IT downtime can be a disaster for so many different types of businesses, causing lost sales, security breaches, time wastage, and so much more.

In this article, we discusses how you can prevent IT downtime in your business and reduce its negative impacts on your customer service.

Internet security

Internet security is of paramount importance for almost every modern business. Breaches within major organisations are often reported in mainstream media, but for every large company that gets breached, a whole load of smaller companies experience the same fate without the same spotlight.

Businesses need to invest in broadband security software, which will protect all corporate computers when your employees are browsing the web, downloading documents, and other daily online activities. Security packages also ensure viruses and online threats are kept at bay, including protection against identity theft, spyware, spam, hackers, and much more.

When you choose an internet provider, ask about their security options – most broadband providers will provide free security as part of their package, but some will require you to pay extra. If the latter applies, you always have the option to take things into your own hands and purchase specialist software from a developer such as AVG, Norton, or McAfee. Whenever you use the security software, make sure you update it whenever prompted to ensure you are properly protected at all times.

Firewalls are also necessary security methods for all businesses today. These are hardware or software solutions that essentially block the gateway between two networks – for example, the public network of the internet and your company’s private computer network.

The purpose of this is to make sure that unwanted visitors from across the web cannot get into your business’ private network. After all, your broadband connection is essentially open for action every hour of every day, leaving hackers with plenty of opportunities. By installing a firewall, you can have peace of mind that these cyber criminals will be blocked out.

Internet failover

An internet failover link is a secondary internet connection that is setup to ensure you don’t lose valuable uptime in your service. Relying on one connection is a risky approach, as downtime on this one line will take down all services, but by spreading that risk across a secondary connection you can have peace of mind. A failover link will help your colleagues remain productive and your customers receiving the services and products they need when your primary connection goes down.

To achieve the best results, you need to apply the redundancy concept. This means moving away from over reliance on any one technology – in this case, your singular internet connection.

A typical scenario might be a fibre link as your main connection and a wireless connection as your backup. Implemented correctly, a failover solution will automatically switch from your primary connection to your secondary link. A successful failover process instantly transfers tasks from a failed system (in this case your internet service) to a similar or redundant system, in order to avoid costly interruptions. An automated failover system has the ability to quickly reroute data and communications to minimise business disruption.

Public WiFi

Creating a public broadband service is more than just a case of handing out a password. You also need to ensure that your business broadband package can handle the amount of potential traffic that could be using it on a daily basis.

Even a generous sounding data limit is likely to be used up very quickly if many people are hooking into your account and using the internet freely. Choose an unlimited amount of data to cover your customers’ usage. If you own relatively small premises such as a cafe, a small office or a salon, a fibre optic connection should suffice.

Ensure you choose a package that offers very fast speeds because a frustrating internet connection can send customers packing to seek a new place to surf the net. In larger premises such as hotels or big restaurants you may find that a faster leased line or Ethernet connection is a better solution due to the large volume of people wanting to access the internet all at the same time.

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