How To Spot A Dangerous IT Guy

Most IT guys are innocuous.  On occasion, you find and IT guy that is well meaning but dangerous.  How is he dangerous you ask?  I’m not talking about him going rogue and sharing confidential data, or maliciously shutting down your network.  The danger he poses is more accidental than purposeful, however it can still destroy your business.  Here are X tips on how to spot a dangerous IT guy.

Stuck In Time

Technology is a fast-paced field that is CONSTANTLY changing.  New software, new hardware, new security.  It’s a lot to keep up with.  Some IT guys seem to stop wanting to keep up.  That’s dangerous.

I was recently visiting a prospective client.  The IT guy that had been taking care of their network for years was getting towards the end of his career.  At some point, it seems like he stopped wanting to learn new things.  As a result, he stopped implementing new things.

That resulted in the client running their entire network on Windows 7 in 2022 (end of life over 2 years ago).  Windows 7 was a solid operating system, but once it’s no longer supported by Microsoft it becomes insecure quickly.  2 years after the EOL date its not a good idea to run your business on it.

Adding insult to injury he stopped buying new hardware.  The new hardware he did buy that came with Windows 10 got a downgrade to Windows 7.  Why?  I’m not certain, but it seems like he didn’t want to learn the new version of Windows.

Now in 2022 the client is being forced to do some major upgrades to bring them current.  Instead of a simple project and a normal operating expense for IT, the project is immense.  All hardware is EOL and migration to something more current is substantially difficult because of just how old everything is.  The fix is to overhaul the entire network at a HUGE cost.  Proper maintenance and upgrades along the way could have minimized the expense and difficulty of the project they’re currently facing.

Duct Tape and Twine

Another dangerous IT guy is one that never stops to think strategically.  They simply do whatever is needed to solve the problem presented to them on a particular day.  This can result in a bolt on duct taped together system with overly complex parts that is challenging and expensive to manage.

Instead of continually bolting on a new piece of hardware or application to solve a problem, sometimes you need to take a step back.  Look strategically at the network and where you think things are going.  Sometimes replacing key systems, or consolidating servers is the absolute best thing you can do.

If your IT guy is continually adding and never sunsetting legacy systems that can be dangerous.  The costs for support of that type of network is significant.  They should be continually asking how they can simplify things and streamline support.

The Recycler

Another Dangerous IT guy is the recycler.  This guy can never let anything go. He hoards old hardware past its end of life and tries to repurpose it for anything he can think of.  We’re all for saving a buck, but too often this means that he tries to reuse an ancient piece of hardware and make it run a critical network function.  That leads to frequent failures and downtime.

While the instinct to want to save money for your organization is good, he doesn’t think about the costs of downtime and the support challenges he is creating for himself by trying to save a buck.  In the end, this approach typically costs the company significantly MORE than simply sunsetting old hardware and buying appropriate new hardware as needed.

The Easy Route

Another dangerous IT guy is one that tries to make things as easy as possible for himself at the risk of your network security.  He opens a port in the firewall so he can remote desktop directly into a server or machine on the network.  They don’t turn on multifactor authentication because it’s too much hassle to set up.  Even worse, they open remote desktop to the world to give your team remote access to the network.

There is a correct and secure way to do all these things.  It does take additional time and energy to configure a remote desktop gateway, or to set up a secure VPN.  It takes effort to lock down a firewall and figure out the best ways for secure remote access.  Its usually harder to do things the right way.

By skipping the right way in favor of the easy way, they are putting you at risk.  Worst of all, nobody usually knows how much risk until its too late. 

Conclusion

If you see any of these red flags, it may be time to look for a new solution to support your IT.  Running outdated hardware and software, overly complex bubble gummed together systems, recycled unreliable hardware, and insecure “easy” solutions can help tip you off that you might not have the right IT guy.  If that’s the case give us a call at i.t.NOW.  We’re experts at cleaning up the mess and can help get your business computer network back on track.  Call us today for a free evaluation!