Before your computer crashes ... One easy step to make your company's computers safe.

Author:McCully, Bruce

What if your computer guy turned to you and said, "Sorry, but the files just aren't here." He goes on, explaining that your company's backups have not successfully backed up your files in over three months. Your mind is racing. Your heart is pounding. You have that knotted feeling in your stomach as you think of all of the work you are missing. You just spent $5,000 on a backup solution last year. Why did this happen?


Insufficient backups are one of the biggest problems we found last year while auditing over 200 small to medium sized businesses. Most business owners assume they have adequate backups. I remember one CEO who told our team, "Of course we have backups. Not backing up our company's data would be silly." Later, when we audited their network, we found only half of their data was being backed up!

Most managers and business owners have no way to make sure the people who are responsible for the computes are actually doing their jobs. The problems with accountability don't surface until a major crisis uncovers them.

Today, successful businesses are more dependent than ever on computer systems. Obviously, this lack of accountability creates tremendous risk for your business.

What can you do? Create systems that hold the people responsible for your company's computers accountable. Here's an example: ask for a different file to be restored each month, first, pick a file that you recently worked on. Rename it. Contact the person responsible for your computers and ask them to restore the original file. After the file is restored, open it and make sure it contains all of your most recent changes. If it doesn't contain all of your changes, start asking questions.

The next step takes a little more work: ask questions and follow up. The people supporting your computers must be able to explain to you in plain, understandable English the benefits and risks of all IT projects. If they can't provide you this information, you have a major problem. Your company's success is too dependent on your computer systems to have a simple communication barrier holding up your path to accountability. Either spend...

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