What Every Small Business Owner Must Know About Protecting And Preserving Their Company’s Critical Data And Computer Systems

If You Depend On Your Computer Network To Run Your Business, This is a MUST READ!

Most Computer Problems Are Hidden And Strike Without Warning, And At The Most Inconvenient Times

business-technology-disasterHardware failure, viruses, spyware, and other problems usually aren’t detectable until they strike by causing a server to go down, data to be lost, or some other catastrophe. Viruses and spyware are particularly sneaky because they are designed to hide while they do their damage. For example, spyware can secretly transmit information about you and your company to an outsider without being visible to you.

Even if your network was recently audited by a computer consultant, viruses, spyware, and hackers are constantly attacking your network (that is why we constantly monitor our clients’ networks because you never know when a new virus is going to strike).

Unfortunately, most computer consultants only offer “break-fix” services. That basically means when something breaks or stops working, they come in and fix it. While this may seem like a good setup for you, it actually leaves you wide open to a number of threats, problems, and other disasters because it is reactive rather than proactive maintenance.

 Take a look at these statistics:

  • Companies experience an average of 501 hours of network downtime every year, and the overall downtime costs an average of 3.6% of annual revenue.  (Source: The Costs of Enterprise Downtime, Infonetics Research)
  • 93% of companies that lost their data center for 10 days or more due to a disaster filed for bankruptcy within one year of the disaster and 50% filed for bankruptcy immediately. (Source: National Archives & Records Administration in Washington.)
  • 20% of small to medium businesses will suffer a major disaster causing loss of critical data every 5 years. (Source: Richmond House Group)
  • This year, 40% of small to medium businesses that manage their own network and use the Internet for more than e-mail will have their network accessed by a hacker, and more than 50% won’t even know they were attacked. (Source: Gartner Group)
  • Of those companies participating in the Contingency Planning & Management Cost of Downtime Survey: 46% said each hour of downtime would cost their companies up to $50,000, 28% said each hour would cost between $51,000 and $250,000, 18% said each hour would cost between $251,000 and $1 million, and 8% said it would cost their companies more than $1million per hour. (Source: Cost of Downtime Survey Results, 2001.)
  • Cyber-criminals stole an average of $900 from each of 3 million Americans in the past year, and that doesn’t include the hundreds of thousands of PCs rendered useless by spyware. (Source: Gartner Group)

What These Failures Are REALLY Costing Your Business

Even if you don’t factor in the soft costs of lost productivity, there is a hard cost of repairing and restoring your network. Most major network repairs will require a minimum of four to eight hours on average to get the network back up and running. Plus, most consultants cannot get on-site to resolve the problem for 24 to 48 hours. That means your network could be down for one to two days.

Since the average computer consultant charges over $100 per hour plus a trip fee and a surcharge, if it’s an emergency, the average cost of these repairs is $600 to $1,000; and that doesn’t even include any software or hardware costs that may also be required. Over a year, this results in $1,800 to $3,000 in costs without even considering hardware and software costs, or other soft costs of lost sales and work hours. Of course, those numbers quickly multiply with larger, more complex networks.

What’s most exasperating about this situation is that 100% of these disasters and restoration costs could have been completely avoided or greatly mitigated easily and inexpensively with a little planning and proactive maintenance.

Why Small Business Are Especially Vulnerable To These Disasters

With the constant changes to technology and the daily development of new threats, it takes a highly-trained technician to maintain even a simple 3 to 5 person network; however, the cost of hiring a full-time, experienced technician is just not feasible for most small business owners.

In an attempt to save money, most try to do their own in-house IT support and designate the person with the most technical expertise as the part-time IT manager. This never works out because this makeshift IT person has another full-time job to do and is usually not skilled enough to properly support an entire computer network anyway.

This inevitably results in a network that is ill-maintained and unstable. It also means that the backups, virus updates, and security patches are not getting timely updates, giving a false sense of security.

It’s only a matter of time before the network crashes. If you’re lucky, it will only cost you a little downtime; but there’s always a chance you could end up in complete technology disaster that your business can’t recover from.

Scheduled a consultation with us today to see how we can proactively manage your business’s network and check out these 6 things you must do at a minimum to protect your business from disaster.