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Worry, be happy.

You can achieve a best case scenario if you spend most of your time obsessing over the worst case scenarios. “Don’t worry be happy” may be a catchy song, but it may be the worst approach for an IT professional.

Attorneys get paid (very handsomely) to worry. That’s why they are ridiculed so much, because they seem to be “downers” or “sticklers” – that’s their job. They worry so that other people can manage risk.

IT pros don’t worry enough. That’s why there are devastating privacy scandals that plague major brands. More vigilant companies put risk higher on their priority list. If you want a best-case scenario for your client, data network or your employees, spend some time on “worst case scenario”.

There are many:

  • what if your trusted, 10+ year assistant suddenly starts to embezzle because of a drug problem. Would you notice? Would you even know how they were doing it?

  • what if you had a rogue computer on your network spreading malware? Would you notice before it was too late?

  • what if an explosion blew up your office building? Is that off-site backup really working and through enough?

  • what if your office cleaning staff is going through your garbage, will they find critical passwords they could sell to your competitors? Is that post-it note under your keyboard really a safe spot to put the password?

  • what if a new software update from Apple or Microsoft has a huge, unknown security vulnerability? Are you letting people update their computers whenever they want?

  • what if your IT vendor goes out of business or refuses to give you critical password info over a billing dispute? Do you have the key information for your office already in your possession or are you entirely reliant on this outside entity?

It’s not fun to dwell on worst-case scenarios. Risk is to business what heart disease is to the body: a potential time bomb that could cause tremendous pain, cost, and possible death of your small business. If you focus on the worst-case scenarios, you’ll be able to ensure a best-case scenario. You might be called “buzz kill” or “debbie downer” but you’ll sleep at night knowing your client/office/staff are safe.

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