Why and how to build a solid IT infrastructure

Leftronic reports that only 8% of American households owned a computer in 1984. Entrepreneurs in the 80s and 90s had little concern about cybersecurity.

Many business leaders of the ’80s and’ 90s are the baby boomers of today, and many of the baby boomers of today are preparing to retire. According to the AARP, more than 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age in the United States every day.

The California Association of Business Brokers reports that baby boomer-owned businesses have more than $ 10 trillion in assets, and more than 12 million businesses will change hands over the next 10 to 15 years.

In this changing landscape, business owners and sellers, especially those who haven’t grown up in the digital age, should consider the impact that a robust IT infrastructure can have on the businesses they want. protect or sell.

The risk

Parachute IT Solutions reports that cybercrime costs Americans more than $ 1,000 billion a year. Large corporations and companies that employ remote workers are prime targets for cybercriminals.

IT security plays an important role in how a business is valued and behaves in the seller’s market. It is reported that less than 5% of sellers walk away with a substantial net profit. The smart will look for ways to differentiate their business by mitigating risk factors and delivering what top buyers (the next generation) expect from the businesses they buy. The appropriate cybersecurity protocols are at the top of the list.

More and more, potential buyers are using cybersecurity threat level as a matrix to determine the value of a business. It is not uncommon for a poor IT infrastructure to be assigned a value and that value be subtracted from the proposed purchase price.

Next steps

  • Consider connecting with a cyber insurance or IT specialist to perform an assessment and share recommendations regarding your risks and IT needs. Gartner IT Solutions recommends that 1.5-3.5% of your income be invested in IT infrastructure.
  • Make a plan to resolve the following issues:
  1. Each computer and user accessing business data should be counted monthly. IP addresses and login passwords should be verified against the company’s authorized list.
  2. Every computer accessing corporate data must have an encrypted hard drive, password protected, and up-to-date and licensed antivirus software that meets industry-recommended performance standards.
  3. Your business should have a practical plan to monitor equipment and protocols and quickly resolve IT issues.
  4. Several employees must be trained and able to monitor and resolve most IT problems, or you must contract with a company that guarantees fast service. For example, Jim Lambert, founding partner of DivergeITservices, offers what he calls a “RULE OF ONE” service plan whereby “problems are identified in one minute, managed by one person and resolved in one hour”.

Top Mistakes Business Owners Make Regarding These Problems

  • Underestimate the risk. Most business owners report that computers associated with their organization are well protected with antivirus software. However, experts note that 94% of businesses have at least one computer without weak, dated, or expired antivirus software accessing their data. Thomas Reid, 18th century philosopher and founder of the Scottish School of Common Sense, said: “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.
  • Do not investigate the needs and benefits of cyber insurance. Working with a professional to provide you with a detailed risk assessment and action plan can protect your investment and reputation, minimize IT issues and downtime, and potentially save money for those who find themselves overinsured. .
  • Failing to fulfill owner responsibilities detailed in a cybersecurity service or insurance plan. For example, if your coverage says you will be covered for a breach if the computer that was compromised was authorized and up to date on antivirus software and licenses, it is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure that all computers accessing business data are authorized and properly equipped with software.
  • Viewing additional safety steps as wasted or wasted time. It is true that higher security protocols (such as multiple login authentications) result in a longer login process, which is not always user-friendly for small mobile devices. However, the minimal inconvenience should be seen as a small price to pay to protect the continued operation, reputation, and financial security of your business.
  • Consider an IT audit as aended protocol. Checking the integrity of your IT protocols and working to stay in compliance with insurance policy stipulations should be viewed as an ongoing process.

The more this technology is involved in your business, the higher the risk. In today’s business world, operating with industry-recommended IT protocols and services is more of a requirement than a recommendation. Stéphane Nappo, Global Head of Information Security for Societe Generale International Banking, warned: “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and a few minutes of cyber incidents to ruin it.

To learn more about the assessment, see Veristrate, or my Youtube channel.

The opinions expressed here by the columnists of Inc.com are theirs and not those of Inc.com.

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