Think you're safe? Think again.
According to Mo Osman, executive vice president of Cleveland-based Mega Solutions Inc., most businesses don't even know they might be facilitating their own disaster. Here are a few things you can do to help prevent a crisis.
As your network grows, there's a tendency to give it continuous face lifts. That means new parts-often from different manufacturers-and often several pieces at a time. But if there's a problem, how do you know what's caused it? Osman suggests installing new hardware in phases, so that if the system crashes, the problem is more easily traced and corrected.
Software installation without testing
Installing new software packages often leads to problems. Waiting until the software is up and running on the network isn't the place to work out the bugs, says Osman. Destroying the network this way can be easily avoided. Try installing the software on an isolated workstation and testing its functionality first, he suggests.
No virus protection software
"It used to be that your office stopped where the walls stopped," says Osman. "But now there's this gray area because of modems and Internet connectivity. That type of interaction with the network introduces viruses."
Businesses that do research on the Net or whose employees have remote access to the network should install virus-protection software to ensure nothing harmful is introduced into the network.
Shoddy electrical wiring
Have you ever seen some of the rooms where IS directors store the network computers? Those tangled wires, cords and underpowered sockets are crashes waiting to happen, says Osman. Avoid this problem by enclosing the cords, tying up the wires and plugging them into adequately powered sockets.
No separate power supply
"If your lifeblood is hooked into a power supply on the same line as the rest of your office, if any weather issues occur, the system will be blown out of the water," warns Osman. Try an uninterruptible power supply instead. That will ensure if the lights go out, the network won't follow.
Unfiltered access to the network
As your office pushes outward into cyberspace, a gate of unaccountability opens. Do you know who is accessing your network from the outside? How much information can they get their cyberhands on? Osman says if you can't answer those questions, then you need a firewall or other protection to keep your files private.
How to reach: Mega Solutions Inc (216) 781-1551.