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What was surprising (but unfortunately not too uncommon) is that the owners and the management were not fully aware of the gravity of the situation. We have spoken about this issue before and would like to reiterate that your data, network system as well as as business applications are the nerve center for your business applications are the nerve center of your business. To alleviate these pain points, here are ten suggestions that any business owner/executive should know and make sure it is implemented:

*Make sure you have a reliable backup system that saves data on different medias (including online) with appropriate retention policy.

*Have your servers/workstations always patched up with the latest updates for the operating systems and all the installed applications.

*Have a reputable anitvirus such as: Symantec, McAfee, etc, and keep it updated

*Do not consider IT as a cost center. IT is an important part of your business stability and growth.

*Know the admin passwords for your servers, routers, major applications,etc. Make sure there is a network schematic and documentation of your system.

*Take data security, compliance (such as HIPAA) seriously and implement the requirements such as keeping sensitive information secure, physical security,etc.

*Make sure you know what is installed on your server, who has rights and access to what.

*Make sure all the software installed on your network have valid licenses and support. Many IT guys install illegal software or freeware that can put you at risk.

*Make sure there is a reliable firewall in place.

*Implement Disaster & Recovery – Know your tolerance for the downtime.