“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is a common and useful rule for many business owners. It serves to protect your business against unnecessary costs and unneeded downtime. While protecting your business against many types of danger, it poses an outright threat when it comes to IT security. Security threats to your firm move so fast that your IT should be working twice as hard as your company just to keep up. Every day, hundreds of thousands of new malware threats are released. Falling even hours behind means any one of these attacks can threaten your business. The single most dangerous thing IT security can do is stand still. Keeping up with the latest advice, technology, and updates the security industry offers is vital to keep your business safe. This makes up much of the unseen job of IT professionals. Hackers never stop looking for new ways into your system, which means your security can’t stop looking for ways to keep them out. Modern Systems for Modern Business One of the most common security threats a business opens itself to is using an outdated operating system or software package. Many firms are scared to upgrade, update, or renew their IT over fears of breaking legacy systems. Many rely heavily on old software and are afraid to make a large change themselves. Some businesses today still run machines on Windows XP, an operating system first released back in 2001. Old operating systems stop receiving security updates and patches that protect against newly released attacks. These systems become very vulnerable, presenting a large target for knowledgeable hackers. This happens many years after newer versions have been released, giving knowing IT firms a chance to migrate safely. Hackers are always on the lookout for businesses that run IT equipment outside of its suggested service life. A server, desktop computer, or peripheral is a golden opportunity for criminals to enter and threaten a business. Hackers purchase their attacks on the dark web, safe in the knowledge that old systems won’t be patched. These attacks can then be used to attack unguarded firms to steal or compromise vital company data. An unpatched old machine is like a valuable security door left propped open overnight, a golden opportunity for thieves. Smart Budgets Budgeting for business is a difficult task. We aim to make the most of everything we spend and reduce spending as much as we can. IT security can easily fall very far down the list of priorities. IT can seem like an easy way to cut costs. It’s a department that the customer doesn’t always benefit from directly, and when it’s working well, it might not be on the radar at all. Despite working largely behind the scenes, successful IT is one of the critical components of every highly successful firm. Good IT can be the binding glue that holds the company together. Even businesses far removed from the IT world typically uses payment machines, ordering systems, and inventory. Even restaurants and retail stores rely on computers to operate. Downtime for any critical system can be a complete disaster. A business can be unable to trade, and costs can mount up fast. When vital IT components are used by the customer, a sales website, or an automated booking system for example, the problem can multiply tenfold. Keep On Top Of The Essentials Good IT isn’t built on high peaks and deep troughs in the yearly budget. The kind of IT that makes your business and helps it to grow is built by smart financing and careful planning. Great technicians are what makes excellent IT. Maintaining steady updates, keeping pace with the latest security, and building your IT as you build your business keeps you in the driving seat when it matters most. When IT is planned and issues are solved before they appear, security becomes cheaper, easier, and many times more effective. System upgrades can be planned out months, if not years in advance so you are never caught unaware. Don’t let your IT be broken before you take steps to fix it. Move ahead of the curve and give CITE Managed IT Services a call at 605-791-2423 so you don’t have to find out what your business looks like without IT.