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Small Business IT: Three Keys to 2006
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By Russell Morgan


Security: The most common misconceptions are that security solutions are static and that company data is protected once adequate anti-virus and anti-spam software is installed. Most small businesses think they do enough to protect against active attacks. In most cases, this is not true.

Data Back-Up: While more than 80 percent of businesses see the value in data back-up, most do not realize that backing up every single document is a waste of resources. On average, only 10 percent of all data information requires constant access and updating for availability to multiple people in one business.

Disaster Prevention: There are many examples of businesses that lose their data and infrastructure and never reopen. Even such doomsday scenarios isn't pushing disaster prevention is not in the forefront of managers’ minds. Lack of off-site backup, a secure environment or and/or an efficient method of tape back-up can result in a critical loss of business continuity in the event of a disaster.

The Answers
With all of the challenges and problems that businesses face, the task of overcoming these obstacles may seem overwhelming. Heading into 2006, ITSPA research indicates that many solutions exist to meet the challenges outlined above.

ITSPA’s panel of experts identified the key areas to ensuring business success. In 2006, every small business owner should pay close attention to the technology areas of. Focusing on these key areas will give your small business the right combination of improved efficiency, growth and protection you require.

In each of these areas--security, data back-up and disaster prevention--there are specific, affordable solutions that can be implemented easily by in-house staff or with the support of an industry professional.

Security: The small business community is at higher risk from security breaches than larger companies. The big reasons are that the technology that protects against attacks can be confusing and the initial investment of time and money can be substantial.

The tips below can safeguard security--while allowing you to focus on non-technology business functions:

• Purchase intrusion prevention software or a monitoring system instead of passive software. This approach will prevent problems before they happen.

• Create a business continuity plan. If an attack or security problem does materialize, having a plan in place will optimize the changes that the business will continue to run smoothly.

Russell Morgan is the president of the Information Technology Solution Providers Alliance
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