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Improving Productivity in the IT Department

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article |Productivity in the IT Department|Improving Productivity in the IT DepartmentThese days, the IT department is often one of, if not the, most important parts of your business because it is a technology that keeps everything up and running effectively. So, it stands to reason that, if you can increase the efficiency of the IT department, you can improve productivity across your business as a whole.

Okay, but how exactly do you do that? Here are a few ideas:

Improve the infrastructure

Whether using faster processing products like this MicroATX motherboard or updating to the latest server technology, anything that you can do to improve your existing IT infrastructure will help your employees to carry out various processes more quickly, thus improving productivity. Investing in the best technology is rarely a waste of money because its return on investment, when productivity is taken into account, is almost always going to be pretty high.

Embrace automation

These days, a lot of business processes can be automated completely, from factory assembly lines to customer service responses. By taking advantage of automated apps and software, you can save time and money, and redeploy your IT staff to more important tasks that really di need an experienced human brain.

Cover the basics

Your IT team can hardly be as productive as they should be if they are forever dealing with viruses that have been downloaded by office staff or issues caused by hackers, so be sure that you implement a good level of cybersecurity measures, including software and staff training, so your IT team doesn’t need to waste their time firefighting when they could be innovating.

Set goals

It might not be high-tech, but there is no denying that setting goals in the IT department is a great way to improve productivity. When employees have a goal to shoot for and a clear path of how they are going to get there, they are more likely to do so quickly and efficiently than they would if they were just floating through life without much direction from management at all.

However, many managers all but ignore the IT department because they don’t understand the complexities of technology, so they think the IT team will just automatically know what to do. This is a bad approach and collaborating with them to make mutually beneficial, achievable goals is by far the best way to go.

Increase free time

This might not seem like a good way to improve productivity in the IT department, but it really is. You see, when IT professionals are given free time, their brains still work even as their body relaxes, and they are more likely to come up with novel solutions to all of the problems you may be experiencing.

If you’ve been neglecting your IT department, it’s time to change that because when your IT is running right, and your IT professionals are on fire, the rest of your business will naturally be more productive, creative and successful. It really is as simple as that, ns as you can see, improving productivity in the IT department is pretty simple!

5 Tips on How to Identify Phishing Emails

StrategyDriven Practices for Professionals Article |Phishing|5 Tips on How to Identify Phishing EmailsLet us begin with defining and understanding phishing; it is a cybercrime in which a target victim is contacted by email, phone call or text message. The contact is established by someone illegally posing as a genuine establishment or an organization to lure individuals into giving out and surrendering sensitive data such as personal information, banking and financial credentials. The goal of phishing is to trick the recipient into believing that the message is something they want or need officially, like a request from their bank or probably a note from someone in their company and click a link or download an attachment that usually contains malicious software. What separates phishing is the attacker’s pretense as a trusted body of some sort to gain the victim’s faith.

Phishing is one of the oldest forms of cyberattacks, but that does not mean it is harmless. It is still one of the most prevalent and malicious types of cyberattacks to exist. Phishing is one of the most common means of cybercrime and what is worrying is that despite how much we think we know about scam emails, there are still people who frequently fall victim to this cyber attack.

Let’s see how to identify Phishing emails, the subtle signs that should help you spot one and how to stay protected from them.

1. Check if the message is sent from a public email domain

There is no chance of a genuine organization sending you an email from an address that ends with a public domain such as @gmail.com or @yahoo.com. Authentic and genuine businesses would have their own email domain and company accounts. If the domain name matches the sender of the email, the message is in all totality legitimate.

Another way to check a business’s domain name is to do a quick google search making it easy to detect phishing.

Many of us don’t ever look at the email address that a message has come from, which also holds many clues that can help you spot a phishing email.

When cybercriminals create their fake email addresses to lure people into their schemes, they often have the option to select the display name, which does not have to relate to the email address at all. Therefore, they can use a phoney email address that will turn up in your inbox with the display name of a trusted brand or business.

2. Obvious grammar and spelling errors

If you get an email from a big business or organization, but it contains many basic spelling mistakes and grammatical errors, it is an obvious sign that it is a phishing email. Therefore, you should read the email carefully and check for these mistakes because they serve as clues that help you identify a phishing email.

3. Open attachments with utmost care

Email attachments are necessary and carry a lot of vital information, but they are the biggest threat to your device, and you could end up becoming a victim of phishing. This is the reason why it is essential to scan every attachment in your email.

Email attachments, particularly from unknown senders, can have viruses, malware and other malicious programs that could hamper the security of your system and make it easier for an attacker or cyber-criminal to gain access.

So, make sure to scan all attachments you receive from both known and unknown senders to stay protected.

4. Protect your email by using an SSL Certificate

We often wonder is this website safe? The threat of phishing is growing daily, with websites and emails at most risk of this menace. To make emails more secure and resilient to online attacks like MiTM attacks, you should get Cheap SSL Certificate. Secure Socket Layer gives a safe and secure transfer-layer interaction among two end-users, the sender of the email and the receiver.

Installing an SSL certificate warrants that every communication between the server and browser stays encrypted and secured from external threats. In addition, an SSL certificate encrypts communications on websites whenever it is technically feasible, making it harder for attackers to shoot phishing emails.

5. The message has a sense of urgency

If you receive an email giving a piece of essential news or update and asking you to reply and act immediately, it mostly is a phishing email. But a careful study of such email or message makes you realize that the organization doesn’t get in touch with you by that email address, and you learn that they did not send you a document at all. That is why so many scams and phishing schemes request that you act as soon as possible. It is also common for phishing emails to instill panic in the recipient as if you would incur some heavy loss if you do not act. The email may claim that your account may have been compromised, and the only way to confirm it is if you enter your login details, such as username and password. And with this act, you have just given away your details to the scammers. Then again, the email might state that your account will be locked if you do not act instantly.

So, ensure that you take the time to go through the processes mentioned above and check if it is a genuine email and act only if and when, you are sure. If you are unsure, however, contact the company directly through some other means.

3 Ways to Protect Your Business From External Threats

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Protect Your Business|3 Ways to Protect Your Business From External ThreatsRunning a business requires you to pour your heart and soul into making it a success. When you commit so much time and energy to your business, the last thing you want is for its success to be jeopardized by an external threat. External threats to companies come in many forms, so being aware of them and what you can do to protect your company is essential.

Knowing that you are protecting your business will bring you peace of mind and allow you to focus attention on running your business. Here is how to keep your business protected:

1. Increase Business Premises Security

A break-in or theft at your building can be a distressing situation. No one wants the hassle and upset of needing to report the crime and clear up the damage caused, especially when this is likely to cost you both time and money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Increasing your physical security measures at your business can act as a helpful deterrent and prevent crimes from being committed. Increasing your number of CCTV cameras on the premises, installing shutters, and investing in an alarm system will help reduce the likelihood of crimes being committed and save you the time and hassle that this causes.

2. Take Care of Cybersecurity

While the physical security of your buildings is vital, protecting your business from cybersecurity threats is also crucial. Cybercrimes are continuing to rise, with increased numbers of hacks and phishing scams taking place. If your business is a victim of a cybercrime, the cost can be high. Data breaches and other cybercrime can cause your business unplanned downtime, damage to your reputation, and money if you receive a fine.

As cybercriminals become increasingly sophisticated in their techniques, it becomes even more essential to work on protecting your business from cyber threats. Using Managed IT Services is an excellent way to do this as it enables you to benefit from professional assistance and the latest cybersecurity knowledge to protect your company. Knowing that you have expert help just a phone call away is a fantastic way to keep your business protected from this genuine threat.

3. Legal Protection

No matter how efficiently and diligently you run your business, you cannot control issues caused by other organizations. There are many issues your company can fall victim to in its business dealings, so ensuring you have legal protection against these is crucial.

Finding an experienced lawyer with lots of experience in drawing up contracts and copyright law is vital for your business. Getting contracts drawn up between your company and your suppliers could help safeguard your business against the cost of delays caused by supplies being delivered late or being substandard. It is also helpful to ensure you have applied for the appropriate copyright and patents for your designs and ideas so that you can take action if a competitor copies these.

While external threats cannot be eliminated, taking action to minimize their risk is the best way to keep your company protected.

Methods Of Keeping All Of Your Data Safe And Away From Danger

StrategyDriven Organizational Performance Measures Article |Keep Data Safe|Methods Of Keeping All Of Your Data Safe And Away From DangerIn the world of business, you literally never know when you might fall into danger. You always have to keep your wits about you because you don’t know what might be around the corner. You might have to deal with legal issues, bookkeeping problems, or natural disasters. So, it’s wise to always be prepared for any eventuality.

In 2021, a lot of the work you’ll be doing will be online and via digital platforms. On these platforms and systems, a lot of important information will be around. You’ll also be operating a lot on them, so they’ll need to be functioning properly and will need to be well-guarded. If you leave yourself open in this regard, then you could be in danger of all kinds of negative instances. The good thing is that protecting your systems and data isn’t too difficult. Here are a few ways to do it:

Teach Your Staff What They Need To Know

If you have employees that know what they have to do and how to behave, then it’s going to make the working day a lot less stressful. Training employees in IT skills doesn’t have to be difficult when it comes to the basics, but the more technical aspects may need a little more work. You can bring in training services every now and again, or you can send them to school for a couple of months so that they can fully gain the knowledge, skills, and qualifications. Ensuring that they’re trained would mean that fewer silly errors are made.

Possess A Solid Cloud Server

If your company has a great remote server that can be accessed by everyone on the team, it makes work a lot easier. Sending and receiving items comfortable helps everything move smoothly. One problem in recent years is that they have been hacked into by criminals, so it’s your job to ensure you find a solid, protected server. Secure file sharing is vital if you want to maintain productivity, order, and a good reputation.

Ensure You Have Ample IT Support

There are lots and lots of IT companies around that will help you with things as you get through your day-to-day jobs. The likes of managed IT services will be on hand to watch over you and protect you from attacks. They’ll also be able to advise you regarding the next best possible moves that will benefit the company.

Ensure Harsh Punishments For Violating IT Conduct

A lot of the time, computer systems are compromised due to an issue from someone within the camp. Perhaps they’ve made an error or they’ve tried something underhanded. In order to stop this kind of thing from happening, it’s good to put rules in place. If they know what will happen to them, then it will deter them from trying anything untoward.

Buy The Right Cybersecurity Software

Possessing the right software makes sense for everyone involved. You’ll have to ensure that you have the best programs to protect your data and systems as substandard cybersecurity software will let hackers walk right in.

How To Handle Employee Cyber Security Training

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | How To Handle Employee Cyber Security Training | Cyber Security, Business, Corporate

If your employees’ financial and personal information is leaked to intruders, your company may lose a lot. Most employees in various companies have fallen victim to phishing scams, causing great losses to the company. Unfortunately, cyber attackers evolve as technology changes and make their attacks even more sophisticated.

To shield your company from attacks, you need to conduct a compromise assessment and assess where it’s more vulnerable. Setting up complicated systems to protect your business is great. But if your employees don’t know how to use the systems, you’ll still be vulnerable. That’s why every organization should give their employees basic cybersecurity training. That way, attacks targeting social engineering and phishing scams will stay out of your business.

Here are some tactics for training your employees in cybersecurity:

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article | How To Handle Employee Cyber Security Training1. Avoid Blame Games

When the news of a data breach gets into the ears of the company’s executive and other people, it’s easy to attach the fault to some employee who clicked the wrong link. Though it might be true that one of your employees may have fallen for an attacker’s trap, it isn’t advisable to blame them if they don’t have the right knowledge about such attacks. In fact, it may seem that the organization is dodging is the responsibility of training employees on how to keep its data and networks secure.

Instead of blaming the employees, you should develop a plan that’ll ensure every worker has the knowledge they require to prevent attacks. You should also encourage them to ask questions and set up a department that can address their concerns.

Training isn’t only about collecting your employees in some class and lecturing them on best practices, but it could also be sharing with them new threats through SMSs and pinning informational notices on their noticeboards and offices. That way, they’ll keep interacting with the information and enhance their knowledge of cybersecurity threats.

2. Have A Budget For Employee Training

While SMSs and notices can help inform your employees about threats, you may need to conduct a training to explain how to handle some complicated threats. Cybersecurity requires constant maintenance because new attacks are created daily and monthly. Therefore, conducting monthly training can be ideal for updating them on such threats.

According to experienced IT experts, people working in your organization are assets that need continual investment. If you don’t patch them regularly, they’ll be vulnerable. That’s why when planning for your yearly budget, you should include employee training. Securing your systems and data is just as essential as marketing your products and services. So it would be best to treat employee training with seriousness as you would treat marketing.

Furthermore, you need to use many approaches to keep your staff on top of the trends. That may need a mindset shift and not viewing an employee who opened a wrong link as a source of failure even after training them but recognizing that your training and security structure needs updating.

3. Prioritize Cyber Security Awareness

Being on top of trends doesn’t prevent your company from experiencing data breaches. According to Cyber Security Hub, companies like Toyota, Walmart, and Dunkin’ Donuts have experienced attacks in the recent past despite having sophisticated security systems.

If you think that your small enterprise is safe, you need to be very worried because a 2018 cybersecurity report by Ponemon Institute revealed that about two-thirds of small businesses were attacked within a year. The only way to keep your systems secure is always to enlighten your employees about cybersecurity news. That way, they’ll understand the frequency and volume of attacks and be alert throughout the day.

Though getting your employees aware of current events is vital, you shouldn’t flood their inboxes with many emails that may be sent directly to the archives. Instead, you can attach cybersecurity information in the emails or reports news section that you can customize. Also, including messages in the links you send to your employees can help them stay updated.

4. Train Them On Password Best Practices

Having password best practices in your organization is one way of developing a robust security plan. The only problem you may face is convincing your workers to implement it.

Strong passwords should have the following qualities:

  • Be Long Enough: Lengthy passwords are difficult to crack. That’s why IT experts recommend that you set passwords with at least eight characters.
  • Have Many Character Sets: Every character set you add enhances the complexity of the password and makes it difficult to penetrate. That’s why your password should have a lower case, upper case, symbols, and numerals.
  • Have Incomplete Words: There’s no doubt that common words are easier to remember. However, they make it very simple for an attacker to crack. So it’s advisable to use incomplete words.
  • Should Be Changed Often: If you keep on using the same password on many devices, it may be compromised. To avoid that, you should change your password after a smaller window. Setting a reminder can help you know when to change your passwords.
  • Shouldn’t Be Shared Across Accounts: Using similar passwords across accounts can make it easy for an enterprising hacker to obtain your information and use it on other websites. Fortunately, there are sites where you can key in your email to know if your password has been compromised.

To ensure that all your employees have complied with password policies, you can use password managing tools. These tools will generate memorable but strong passwords for every account that your workers use. They’ll also simplify the process of sharing passwords and allow the employees to collaborate remotely.

As much as training your employees on password policies is vital, you also need to complement their knowledge with other data protection policies. Don’t assume that they know and understand them, but remind them regularly through refresher courses.

That way, they’ll always be updated on policies and rules that they need to follow. Every time you hire a new employee, you should tell them about data protection regulations and inform them about the company’s cybersecurity policies.

Final Words

You can’t prevent cyber attackers from targeting your company’s systems, but you can try as best as you can to shield them. Training your employees on best practices can help you to minimize the chances of cybercrime immensely. Their knowledge of cybersecurity threats can make your company secure or a vulnerable target.