Maintain your key passwordsRecently, we visited a new prospect who was interested in our services. We spent a few minutes with the controller discussing the issues and opportunities he was facing with their computer network. We identified and discussed a number of issues: network speed, age of equipment, problems with emails, printers/scanners not working, the server going down on occasion and finally the poor support they received from the existing outside IT support firm. No organization in today’s competitive business environment can afford any of that. But that was not the biggest issue facing this business.

The biggest network issue this organization had, and they did not even know it, was that it did not have control of its own network. They had no idea, nothing written down anywhere of any login, userid or password information for any of their key network equipment including their server, firewall, anti-virus software etc. The controller called his IT support provider to get the password and other information and the IT support would not give it to him! Hard to imagine, but that is a true story. The IT provider was clearly trying to exercise total control over the network for his own purposes. That poses a number of huge risks, not the least of which is what to do if the outside IT support is unreachable or gone for some reason in the short or long term.

That is why at IT Radix, we always recommend that organizations have secure, internal records and access to all key network information. It makes perfect sense for an outside IT support firm to have the information, but it is paramount that the business owner/manager have it as well and maintain control. For our clients, who engage us for ongoing IT management and support, we ensure in a number of ways that onsite business managers have that information.

The lesson here is that access to your network should be in your control, even if you decided to share it with outside professional support. It is your business, not that of anyone else. Secure network access information might not be at the tip of your lip, but should be at the tip of your fingers!