When I started in IT support, most office networks consisted of a server room, some desktop computers, and maybe a few printers and scanners. This meant the default 192.168.1.X range was enough for more than a hundred staff. That’s far larger than most businesses ever grow.
Today’s networks need to handle smartphones, tablets, VoIP handsets, VPN connections and even the coffee machine. There’s a whole wave of wearables and IoT devices that still haven’t hit the average main street business. Even the IP addressing space fills up a lot faster. And IPv6 still isn’t quite everywhere yet.
You can solve this problem before it happens with an IP addressing scheme that can grow. The sooner you do this, the easier it is to implement.
Communication is still king
The default mode for most IT people is that, once you’ve sorted the hardware and software, you’ve done your job. And with enterprises, it’s usually less hassle for everyone if you just stay in your lane. But small businesses often don’t know everything they need to, and they’ve only got you, the MSP, to tell them.
For example, if let’s look at security. If you’ve hashed and salted the password file, configured network permissions, applied patches and so on, you might feel like you’ve kept up your end of the bargain.
But how secure is this really if one of the managers is reusing his login details on unencrypted websites, has never heard of spear phishing, and saves crucial documents on the local hard drive instead of the file server? What should scare each and every one of us is that we are totally at the mercy of the client for the success of our work. The only way to deal with this one is to put your big boy boots on and show some leadership.
This doesn’t have to be a huge time suck. However, you need to share enough information with them to help them understand technology best practices. Take the time to communicate the value of practicing good cybersecurity habits and point them in the direction of helpful resources.
It’s all about getting results
Local businesses tend to have simpler IT needs, but they still need an MSP’s expertise to make sure the right systems and processes are in place.
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