In between buying Halloween costumes, watching Hocus Pocus, and eating yet another bag of candy corns, we asked our Ivanti customers a very important question:

What gives you an IT fright?spooky top 5 IT scares graphic

Our customers responded with their top five most frightening IT scenarios, giving us a total of 255 responses. Below we list the most common answers as well as a few #SpookyIT stories.

1. Security Breach

Every few months we hear about another major security breach. This month's Facebook fiasco (50 million records breached) reminds us that one thing is clear: hackers gonna hack.

But security breaches can come in all shapes and sizes.

Take phishing emails. "Our organization's security team regularly sends out fake phishing/spam emails to staff to test them and see if they will click on links in emails from unknown sources," says Brian D., technical support specialist. "The email links are regularly clicked on despite the emails being sent from [obviously fake] names like: Team Lead H.J. Potter, William Smith from the MIB Division, and CEO R. Weasley."

2. Backup Failure

It's 1997 and you're feverishly typing away on the computer. It could be a paper, a work report, or your grandmother's meatloaf recipe. Auto-save wasn't really a thing back then. Suddenly the power goes out and you realize you forgot to save the document. All your hard work, all that brain power, all the crucial steps to making phenomenal meatloaf—gone forever.

Now take that experience, multiply it by million-dollar stakes, ulcer-inducing stress-levels, and the reactions of at least a dozen angry bosses and stakeholders. That's what a backup failure can feel like in IT.

Similar to this type of stress is when an application is unreachable, as was the case for Ross, systems engineer: "It was my second week on the job and I was secondary on an application. The primary was at a conference. The entire organization looked to me to fix it." Talk about baptism by fire!

3. Ransomware

"When WannaCry was discovered," recalls Ivanti customer Adam Howard, "several top-level figures in my organization were surrounding my desk needing immediate information regarding our protection or vulnerability. I'll admit, I was definitely panicking, but was able to sort through EPM and determine we had successfully patched our environment and thus were under no threat. Spooky almost escalated to frightening!"

Another customer recounts his first experience with WannaCry, although his wasn't as lucky. "WannaCry malware did make us cry on the ICT service desk. Hundreds of people could not carry out their work and hundreds of people had to get a new Windows installation. We worked day and night to get our colleagues in the field online again."

4. Malware

Grab some popcorn for this one.

"We once had a user that thought it was a fantastic idea to click on all sorts of things on websites he had no business being on at work," says Kelly, technical support specialist. "He let a nasty bit of new malware loose in our system. Chaos reigned supreme as the entire department scrambled to lock down affected computers, and systems with sensitive information. Armed with a list of IPs, I started matching up to computer names/locations to be able to dispatch someone when I realized I was looking at IPs for our servers. I'm fairly certain my heart stopped as I flew across the department screeching like a banshee, and watched the team lead turn 10 different shades of white when he realized what I was yelling. It took us a few days to recover with people working around the clock (Microsoft hadn't seen that particular malware before). I hope we never have to go through that again!"

In that paragraph alone is a wild banshee, faces turning 10 shades of ghostly white, hearts stopping, and nasty, villainous malware. If this isn't the plot of of an IT horror movie, I'm not sure what is. 

5. Audits

Sales pitch: Ivanti’s ITAM solution helps you take control of your software assets, preparing you in advance for an audit.

Frank was obviously not using Ivanti ITAM when this happened: "A hospital installed Visio and Project on every device because it was so easy, in case people needed it. They assumed they would only pay for the number of users actually entitled to use those products. But it turned into more than 900 computers. And then Microsoft came..."

We imagine that didn't end well.

Honorable Mentions

"The sound of my phone ringing."

"Drive-by tickets."

"Users who can't be bothered to follow simple directions or read a two-sentence email."

"People with admin rights but no end user skills."

"Bring Your Own Device Security."

"Users with passwords under keyboards."

"High screen brightness."

"99 users with all the same first and last name."

"The boundless stupidity of even the most intelligent people."

"Disappearing assets that were assigned to no one. So they grow legs and run off."

"Powerlines falling over in high winds."

"Users forgetting their password on a Tuesday morning... which we just reset on Monday."

"Death by boredom. End user licenses made so long and obscure with legal terms that you click the 'I Agree' button just to get out of that hell."

And last but certainly not least is the most terrifying #SpookyIT scenario of them all...

"Management deciding to buy non-Ivanti solutions."

We couldn't agree more!

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