StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

Stunning Strategies to Help Your Business Ace Health & Safety

StrategyDriven Risk Management ArticleHealth and safety needs to be a primary concern for any business in the world. If you don’t have the right health and safety mandates in place, you are going to suffer as a business. Nothing is as important these days as health and safety, and you need to make sure you have strong health and safety procedures in place. There are a lot of things you can do to ensure this, and it is vital for the business.

If you are compromised at all with health and safety, you are going to find that your business will be suffering from accidents, lawsuits, and a damaged reputation. This is why you need to do what you can to ensure you are the most safe and secure company you can possibly be. These strategies are going to go a long way toward helping you get the best health and safety mandate possible.

Understand Health & Safety

You have to understand how much health and safety matters in the world of modern business. It is important that you take a look at health and safety and understand what it is, and why it affects the business. Health and safety is how you protect your employees and the future reputation of the company. Businesses with poor health and safety mandates are the ones that wind up struggling.

Ensure Your Employees are Protected

It is also important that you make sure your employees are protected on a daily basis. This means that they need to be trained properly so that they understand what health and safety risks there are in the business. They also need to be taught what they can do to make themselves safer on a daily basis. It is also important for you to get online and look at what you can do to make the workplace safer. You might consider digital security, or here is some protective gear you may want to introduce into the business. Ensuring your employees are protected and kept safe is one of the best ways of acing health and safety.

Fire Drills are Important

You also need to do as much as you can to ensure you have proper drills in place. A fire drill is an essential part of the business health and safety mandate. If a fire breaks out in the business, this can be very destructive, so you need to know how to react in the event of a real fire. This is something that makes a fire drill so important for the business and will allow you to keep your staff safe, and the business assets protected.

Incident Reports

There are a lot of things you can do to improve the way you conduct health and safety in your business. But, one of the major things you can do is to keep logs and incident reports anytime something happens. This is important from a legal perspective, but you also need to refer back to it and understand why the incident might have occurred, as well as how you might be able to prevent it in the future.

As you can see, these are just a few of the wonderful strategies in place that you can use to help boost health and safety. Try to focus on what you can do to improve the working conditions for your employees, and make the working environment safer. These are some of the things that will go a long way toward helping you run the business faster.

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Why Your Business Needs Insurance

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship ArticleOwning a business can be very rewarding, but it’s a lot of hard work too. As a business owner, you are responsible for the well-being of your business, which includes managing employees, inventory and other assets. So what can you do to make sure you’re properly managing all of these assets and that your business is protected?

Commercial insurance is every business’s best friend. Whether something happens to your inventory or you need to pay worker’s compensation to an injured employee, commercial insurance can help you deal with it. In fact, everybody who owns a business should have some form of commercial insurance — and here’s why.

Legal Requirements

Although you aren’t necessarily required to insure your business, there are certain types of business insurance which you may be required to carry. Any business that has employees is required to carry worker’s compensation insurance. This type of coverage will pay for worker’s compensation claims if an employee is unable to work due to an injury.

Worker’s compensation coverage can cover a range of costs, from medical bills and bills associated with recovery to missed wages and funeral costs. Not only are you generally required to have worker’s comp coverage, it’s a smart idea to have it anyway since worker’s comp claims are usually quite large.

Protecting Your Inventory

If you run a brick-and-mortar business with a large amount of inventory that keeps your business afloat, lost or damaged inventory can be devastating. Even a small fire could significantly cut into your profits. When you have good business insurance, though, these losses are softened significantly. Many business insurance providers will even allow you to purchase a specific insurance policy for your line of business to make sure all of your industry-specific losses and perils are covered.

You can also purchase commercial vehicle insurance if you have a fleet of vehicles. If an employee gets into an accident on the job, damages to property and the vehicle may be covered.

Make sure you talk with your insurance agents about what you need to have covered. Different commercial insurance policies may only cover losses from certain events, in which case you may want to purchase additional coverage to protect yourself.

Downtime

Sure you may be young and spry when you start your business, but that can quickly change. If your business relies on you being around to make important decisions and handle managerial tasks, commercial insurance can cover you in the event that you become disabled or ill. This can be the difference between your business failing or staying afloat if something happens to you.

Liability

One of the toughest things for any business, whether large or small, is being held liable for the injury, illness or death of a consumer. Fortunately, business insurance with product liability coverage can help you absorb some of the damage. You can also purchase general and professional liability coverage to further protect your business in the event that it’s held liable for something.

Choose Wisely

Like any form of insurance, there are a lot of options when purchasing business insurance. It’s important to have some understanding of the different types of coverage and what your business needs before you buy. You don’t want to purchase coverage your business doesn’t need, but it’s crucial to make sure your business is covered.

Before you purchase a policy for your business, make sure you shop around with a few different providers to get an idea of the coverage they offer and the premium you’ll have to pay. Read reviews and ask around about different insurance companies and agents to make sure you’re getting the best coverage with the best service and price.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

Top Cyber IT Security Trends in 2018

StrategyDriven Risk Management ArticleThere are few businesses that don’t rely on the transmission of sensitive digital data in the course of their day to day operations and because of this, cyber security is an ongoing concern. Unfortunately, the businesses that are caught in the crosshairs are small to medium size enterprises, or SMEs, since most lack the financial resources to employ full-time IT staff. For those companies looking to keep their data secure in 2018, it helps to become familiar with what is trending in cyberspace security.

From there, owners and directors are in a better position to know how to protect their company’s sensitive data and that of any clients or customers who may also be harmed by even a single breach. Are you concerned over the data held on your computers and connected devices? If so, it pays to understand what you are up against.

Compliance with GDPR Regulations

Probably the biggest trend in cyber IT security is the newly launched GDPR regulations which are to be strictly adhered to by any member state of the EU. Also, anyone who does business with residents in the EU must be in compliance or face a stiff penalty. But, what are these regulations and why are they in place?

The first thing to understand is that the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) is in place to provide necessary layers of security to digital data, especially during the transmission of this data. With such a growing concern over data breaches and dangerous system hacks, the EU devised a set of requirements which member states and anyone doing business with member states must adhere to. Summed up, these regulations include:

  • Consent must be given by subjects for the processing of data
  • Privacy is to be protected by keeping collected data anonymous
  • Notifications must be sent if there is a data breach
  • Data must be handled safely across borders
  • Certain companies are required to appoint a DPS (Data Protection Officer)
  • Compliance is mandatory

You will notice that “certain companies” are required to appoint a DPO and it will be this person who oversees the internal IT support necessary to keep data secure. However, SMEs are probably ‘exempt’ from this requirement based on size and company worth. This leads us to the next top cyber IT security trend.

Managed IT Services to Ensure Data Protection

Since it isn’t typically possible for small to medium size businesses to afford full-time IT support staff, a growing trend is to contract IT support providers that specialise in cyber security. Not only is it essential to keep a network up and running but the integrity of data is of ultimate importance to ensure compliance with GDPR. This is a growing trend, second only to understanding the basic guidelines which are to be followed. Even though most companies understand the rules, they are also unprepared for the technical applications which ensure compliance.

Another of the benefits of contracting IT support providers is that they can match your cyber security needs in a bespoke manner. Not all companies have the same needs and so a team of professionals can tailor your cyber security to the type of information stored, the places it is likely to be transmitted and keep any ‘risk’ factors to a minimum based on your system.

Putting AI to Work

Here is one specific task which will almost always need the services of IT professionals. Artificial Intelligence, AI, is on the cutting edge of cyber security. Now IT professionals are using AI to help them quickly identify possible threats without human intervention in order to prevent attacks before they happen. Bear in mind that cyber attacks happen so quickly that by the time anyone is aware that your system has been breached, it’s most often too late.

Then it becomes a matter of making patches to areas through which the hackers were able to gain access to your data. Unfortunately, there is a down side to this as well. There is some amount of concern that hackers will begin using AI because, as is the case with defense, machine learning can assist cyber criminals to find weak spots where doorways can be created. To date, no AI attacks have been noted, so cyber security teams are still one up on would-be criminals.

A Growing Emphasis on Patches

If there is anything the WannaCry ransomware attack taught us it would be the need to keep up to date with patches as they are released. In fact, statistics prove that there are more than 4,000 ransomware attacks daily and that WannaCry was responsible for at least 230,000 computers being attacked in a single day across more than 150 nations. The reason this particular ransomware attack was able to reach that many systems is because they failed to download and install the patch Microsoft released after recognising the hole.

These companies either didn’t understand the need for staying current with security patches or simply failed to do so based on time constraints of staff. When no one is in charge of IT security, someone needs to step away from their job to find a fix. This is often insufficient due to lack of knowledge and experience, so here again, it pays to use the services of IT support pros.

A Growing Need for Real Time Defense

Somehow the gap continues to grow between known malware and viruses and what anti-virus and anti-malware tools are able to protect in real time. As mentioned above, mutations of known malware and viruses are being released daily and it is almost impossible to keep up to date with the tools needed to guard against attack. However, that being said, IT security teams provide defence at the end-point so that they can check criminal behaviours before they impact your computer. Malicious behaviours are identified in real-time and stopped dead in their tracks before they are able to penetrate your computer.

Connected Devices Are a Growing Concern

Something else to look for in 2018 and beyond is a growing concern over the vulnerability of connected devices that are rolling out by the billions each and every day around the globe. The IoT is a wonderful boon for anyone seeking ease of use or remote access, but when it comes to the potential for hacking, they can be a real risk. Since each device is connected to your computer and through your computer to the network, hackers can now target the device in order to find a back door into your system. You will see a growing emphasis on IoT (Internet of Things) security in the coming years, but this one area is of high importance in 2018.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

How To Make Your Business Safer

As a business owner, you have an important responsibility to ensure the safety of everyone who works for you. Of course, there are always going to be times when accidents happen, but you need to take steps to reduce the odds of this happening. Anything negative or dangerous events which happen at your business and are your responsibility could end up being very destructive and damaging to it. So, let’s take a closer look at a couple of the ways that you can make your business safer for the benefit of both you and your employees.

Develop a Risk Management Policy

The risk management policy which you create for your business very much depends on the type of company that you are running. Obviously, there are some environments which are more dangerous than others, but you still need to take the proper safety precautions even if you just run an office environment. Your risk management program needs to be ongoing and adaptable. After all, there may be new risks which present themselves during the lifespan of your company.

To start off with, look at your current risk management program to see if there are any improvements which you could make to it. Have you set safety goals and are they measurable? Look to your managers and ask how committed they are to workplace safety. If they are not giving this aspect of your company the attention that it deserves, you need to ask why not and reiterate just how important it is to everyone. While everyone should have the same priorities when it comes to protecting staff members, you will probably want to have a few trusted staff members who can lead the initiative.

There are a number of factors involved in creating a risk management policy. First of all, you should conduct some inspections of your property to identify potential risks. You may decide that you need to invest in additional equipment and protective measures such as safety rails. It is worth having an inspection completed by a professional who knows what they are doing and can make recommendations. Be aware of any potential hazards around your work environment including faulty machinery, unsafe practices or things which could result in trips and spills. You also need to ensure that your employees are protected ergonomically and you have dedicated first aiders who can help to handle any emergency situations which may occur. If you have any vehicles which you use for business, these should all be fully insured and taxed.

Put Your Program into Effect

Once you have established your policy, you then need to take steps to put it into effect. To start off with, you should consult your key members of staff to tell them all about your safety practices. These in-person consultations will ensure that you are all on the same page. You should also offer safety training sessions to all your staff members. Provide them with any additional resources as required. It is also important that you have an open-door policy when it comes to offering suggestions from your staff members. After all, they are seeing a totally different side to your business and are well-placed to offer improvements and suggestions that could help you out in the long-run.

Choose the Right Insurance

As we mentioned at the start, you can have all the best measures in place, but sometimes, accidents may happen. For example, your business could suffer from a fire or another act of God which was impossible to predict. Therefore, it is important that you have the right insurance policies to protect you from a wide range of circumstances. If you are not sure what you need and what you don’t, it is always going to be worth consulting with a professional advisor who can steer you onto the right path. Insurance is the one thing that you want your business to have in times of need.

Making your business safer should be one of your main priorities as a responsible company owner. The points listed in this article give you a few of the main things to consider. Of course, every company is different, and you will need to come up with a health and safety policy which is bespoke to your business and covers a wide range of different circumstances and eventualities. When all else fails, it is important that you have the insurance measures in place to keep your business protected.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article

6 Easy Office Security Tips

Whether you are at home or in the office, you’ll agree that security is important. At home, you worry about the doors being broken into and you install a top alarm system, double lock the doors at night and even invest in a dog. Life is busy, though, and security can be easily forgotten about. You get complacent, you shut the door but don’t lock it. You leave the building without setting the alarm and all is fine. Then all of a sudden, that complacency will bite you when you end up being broken into. Your home and your office have got to be places that you look after, but your office is going to be the place that your livelihood gets messed with. Almost every business out there is at risk from theft by employees or outsiders, criminal break-ins and data theft. It’s a tough world, full of competition and you should be doing everything that you possibly can to look after your office and home, keeping them both secure.

People tend to get more concerned about their homes when they go out to work in the day, but they have a lot less concern for the security of their office. Unfortunately, it’s not potted plants that are at risk of theft or damage when people decide to take it upon themselves to break into your office. It’s going to be your data and your personal information, along with the personal information of your clients and your financial data. As a business owner, document storage and retrieval is going to be a big deal for your company, and paying attention to every way that you can secure your office is going to tighten up your business. Working in an office is going to mean you are exposed to certain threats, and we’ve got a list of tips for both you and your employees to keep as safe as possible while you are there:

Social Media

Your job doesn’t have to be completely online, but social media is important for any business. Your whole business is going to be critiqued and reviewed online, and so it makes sense for your staff to be very careful about what they say online; whether it’s business related or not. Social media profiles should also be private as much as possible, so that nothing about work that is shared is visible online. Sensitive information about your workplace that goes up about your office can leave you in a position of vulnerability. This could end up in lawsuits and leaving your business open to those who want to pick your business apart.

Integrated Security Systems

When you have a physical office building, you need to have an integrated security system to stop people who are unexpected from coming into your space. You should ideally have doors that are opened with key cards and a video camera system that can see the doors from every angle. Some offices that keep highly sensitive information on site also choose to use facial recognition software or video cameras for access. Making sure that your internal and external doors are locked at night, and auto-locked throughout the day with glass that isn’t easily breakable is so important. People may not be able to bypass the electronic systems, but it only takes a power failure to short circuit the whole thing. This is why manual locks are so important, and double-locking the place isn’t going to be over the top.

Employee Screening

A big reason for theft in a company is via the very people that work there. While you want to be able to trust your employees, it doesn’t mean that you can be complacent about the people that you hire. You could have the most stringent checks around and still find yourself at the mercy of the people working for you. Criminal record and referencing checks should be done upon hiring, and the control that you give your employees will need to be monitored. Do not allow employees or anyone outside a very tight and trusted group to have full access to the documents and data in your company. Financial documents should only be accessed by the proper finance teams at all times.

Lock & Key

Server rooms in your business are going to be the very place that sensitive information is stored. Anywhere that can be infiltrated by outside influences has to be kept under a physical lock and key as well as a data lock and key. Using the Cloud is a good way to keep sensitive information safe and away from servers, but it’s still precarious. Those servers have everything that makes your business what it is, and only those with an in-depth security clearance should have access to the server room. Ensure that you install your server room in the middle of an office and make sure that there are no walls that lean into your office neighbours. We’re not suggesting that there’s going to be a great heist with drills through the walls, but you never truly know!

Secure Workstations

Most of the time, people will bring their own tablets and laptops to the workplace so that they can work off something portable. If you have desktop computers, instead of portable laptops or tablets, you need to get these locked down so that in the event of a break-in, they cannot be stolen. Paperwork and documentation, if not in a secure storage centre, should also be under lock and key. Any desktop computers you’re not using should be locked away, as well and wiped of any data. Anything you don’t intend to keep should always be shredded and not just placed into recycling bins, as criminals tend to keep sensitive information including names and addresses. You’re not being overly cautious by taking a moment to look at your office security and not wanting to lose thousands of dollars in equipment.

Disable The Drives

Ideally, you don’t have someone among your staff that will steal information from you, but just in case you should disable the drives. USB ports and floppy drives are the perfect way for people to steal information from inside the office and bring it outside; all they need is an external drive to plug in and go. You can have your IT team disable these drives or remove them altogether, which will prevent any of your company documentation or data that is held on the main server from being removed and brought anywhere outside of your office.

While you are making sure that your office and your data is completely secure against outside unwanted access, you should also be keeping your knowledge updated about the recent cyberattacks and office break-ins that are in your area and could affect you. It’s so essential to ensure that your IT team have brought the best malware and latest antivirus to you to install on your machines. If you are truly concerned about whether your office will get broken into, you could ensure that you bring in a security company and hire some guards for the front and back of your office. Protecting the company assets, data, software and equipment is an absolute must and as a business owner, you must do everything that you possibly can to ensure the safety of your staff and your information. Physical security is rather overlooked by most businesses but ensuring that you have the right security in place could change whether your office is a target or not for would-be thieves.