We live in the digital age. IT, and the internet in particular, is now as important as steam to the industrial revolution, as the guillotine to the French revolution, as stone to the Stone Age, as ice to the... well you see where I’m going, and I could go on, but in short, it’s fundamental to the way we live. And to the way we work.
Embracing new technology is smart. It makes sense to, say, invest in video conferencing and reduce employees time spent travelling between offices, or enable your clients to download your latest digital software. But what if it goes wrong? Often companies pay thousands to benefit from these systems, and if they like them soon make them integral to the day-to-day running of their businesses. However despite a reliance (possibly an over reliance) on IT and internet-based applications, the levels of care and precaution exercised over them are often equivalent to the protection 18th century seaman afforded to their genital regions.
It’s easier to see why in some respects. We all love purchasing new shiny gadgets, performance maximising applications, time saving systems. But things like firewalls, backup connectivity lines, email security systems... well there about as riveting as a UK Gold re-run of Family Fortunes. “Buy this thing, never really use it and see no tangible benefits from in case you have a disaster.” It’s no easy sell, it’s insurance and insurance is just not sexy.
Now you never want to scare people into buying anything. But with all these spybots and botnets, Trojan horses and dancing pigs, malwares and other malevolent sounding digital saboteurs circulating your network, doesn’t investment in a robust network security system make sense? If all your critical data is in your server room might it not be wise to ensure business continuity by backing up your data or hosting some of your servers in a secure data centre? And what about the internet? Most of us can’t do without Facebook for a day or two but what are the financial ramifications if ,like in Luton recently, copper is stolen out of the ground, your business is potentially without internet for 2 weeks?
Clearly not investing in a business continuity policy can have perilous consequences. So If you haven’t already, start giving some thought to DR, backups, resilient solutions and all the rest of it. Yes these things require further investment, but the cost of them pales in comparison to the cost of losing your critical systems for a period of time. In short, strap up, protect yourself - you’ll be grateful you did.