By Bob Milliken
This is probably one of the biggest and most costly misconceptions that many business owners have. Usually this is because they’ve been fortunate enough to never have encountered a major computer-related disaster, but that’s similar to someone thinking they don’t need to wear a seat belt when driving a car because they’ve never had an accident.
Computer networks are complex and dynamic systems that need regular updates and maintenance to stay up, running fast and problem-free. In fact, it’s surprising how fast a brand-new computer will slow down after a few weeks or months of use without proper updates and maintenance. Here are just a FEW of the CORE critical activities that need to be done on a weekly – if not daily – basis:
- Security patches applied – with NEW viruses and hacker attacks cropping up DAILY, this is a CRITICAL part of maintaining your network
- Antivirus updates and monitoring
- Firewall updates and monitoring
- Backup monitoring and test restores
- Spam-filter installation and updates
- Spyware detection and removal
- Monitoring hardware for signs of failure
A computer is just like a car: if you don’t change the oil, replace the filter, rotate the tires, flush the transmission and perform other regular maintenance on your car, it will eventually break down and cost you FAR MORE to repair than the cost of the basic maintenance – and cars are far simpler than a computer network!
The fact of the matter is, computer networks absolutely, positively need ongoing maintenance and monitoring to stay secure and problem free. The ever-increasing dependency we have on IT systems and the data they hold — not to mention the type of data we’re now saving digitally — has given rise to very smart and sophisticated cybercrime organizations and who want nothing better than to compromise your networks for their benefit and gain.
Of course, this doesn’t even take into consideration other common “disasters” such as rogue employees, lost devices, hardware failures (which are the #1 reason for data loss), fire and natural disasters and a host of other issues that can interrupt or outright destroy your IT infrastructure and all of your critical business data.
In most cases the annoying day-to-day IT issues can be prevented with just a little regular maintenance. The ability to recover from a major disaster will depend entirely upon a functioning, online, continuous backup of your systems.
Preventing these problems and keeping your systems up and running (which is what regular monitoring and maintenance services are all about) is a LOT less expensive and damaging to your organization than waiting until one of these things happens and then paying for emergency IT services to restore your systems to working order.
Bob Milliken is the president of Cascadia Systems Group. Connect with Bob at TheITguy@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com, or give us a call – 604.270.1730. Your comments are appreciated – ComputerCents@CascadiaSystemsGroup.com