In the early and often hectic days of getting your Biotech startup off the ground it is easy to overlook the computer use and security policies you should implement before your company really gets going. Allowing admin rights to computers, servers or file systems is often due to the mistaken belief that this will promote flexibility and adaptability as researchers try to gather and analyze as much experimental data as they can in a short period of time. But there are important reasons that you should limit your staff’s access to admin rights. Here are four:
1. Data Loss
Protecting the exclusivity of your data has to be a concern for any biotech startup. If you are trying to produce innovations, you lose a crucial competitive advantage anytime your data security is compromised. Data loss can be catastrophic; through phishing attempts in email and malicious code being injected into a system from a compromised web site, a hacker can gain access to your valuable data and your operations will be disrupted as you attempt to recover. Responding to emergencies like these can quickly drain your investment funding and leave you wondering who may have copies of your corporate data. When employees have admin rights on their computers, it can pose a threat to your data. A compromised system on your network can spread an infection or allow a hacker access to the infected system thus access to your network and data files. It is extremely difficult to control access to your systems when crucial entry points are open to everyone in your company. One of the most basic data security measures you can take is restricting access to the most important features of your IT infrastructure.
2. Software Issues
If your employees have admin rights over your computers, they can download additional software as they see fit, often without any formal approval. There is certainly a benefit to allowing the ability to install software as there are many software applications that help a scientis in their job. If this software is unlicensed, malicious, or incompatible with your existing IT infrastructure however, it can cause problems that are never thought of in the early stages of a growing company. Managing software installations ensures that your computers only have the programs that they require, and data is processed or analyzed on your approved platforms. Also, it allows control over keeping only licensed software on your systems which is important as software companies are better able to track where illegal software are being used thus reducing your potential for legal issues. Part of every biotech startup’s initial round of planning should be to identify the technologies and programs they will need to run their experiments. Once they have been installed on your computers, you should be fully equipped to do everything in your business plan.
3. Professional Management
IT systems that have been installed by a professional should be maintained by a professional. Important technology concerns like data security, storage, and analysis have to be in sync for you to maximize the value of your data. Admin rights on computers or allowing an employee the ability to manage servers or data storage systems give those employees control over the way these systems work and could allow users to see confidential files that are on these systems. One of the most common IT problems is when employees try to fix their computers rather than focusing on the business at hand. You can avoid unnecessary technology problems by limiting control of admin rights to upper management and your IT service provider. This way the only users who are managing your technologies are those who understand how they are designed to work.
4. Executive Oversight
Your ultimate goal is to prove your concept and secure an additional round of funding or be acquired for the highest dollar value. In order to be accountable to your investors, you have to maintain control over the way your IT infrastructure is run. This is an important piece of executive oversight that will help your company operate better. Giving your employees admin rights on computers, servers or file systems removes the ability for oversight and proper management of your technology. And in a technology-driven industry like biotech, this is a huge area of concern. Keep your IT infrastructure aligned with your business goals by limiting admin rights to the final decision makers in your company and your trusted IT service provider.
To find out more about the IT concerns that all biotech startups need to be aware of, read our white paper “After the Seed: Planning IT Investment for a Biotech Startup.” Download it for free by clicking on the link below.