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Even the most seemingly trivial IT problems can sometimes require extensive research in order to implement a fix. The variety of problems that your business may face is essentially unlimited, but no matter the industry, there are a few common problems that seem to pop up everywhere.

We’ve put together a list of these common issues, alongside the best practices associated with solving them. Hopefully, this will help your business fix some problems before they even begin.

Password Management

One of the most common “little annoyances” (that can have big consequences) that are reported to IT support providers are issues with password security and management. It’s not uncommon on a Monday morning for IT staff around the nation to be suddenly inundated with phone calls from users who have become locked out of their accounts due to password mismanagement.

To avoid continually having to take time out of everyone’s day to deal with this incredibly common issue, ensure that you are implementing these best practices:

  • Require that your users change their password at least every 30 days.
  • Set up a script or a 3rd party app that notifies users via email that their passwords will expire soon.
  • Implement some sort of identity verification system when authenticating a user’s identity before unlocking or changing a password.
  • Log each and every password request in your help desk app to track these occurrences and see which users seem to be dealing with the problem most often.
  • Familiarize yourself with the way Windows stores credentials — are cached credentials locking out your users?
  • For mobile users, remind them to change their passwords on their phones when they change them for the desktop or laptop.
  • Implement a Single Sign On System for Internal Apps – This reduces the amount of times a user has to enter their password.

Distributing Software to your End Users

When running a business at the enterprise level, there’s a whole new set of problems to look into — mainly how to ensure that over a hundred of your employees are able to have access to the enterprise app needed for the business to operate effectively. How can you achieve this without constant delays?

Most system administrators will deploy applications into the enterprise using Group Policy. If the app is an executable, however, you’ll first need to repackage the software into a .MSI file and assign a software distribution object as a policy. Next, link and enable that policy into the organizational unit within Active Directory that holds the PCs that you’d want this policy to impact.< Performing the repackage of an EXE into an MSI is outside of the scope of this document. That being said, Microsoft has a terrific TechNet document that details this process.

Another popular method of distributing software throughout an enterprise is by using Microsoft System Center and Configuration Manager (SCCM). With this suite, administrators can publish both MSI and EXE apps to end users. Microsoft’s SCCM gives end users a self service portal that allows them to install the apps whenever they choose. Additionally, applications can forced to install in the background or at logon, whichever you choose.

Preventing Viruses, Malware & Emerging Threats

Network security can cause a lot of disagreement and conflict within a workplace environment. While it’s important to allow employees the freedom and flexibility to perform their job duties, it’s also necessary to lock down certain parts of the network experience in order to ensure that you don’t find yourself dealing with serious network security breaches.

In order to protect against viruses, malware and emerging threats, ensure that the workstations on your network have:

    Up to date virus protection

  • Regular installation of Windows Updates
  • An On-Demand Malware Scanning Solution
  • Group policies that restrict executables from running in the app data folder
  • Up to date versions of Flash, Java, and Microsoft Silverlight
  • Microsoft AppLocker – A solution by Microsoft that prevents workstations from running unauthorized programs
  • Windows Firewall: A personal firewall help mitigate risk by preventing unwanted connections
  • A modern web browser – Google Chrome and Firefox are two popular enterprise solutions
  • An enterprise firewall that blocks malicious traffic

When you create a plan to tackle preventable IT problems such as the scenarios pitch above, you’ll be able to reduce the likelihood of security weaknesses or even total outages.

When it comes to dealing with these common IT problems, it’s worth it to take a proactive approach. Rather than constantly reacting to problems after they begin to affect your employees’ ability to work (and therefore your bottom line), taking charge and enacting preventative best practices can keep you from having to spend extra money fixing problems that could have been avoided in the first place.

If you’re looking for an IT partner that uses Managed IT approach, BACS is the support provider for you. We not only handle issues like network security or computer repair, we are able to scale to fit your company’s needs — whether you’re an SMB or a large enterprise. Click the banner below to schedule your IT assessment, or contact us by phone at (650) 887-4601 or online today!

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Published on 6th January 2016 by James Berger.