And we are back!
Last month we wrote about four of the top IT mistakes to learn from and now we have three more for you. Why? Because there are a lot of ways for mistakes to be made in our industry and just one mistake could lead to some seriously costly consequences.
Let’s continue to learn from other people’s mistakes so we don’t have to make our own!
3 more IT mistakes
1. Allowing weak passwords
For all the bad press surrounding the Ashley Madison breach, Robert Graham of Errata Security sad there was one redeeming factor – the company cryptographically scrambled using a feature known as bcrypt. For people with weak passwords this didn’t help them because hackers could easily decrypt them, but for people with strong passwords, they at least had one thing that wasn’t leaked – their password. Considering many people use the same password and email combo for a variety of sites, having those both leaked is going to cause Ashley Madison users further trouble.
Make sure you enforce (through technology and communication) a clear, detailed and consistent password policy.
2. Forgetting the “small” stuff
We get it; between your bosses, industry news and the media, it is easy to get caught up in only thinking about one thing – data breaches. But protecting data is just one part of the job. You need to keep all your company’s networks running and that includes remembering the small stuff – like paying the bills. Back in 2004, The Washington Post forgot to pay a simple $19 annual registration fee for its corporate domain name and it lost internal email for a better part of the day.
You also need to fight for the small things sometimes. Like A/C. Data centers create a lot of heat and need to be kept cool, so don’t let anyone try and cut your utility costs. Saving a few bucks on utilities could end up costing a company millions in damage recovery if a data center overheats.
3. Forgetting about backups
Backups are kind of like software updates, we all tell ourselves we will do it later, but that could be a fatal mistake. Late one night, a mid-size clothing company frantically called Eric Schlissel of GeekTek IT Services to come to their warehouse after they noticed some serious tech issues and had a deadline the next morning. Within a matter of minutes, Schlissel determined someone had purged the company’s entire system. It turned out a disgruntled IT contractor had enacted revenge by wiping the garment maker’s servers. To make matters worse, the company’s general IT guy had not noticed the backups hadn’t been working for a very long time.
The company only survived because someone in accounting, who did not trust technology, had kept paper copies of everything. It took Schlissel and his team six months to restore all the data by hand. In the end it cost the approximately $10 million company $2 million to recover.
Check that your backups are working. Every day.
Some of these mistakes could cost you your career, so make sure you remember all these errors and avoid making them yourself.