Small Business IT Plan – The Basics

I believe small businesses should have a plan for their IT. There will be differences between businesses for obvious reasons, but in large part there are some common key elements that make up a good IT plan for all small businesses.

Here are the basics that a small business should have as part of their IT:

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Recent Internet Attacks Affect Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, And More

A major Internet attack today (2016-10-21) affected popular Internet sites like Amazon, Netflix, Twitter, and more.

The attack was a “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attack, where a large number of devices, typically a botnet, are used to flood the targets with Internet traffic. The flood of traffic overwhelms the capacity of the targets and disrupts them to the point they are unable to respond to the real data.

It’s believed to have been trigged by a program called Mirai which makes it easy to infect online devices and use them to create a botnet that can launch DDoS attacks like this one.

What’s really scary is that it doesn’t even take a skilled hacker to use Mirai and tools like it to infect large numbers of devices, create botnets, and then use them in attacks.

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Security Breaches Resulting In Loss of 2.2 Billion Personal Information Records So Far In 2016

Digital Trends has an article about a recent security breach that resulted in the loss of 58 million personal records.

As if that’s not bad enough, the article claims nearly 3,000 reported security breaches so far in 2016 of 2.2 billion records.

Those numbers are astronomical!

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Hacked Devices and IT Myth #1

Previously, I posted about Internet devices like security cameras and DVRs being hacked to form a botnet army that was then used to launch attacks against other targets. [Internet Devices Get Hacked]

I wanted to draw a link from this fact (that Internet devices of all kinds are susceptible to attack) to an earlier post I made about a common IT myth, the myth that small businesses don’t have to worry about security because hackers wouldn’t go after them.

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Internet Devices Get Hacked

In a Wall Street Journal article from Sep 30, 2016, author Drew Fitzgerald writes about recent attacks that were carried out by a botnet “army” against multiple targets including at least one each in the US and France.

According to the article, as many as 1 million devices may have participated in the attack.

The devices used in the attack were not massive, powerful servers or computers in some highly-connected data center. No. In fact, they weren’t even server or computers at all in the traditional sense.

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#1 Reason small business technology is ineffective

Most small businesses don’t have effective IT. The IT that they do have is a hodge-podge of technologies, a mish-mash of computers, a lot of out-of-date practices, and a smattering of the technology-du-jour all held together with a heavy dose of superstition (“We don’t want to change that. Last time we did, everything broke.”)

The main reason technology isn’t effective for small businesses is that they lack a plan. There’s no vision for what IT should be doing to improve the business. There’s no strategy to guide decisions and create cohesion.
If your business technology isn’t guided by a plan, it’s likely you fall into these same traps.

Why do you need a plan?

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