Why Tradies should back up

"She'll be right". "Why would anyone care what a plumber has on his computer?" "i'm at the end of the alphabet mate. Don't Hackers go from A to Z?"

Time to read: 4 mins

These are just some of the many things we’ve heard when we talk to trade related businesses about antivirus protection and off site data back ups. The truth is that she won’t “be right”. Last year a local building company was subject to a sophisticated hacking scam that cost at least 3 firms $25,000. Your client information, banking history or just the satisfaction of disrupting a business is of interest to hackers.

So why is it that builders, plumbers, electricians, mechanics and painters often leave anti virus protection and back ups to chance? The common reason is that they are so busy working that their IT system, regardless of how big or small, is left to fend for itself. The problem is that as more trades people use mobile devices for work and hackers get better at their craft, the chance of an attack increases. In fact, you are now more likely to be the victim of a cyber attack on your business than you are to have a burglary. According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, 1 in 5 New Zealand small businesses have been the target of a cyber attack.

It’s a similar story with back ups. They either never happen or when they do it’s to a USB drive which is left on site or chucked in the van and the chances of anyone checking to see that the back ups are done and not corrupted are low. However, a third of businesses said they wouldn’t last a week without critical data according to NZ Entrepreneur.

The potential for disruption to any business as the result of a cyber attack is huge. Not only is data at risk, your clients are at risk along with your company’s reputation. The New Zealand Government cyber security initiative, ConnectSmart: 2017 Cyber security trends February 2017, reports that 72% of New Zealanders experienced a cyber breach in 2016. Unfortunately, 60% of small businesses who have experienced a cyber attack go out of business within 6 months of the attack according to Smallbiztrends.com.

As a business owner, managed anti-virus and automated offsite back ups mean one less thing to worry about. And for the record, hackers don’t methodically start at A and finish at Z.

Tricks of the Trade logoInfographic about having robust, monitored anti virus protection installedInfographic about off site data storage.

The Baker Tilly Staples Rodway Business Computing Services team first spoke to Kelly Lehmann, Director of Wills Contracting (2000) Limited, in August 2017. During the meeting Kelly explained that while he appreciated the company’s data was vulnerable due to a lack of antivirus protection and no reliable backups, he was just too busy running the company to think about IT. He explained that if the rain was heavy overnight he would rush to the office and remove the server in case there was a flood in Waitara.

When asked who he used for IT support, he said they used a mate down the road or would Google the issue. These options both took time and didn’t always fix the problem. And while he was aware of the potential of being hacked, it was something that happened to other people “Why would someone hack a lifting and transport company from Waitara?” Once our team explained the potential risks, Kelly came on board with offsite backups that would run automatically and fully managed IT support that covered his anti-virus, patching (including third party patches) and access to the Business Computing Services to assist with any issues, all for a flat monthly fee. Kelly could see that by using the BCS team to manage his IT infrastructure his team could focus on what they did best. He no longer has to get out of bed in the middle of the night to save his data. The office staff know they can call the Business Computing Services team with any computer issues without worrying about additional bills. Most importantly, Kelly knows that he has 9 people looking after his computers and that they are keeping him informed of new ways to keep his data secure and find efficiencies across the company.

Photo of Kelly Lehmann from Wills Contracting Limited

DISCLAIMER No liability is assumed by Baker Tilly Staples Rodway for any losses suffered by any person relying directly or indirectly upon any article within this website. It is recommended that you consult your advisor before acting on this information.

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Tags Taranaki IT