For many small to mid-sized companies, IT operations run smoothly, efficiently and without cause for alarm - right up until the point when some seemingly small wrench suddenly throws the entire system into disarray. Whether because of user error, willful destruction or natural disaster, your firm's network and information security are often just one incident away from a major and costly issue. The following horror stories of IT issues gone terribly wrong illustrate the need for all companies, regardless of size and industry, to either maintain an internal IT department or utilize an IT support service that can protect the security of their network.
Severe and costly IT issues can arise at any instant. Sometimes IT issues come up when well-meaning employees who lack technical proficiency try to help. Take the case of the diligent administrative assistant who compiled and distributed a list of every employee's username and password after a major network upgrade. She thought she was making the company more efficient; of course, in reality, she undermined the security of the system that her firm had just outlaid a significant amount of money to upgrade and safeguard. While employees in departments such as human resources and sales won't become IT techs overnight, user training by IT professionals who are well-versed in common user errors can help mitigate many issues before they arise.
Alternatively, issues can have nothing to do with actual employees. In one case, a hurricane caused the power to be compromised at a company, forcing the firm to rely on their emergency generator. Functionality was soon restored using the back-up power source, until the generator ran out of fuel because no one had thought to stockpile enough gas to last through a prolonged power outage. The entire system crashed, and severely impacted efforts to recover backed-up files. Most often, natural disasters reveal an egregious lack of back-up planning for key files; as with human errors, IT professionals can help avoid these issues by routinely testing back-up protocols to ensure ongoing success.
[FREE INFOGRAPHIC] Six Common IT Issues Every Company Experiences
Ultimately, although not all IT horror stories can be avoided, employing either an in-house IT department or an external IT support service that understands your company's technology - and potential disruptions that can affect this technology - can go a long way in providing a high level of IT security for your business. Because at the end of the day, peace of mind makes all the difference.