I’ll never forget my first true IT disaster. The IT department had just finished migrating an entire department onto a new computer system. Everything had gone extremely well, and I was congratulating the team when I received a call the staff could not access the new program. The IT department soon informed me the new storage system had failed and we would be down for several hours while they restored the data from backup.
The real problem started when the IT Director came to my office and said one of the few things you never want to hear from the technology department, “The last backup we can find is…”, proceeding to explain the only available backup was the manual backup taken when the system was first installed; the backup system had not been updated to include the database for the new application and all of the newly entered data had been lost. Five thousand dollars, two weeks, and four temporary workers later, the data was re-entered and the system was up and running again.
Unplanned equipment failures and failed backups no longer top the list of risks associated with technology, nor are the risks isolated to job related technologies.
The wide-spread use of technology in all sectors of our lives increasingly adds personal and business issues to the list of things you never want to hear from IT.
#8. “Do you have a copy of your password…” – ever wondered what you would do if you could not remember that Internet password and security question? My sister found out – she had to register for a new email account, delaying her online certification program required for her teaching position.
#7: “The system was not protected by a….” – lightning and down power lines can render systems unusable unless protected by a working UPS.
#6: “Your warranty expired last….” – one of the best protections against unexpected costs associated with hardware failures is an up to date warranty.
#5: “The AV system stopped updating last…” – email and the Internet are now the most used distribution methods for viruses and malware. Installed and up-to-date Anti-Virus and Malware solutions are the best protection against these threats.
#4: “When was the last time you backed up…” or “The last backup we can find is…” – tape backup is becoming increasingly impractical as the amount of data stored increases and disk-to-disk solutions with offline Internet copies are becoming more affordable. But remember, it isn’t the backup that is important, it is the restore.
#3: “How many times have you used that password….” – Internet banking, online payments, eBay, Amazon, Facebook, email. Shared passwords across systems increase the risk, and cost, that may be incurred if your password is stolen.
#2: “PII data is missing….” – Personally Identifiable Information: credit card data, social security numbers, medical records, and address lists are only a few of the types of data that can be lost through that laptop or backup tape left in the car for a few minutes. The U.S. Department of Veteran’s affairs spent a reported $160.5 million monitoring credit for 17.5 million veterans after a laptop was stolen from a single employee.
#1: ” Hackers got in through…” – ever wonder what hacking can cost? T.J. Maxx spent an estimated $20 million dollars investigating, notifying customers, and hiring lawyers when 45 million customer records were lost to a hacker attack starting from an unprotected wireless network.