Project Management

Protect small business clients from making these mistakes

IT consultants can help protect their small business clients from common tech mistakes, such as security failures and poor backup strategies. Here are tips on what you can do.

 In Erik Eckel's blog, 10 tech mistakes small businesses make (and how IT consultants can help clients avoid them), he provides a list of the 10 most common tech missteps he has seen small businesses make:

  • Insufficient technical support
  • Hardware/software issues
  • Insufficient power protection
  • Illegal software
  • Insufficient training
  • Security failures
  • Poor backup strategies
  • Virus exposure
  • Spyware exposure
  • Unsolicited e-mail

He also offers IT consultants with solid tips on how to protect clients from making mistakes in all of these areas. For example, in order to prevent security failures, he suggests that small businesses adopt these best practices:

  • Implement and enforce strong password security policies for all PCs, servers, network equipment, and software applications.
  • Regularly update operating systems, network equipment firmware, and applications with the latest security patches.
  • Deploy business-class firewalls in all locations; connect no systems directly to the Internet.
  • Secure all wireless networks.
  • Disable guest accounts.
  • Implement Internet and e-mail usage policies that preclude personal use of those technologies.
  • Prohibit file-sharing programs.
  • Deploy proven antivirus, anti-spyware, and anti-rootkit applications and update them regularly.
  • Regularly perform security audits and correct all deficiencies.

To find out what preventive measures he recommends for the other nine possible tech mistakes, read 10 tech mistakes small businesses make (and how IT consultants can help clients avoid them).

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Mary Weilage is a Senior Editor for CBS Interactive. She has worked for TechRepublic since 1999.


I regularly disable USB ports (particularly front-panel ones) and CD/DVD drives unless there is a bona-fide reason for a particular user/station to have them. This reduces the threat of data theft, users attempting to add unauthorized software, or introducing viruses/spyware onto their computers or the network. Since most software is installed via the network or Internet, it's rare to need these drives in most of the environments I oversee. USB ports can be disable in the BIOS setup. I order/configure most workstation without CD/DVD drives.

Sterling chip Camden
Sterling chip Camden

That's one I see all the time, even though my clients are software developers! Trusting Windows Firewall to save you is not my idea of security...

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