In a recent Spiceworks-Carboinate survey, only one-third of the 1,000 small business IT professionals surveyed believed that 100 percent of their company’s data could be retrieved in the event of data loss related to BYOD. For the remaining portion of small businesses, a data loss can spell disaster. Just because you don’t have the same budget as a large corporation, does not mean your business can — or should — run these risks. Consider adopting these inexpensive, yet effective, small business IT solutions to stay safe and productive.
A tiny IT department can struggle to back up business data, maintain a secure commuting environment and put out tech fires. Outsource the data backup to a cloud computing vendor to give IT staff some breathing room. An SMB study found that 52 percent of small businesses are already looking to the cloud for data storage. Solutions to consider include Dropbox, which offers free personal accounts and paid business accounts, and Microsoft SkyDrive, which has the ability to replicate files across systems and offers free and paid plans. Both cloud computing solutions have desktop clients and cloud platforms so staff can access needed files on the go. Set up an automated cloud backup to run once a day or once a week, which keeps your business data secure. In the event of data loss, download data from the cloud to restore your files.
Allowing employees to bring their own phones to work can save money and stretch a limited tech budget. However, BYOD presents challenges. What happens if a staff member loses a phone? To protect business data from hackers, IT needs to keep all devices secure and up-to-date and may need remote access to devices in order to wipe data clean if it is stolen. Blackberry offers a mobile management tool that allows IT to manage their BYOD program and different types of smartphones from one centralized console. Test it out with a 60-day free trial.
Not only is videoconferencing a headache for IT staff who often must set up the system, it calls for expensive equipment that can be out of a small business’s price range. Save time and money with a Web-based videoconferencing solution, which also supports teleconferencing. One to consider is AdobeConnect, which supports videoconferencing, webinars and e-learning. AdobeConnect is subscription-based and prices vary by the size of your business. Try a free 30-day trial or contact Adobe directly to obtain price information for your business. Skype is another free and fast solution.
The average small business owner doesn’t know enough about hackers, phishing, spyware and other cybercrime to effectively monitor networked security. Antivirus software and firewalls can help, but are only small components of a comprehensive security approach. Outsourcing security can be a cost-effective way to maintain the safety of business data 24/7. Providers can perform basic system setup or take a comprehensive, hands-on role in active security monitoring, threat prevention and threat detection. Security as a service providers include AT&T, CSC, Dell SecureWorks, HP, IBM, Symantec, Trustwave, Verizon, and Wipro, Forrester Research notes. Packages vary by service provider and level of services requested. A good security provider should be able to clearly explain its services in plain English, so you know what you are signing up for.
Holly Collier Holly is a digital marketing consultant for small businesses