Posted by: Heather Shy on March 19, 2021 at 8:00 am
We originally published this post in April 2018. It has been updated.
Did you know there are 6 common threats facing your business computer network every summer? For most companies, a server crash, malware attack or other disaster can mean hours or days of downtime, unproductive employees, HUGE amounts of stress and thousands of dollars in lost opportunity. Here’s how to protect your network from these warm-weather risks:
Heat. This is probably the most obvious risk to your computer network from warmer weather. Excess heat can be a big problem for network servers, since an overheated server usually costs more in energy, fails more often, and is more likely to crash. Keep your server room clean and cool, under 77 degrees. Got a big pile of “old computer stuff” in your server room? Most companies do! If you need help determining what’s still useful and what isn’t, schedule an appointment for us to sort through it for you and haul the junk away.
Water. Another common risk to Michigan businesses is water. We’re all surrounded by lakes and rivers here, and sometimes even the freeways flood in heavy rain. If your office is in an area prone to flooding, make sure computer equipment is lifted off the floor at least by a few inches. Another water risk is leaky roofs, windows, and plumbing. One client of ours came in on a Monday morning to find several inches of water in their showroom due to a pipe that had burst over the weekend! While that’s not common, make every effort to keep computer network equipment off the floor and away from plumbing and windows.
Power outage. During the historic windstorm of 2017, about 1 million locations in the metro Detroit area lost power. We were one of them. What saved us from two days of lost business? Our business computer network is entirely cloud-based. We were able to support our clients from home or other locations that had internet access. (Read “How the Cloud Saved Our Business” here.) In December 2017, we ran our own disaster recovery drill to make sure our remote work processes were up-to-date and ready to assist our clients. Remote work brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic means businesses are in much better shape to work remotely due to power outages.
Power surge. Power outage’s little brother, a power surge is not as huge but is also capable of causing plenty of trouble. Fluctuating power flow, or “brown-outs,” can damage sensitive computer equipment. Servers and other essential electronics must be on an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). Individual workstations should at least have a surge protector, if not a smaller UPS.
Speaking of surge protectors…
Daisy Chains. No, not links of pretty flowers. A “daisy chain” is two or more power strips or surge protectors plugged into another. Don’t do this. Power strip daisy chains can cause fires. They also introduce multiple points of failure into your business computer network. If your equipment is too far from an electrical outlet, use a certified extension cord. Not enough outlets? Hire an electrician. Your business is worth the small investment required to prevent this very common fire cause.
Insecure Wi-Fi. It may be a while before coffee shops and libraries allow people to sit and work for hours using their Wi-Fi. Still, we know that warm temperatures and sunshine make (almost) everybody want to work outside, or at least out of the office. But coffee shops and libraries don’t often have business-grade security on their wireless networks. Yes, a cloud network is a great solution to many of the above problems, but one person can bring it all to the ground with an unsecured wireless connection. Be sure your Wi-Fi connection is secure before transmitting or receiving sensitive business data on a public network.
How protected is your business computer network? TAZ Networks can help protect your business from weather hazards and other common disasters. Call us to review your current business computer network protection or help you develop a new plan.