Have you ever continually clicked on a button that isn’t working in hopes that the problem would fix itself? Have you ever used a suspicious link when you knew you shouldn’t? Whether you have or not, these are common networking mistakes most people make at one point or another. Here’s a short list of some of the biggest time wasters and security risks that crop up on a business network and how you can make sure you avoid them.
Cloud computing is extremely helpful and can be a great way for businesses to store a lot of data without having to deal with physical servers on site. However, you need to realize that when you put your information in the hands of somebody else, you’re exposing it to a higher chance of human error. An accidental deletion on the part of your managed services provider, an employee who doesn’t follow the proper security protocols, or a simple account management error can result in a lot of lost data. While you should use cloud computing if it is right for your company, make sure your data is accessible somewhere else as well so you don’t fall prey to the higher chance of human error.
More and more employees are accessing their work data from phones and tablets, but businesses very rarely enforce a real security policy when it comes to these mobile devices. If you have the resources, it’s best to issue your own smartphones or tablets for work purposes so you can enforce a particular security policy. If you don’t have these resources and need to allow employees to use their personal devices to access the business network, make sure all your employees are educated on good security. This includes strong passwords (avoiding common device unlock codes such as 1234 or 9876) and the possible implementation of smartphone management software to ensure compliance.
Most people take their computers, mobile devices, and other hardware for granted when they are using them and never really give any thought as to what they will do with them when it comes time to replace them. Some companies go as far as throwing their network devices in the trash when they’re done with them, which is a terrible move to make. Not only is that very bad for the environment, but it can net you some significant fines as well. It’s best to follow the recommended disposal procedures that come with your hardware or, if the products can be used again, to resell them. An even better option is to get network hardware on a contract that covers upgrades and disposal for years to come.
Even in an era when most companies are pushing the paperless approach, the network printer is an essential office device. Most businesses tend to take the biggest discount or the cheapest piece of equipment, but this is something that can actually cost a lot of money in the long run. Before you settle for an inferior printer, you need to consider the size and printing needs of the office. If you get a printer that can’t handle the volume you need, you’ll wear it out quickly and have to pay a huge amount in on-site maintenance costs. Make sure you research your devices and find the product that will fit your office’s specific needs. This will guarantee that your printer lasts a long time and will save you money.
Depending on what sort of product you buy and how much use you're expecting to get out of it, an extended warranty may not be worth it. Even with important products such as printers and servers, just selecting a generic warranty might be asking for trouble down the road. As with choosing a printer, you need to look at your needs and what is being offered. Most companies who buy warranties wind up paying for services they will never need. When you purchase network products in bulk, you should speak with your supplier about warranty terms. You might find that you can customize the deal to fit your needs. This means you won't have to worry about buying a service you don't need.
Most people make the mistake of assuming that a generic deal will fit all businesses, which is simply not true. By researching carefully, monitoring your security, and customizing your network to fit your business, you will save both time and money.