apply, such as extra software you will need to license? Pricing for MFA is often done in bands or ranges with bulk discounts. If you fall below a certain range, work with the solution provider to see how you can be creative to meet the bulk requirements of the next pricing band.
For additional information, talk to your dedicated consultant at Networks Plus.
The Easiest Way To Disaster-Proof Your Cybersecurity
Though no one would dispute the increasing prevalence of cyber-attacks on businesses in recent years, many small-business owners believe themselves and their business to be immune to such attacks. Broadly speaking, many small-business owners are likely to think that cybercriminals will go after the bigger fish. However, the fact of the matter is that cyber-attacks are crimes of opportunity, and small businesses often have access to a good amount of sensitive data without many major safeguards. In other words, they’re low-hanging fruit, ripe for the picking.
Back in 2019, two-thirds of respondents to a survey about cyber security didn’t believe that their small to mid-size business (SMB) would fall victim to a cyber-attack. Consequently, only 9% of respondents said cyber security was a top priority for their business, and 60% didn’t have any sort of plan for deterring a cyber-attack. All of this, despite the fact that, according to a report from CNBC, SMBs endured 43% of reported cyber-attacks, and according to data from the Ponemon Institute and Keeper Security, 76% of SMBs in the U.S. alone reportedly endured a cyber-attack within the previous year.
Every small-business owner should have some plan for deterring cyber-attacks so they don’t end up as another statistic. Here are a few strategies for keeping the cybercriminals at bay.
Boost Your Cloud Security
Storing data in the cloud is easy and cost-effective, but you should take care to find the most secure cloud storage platforms. Not all cloud platforms make security a priority, but some do. And be sure to have a back-up solution in place for your cloud storage.
Secure All Parts Of Your Network
Our computers and the many smart devices hooked up to our network can become weak spots for hackers to get in. Taking steps to safeguard each device in your network with strong passwords and robust authentication measures will go a long way toward keeping the hackers at bay. In fact, one of the most basic security measures you can take for your network is to restrict access to your WiFi with a strong password.
Invest In Extra Security Measures
Virtual private networks (VPNs), firewalls, and advanced endpoint security agents are all tools that are highly effective in protecting against cyber-attacks, even if they can’t prevent 100% of them.
Pay Attention To Updates And Upgrades
When you get notified that one of the technological tools that you use has a new update, it’s easy to ignore it. However, you should commit to regularly updating and upgrading these tools because developers will often add patches to their programs that make them more secure against attacks with each update. So, it behooves business owners to regularly install updates for their tech tools. Don’t want to worry about installing every patch? Hit your consultant up about software that can do that for you on all of your endpoints.
Back Up Your Data
With one of the most common forms of cyber-attacks being ransomware attacks, where hackers will hold your company data hostage until you pay them a ransom amount, having your company data stored on multiple backups can ensure that your business won’t crumble due to your data’s inaccessibility.
Limit Employee Access To Your Network
As much as we’d wish it weren’t true, many cyber-attacks don’t come from outside of your company. Instead, they originate from within. If you want to limit the amount of damage that someone inside your company can do in a cyber-attack, the best course of action is to limit their access to different parts of your network.
Train Your Employees
At the same time, just as many cyber-attacks occur not because of an employee’s malicious intent, but because of their natural human characteristic to trust others. They click on a link in a sketchy e-mail and fall for a phishing scheme, volunteer their password info without thinking about it, click on an attachment from a source asking for their help, or choose a weak password for their computer. That’s why you need to dedicate time to training your employees on best practices when it comes to security.
Set Up A ‘Security Culture’ At Your Workplace
You need to make cyber security a top priority, not just for your IT department, but for every department at your business. When everyone works together to protect their workplace from a cyber-attack, you have a better chance of succeeding.
Will protecting your business from a cyber-attack require a good amount of time and money? Absolutely. Can you afford to ignore the prevalence of cyber-attacks any longer? Statistically, no. The sad truth is that 60% of SMBs that fall victim to a cyber-attack end up shuttering within six months. Don’t put yourself in that kind of position. Instead, take your business’s cyber security seriously.
Beat The Heat!
Beat The Heat! How The Dog Days Of Summer Can Wreak Havoc On Your Technology
The dog days of summer are here, and it’s hot out! Homeowners and business owners alike are bracing for their upcoming power bills as they run their air conditioners around the clock trying to keep cool. But for many business owners, it’s not just about keeping your team cool – it’s also about keeping your technology cool.
Every piece of technology you use is susceptible to heat damage. Sometimes they overheat due to internal issues. Maybe they’re processing a lot of data. Or maybe the internal cooling system isn’t enough. But they can also overheat due to external issues, such as high summer temperatures, inadequate air conditioning, or being left in vehicles on a hot day.
If heat overwhelms your systems, it has the potential to knock out your business. If computers go down or servers can’t run efficiently due to heat, it can be a costly disaster. The average computer is built to work in external temperatures of 50 to 82 degrees Fahrenheit. Laptops and tablets can handle 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Every business should be aware of just how much damage heat can cause. For example, heat can damage individual components in your devices. There are records of graphic cards bursting into flame as a result of overheating and heat-related electrical issues. These components are designed to withstand high heat, but they can only take so much.
Heat can also disrupt productivity. It’s one thing if your business is warmer than usual and you have fans running. It can make work harder. But heat slows down devices. They cannot run as efficiently and, as a result, programs and apps will struggle to run. In some cases, they might not be able to run at all because they require a certain amount of data processing that is negatively impacted by too much heat.
If your systems are disrupted or damaged, you can also lose critical data. Heat can damage hard drives and solid-state disk drives, leaving you without access to your data. Sometimes, with proper cooling, this data can be recovered, but if the heat and damage persist, the data may be unrecoverable if you don’t have a backup.
What’s the next step? Every business needs to fully understand its cooling needs. It’s one thing to cool people working in an office. It’s something else entirely to cool a server room. Ask yourself questions like:
- Does your business have adequate and efficient air conditioning?
- Does your technology (such as a computer or server room) have adequate air conditioning?
- Have you educated remote or mobile employees about the dangers heat can cause to their laptops and tablets if they are left in a vehicle?
- Do individual devices have adequate cooling (have employees complained about weird app slowdowns)?
On top of this, it’s critical to ask questions about your data security needs:
- Do you keep all of your data on-site?
- Is your data protected from natural disaster or outside intrusion (have you invested in cyber security)?
- Do you have a plan if your data is damaged or lost?
- Do you routinely back up your data to the cloud or another off-site solution?
You never have to compromise your data or your business. There are countless solutions on the market today to help you protect your most valuable assets – and even to help with your technology cooling needs. As you navigate the dog days of summer, remember you have options. Contact your local business consultant for more information at email@example.com. They can help you ensure the longevity of your technology and keep your data safe.