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Keeping Your Business Safe: A Guide

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |keep your business safe|Keeping Your Business Safe: A GuideThere are a number of online threats that you can experience while running your business, and while some can be minor, some can be so catastrophic that it results in business closure. Building up a solid business idea and turning it into a profit-turning organization takes hard work and dedication, and the idea that it can fail due to someone else’s actions is devastating. However, it is a very real situation many businesses find themselves in, and all because they didn’t take online security seriously.

Just because you are a small business, doesn’t mean that you aren’t a target for online hackers. Yes, hackers will target big businesses, but as you are less likely to have viable security solutions in place, this is exactly why people will also target small businesses such as yours too. Fortunately, some solutions can help keep your business safe from online threats, and we will explore them in more detail here.

Secure your network

Whether you use your computers every day or once in a while, you still need to ensure that your network is secure. Start by encrypting your wireless access points, as this is a great way for hackers to get into your system and steal sensitive data. Then set about changing the name of your wireless network to something that doesn’t announce to the world that it belongs to you. Instead, make sure to use something more inconspicuous that will make it harder for the hacker to find out your location or business name.

Make this a private network, and ensure like everything you change the password regularly.

Test your company’s defenses

It is one thing to secure your network, but in circumstances where you want to ensure safety to the finest degree, you need to test how good this defense actually is. By carrying out penetration testing, you can test your protection against a number of different threats that hackers will attempt in an effort to steal your data. It will highlight any vulnerabilities and weaknesses within the system and what needs to be done to rectify it.

Antivirus software

One of the best ways to ensure your business is safe is to install the right antivirus software on every single device that enters the company before it joins your network. If a device that an employee has bought into work doesn’t have the right security defenses in play, you are at risk of a data breach.

Train your staff

Many problems regarding company data are the result of uneducated staff. Companies that don’t train their staff are at more risk of experiencing breaches. Therefore, you should make it mandatory training every year for your staff to learn more about cybersecurity and what they can do to maintain the safety of your business.

Educate them on how to spot potential security issues, such as phishing emails, but also reinforce how serious it is to uphold. As cybercriminals improve their techniques and strategies, you need to also improve your training. This is why it is recommended to carry out the training regularly and keep it relevant to on-going security issues.

Five reasons you need IT support for your business

StrategyDriven Managing Your Business Article |IT Support|Five reasons you need IT support for your businessNo matter the size of your business, you should consider having some form of IT support for your brand. Why is that, though? If it’s just you or you have only a small team, you might be thinking there are very few benefits for this – you could think you can do this yourself.

However, you should not underestimate the advantages of having an expert in this area on hand to help you with any problems. Whether your problems are show-stopping issues or minor hassles, having someone who can resolve them quickly, efficiently and in the best way possible can be a great asset. Here are some reasons why you should have IT support.

Information management

Having proper management of all your digital information is vital if your business is to succeed. You will need to have a proper IT support system to ensure that, if you want to log in or look at sales and orders, you should be able to do this with little fuss. You’ll want to avoid large issues like viruses that lose your files or infect your whole system.

Virus protection

The number of viruses and Trojans, as well as other damaging data, has grown in recent years. Every day, there are attempts by hackers trying to get access to an organization’s IT system to plant ransomware.

If these hackers are successful, then you will have to pay a large sum of money to retrieve your business records. By having the required antivirus programs installed to avoid these types of attacks, then you can ensure that your system won’t be affected.

Security

There will be many details you don’t want hackers to have access to, such as customer addresses, personal details, or even payment information. So, for your online business, these all need to be protected – and your IT support can be useful here.

Using the services of a proactive technical support team and using certified professionals means your IT infrastructure can be monitored around the clock. Issues can be dealt with before they become a problem, so you can eliminate complaints and increase productivity.

Maximize productivity

Small businesses depend on staff to be efficient, so downtime because of technical problems can cause significant productivity losses. Items such as computers, networks, smartphones and other technology will fail – and IT departments can perform these crucial tasks for maintenance and repair, so you can have your employees working again. Your staff will then have the support they need to perform as efficiently as possible.

Integration of technology and updates

New upgrades can be time-consuming and confusing – and IT professionals will help integrate those old and new systems. Without them, then your brand might end up being behind on adopting this new technology.

They will also help to troubleshoot the use of new systems and monitor them to ensure that they’re running well. You can also receive recommendations on what new services you could also use, based on your company’s specific needs.

How to Protect Your Transportation Business

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Protect Your Transportation Business|How to Protect Your Transportation BusinessRunning a transportation business presents unique challenges that are not faced by other industries. By its very nature, a transportation business rarely has all of its inventory in one place. When your assets and inventory are always on the move, security becomes an increased priority.

To be successful and to run efficiently, logistics businesses need to find ways that enable them to overcome the challenge of protecting assets when they are out on the road. Managing a fleet of vehicles and ensuring that goods are transported safely and within the designated timescales presents an extra set of issues to manage.

Many issues that are faced by transportation companies are a result of external factors that are beyond the company’s control. These external factors include problems such as traffic delays holding vehicles up and causing them to miss delivery deadlines, theft from trucks resulting in lost inventory, mechanical issues with trucks, along with driver absence, and illness. Despite these issues being outside the business’ control, they still reflect negatively on the company. Missed delivery deadlines, and damaged or lost inventory can result in damage to business relationships as well as the loss of reputation.

As there are so many factors out of the control of transportation businesses, companies must do all that they can to eliminate risks and potential issues that could impact the business. This means that action must be taken to carefully manage parts of the company that can be controlled to help protect it from external factors and ensure that it runs as efficiently as possible.

Staff

Employees are a business’s most significant asset, and the success of any business is very much in the hands of the staff that works there. Companies require teams that will perform their roles to the best of their ability, as well as staff members that are consistently productive and can be relied upon to be at work on the times and days that they should be there.

For transportation companies, finding the right staff is especially important. When employees are out on the road, you need to know that they can be trusted to carry out their job efficiently and to represent your business appropriately when dealing with clients.

Your recruitment process will need to be robust so that you can attract the right employees in the first place. Carrying out thorough pre-employment checks is vital so that you know that potential staff members are capable of carrying out their role responsibly, and can be trusted with being out on the road alone and with high-value stock on board the truck. You will need to make sure that their credentials check out, and it is also wise to get several references from past employers too.

Once you have found staff members that are right for your business, make sure that they receive in-depth training on how to perform their role, and those new employees aren’t made to get out onto the road alone before they are ready. A lack of appropriate training can lead to high staff turnover as employees that are not equipped to perform their jobs well will often experience low morale at work. Therefore, it is in your best interest as an employer to provide your recruits with high-quality training so that new staff members are fully equipped with the skills and knowledge to do the job well.

Technology

All businesses operating nowadays rely on technology to some extent. However, for a logistics company, technology is an essential tool to stay connected with drivers and keep the business operation running smoothly.

Using truck tracking software systems can completely transform the way a logistics business operates. Using the software will enable the company to keep track of their equipment and inventory no matter where it is. This kind of data is vital to the smooth running of the operation. Being able to track your vehicles and inventory means that you can manage schedules effectively, and account for all of your equipment. In the unfortunate event that a truck was stolen, you would be able to locate it immediately thanks to your tracking capabilities.

From staying up to date with the progress of your delivery schedule through to detecting unauthorized use of your vehicles, using a tracking system can help you to manage a range of potential issues as well as providing valuable insights.

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Protect Your Transportation Business|How to Protect Your Transportation BusinessSecurity

Nowadays, businesses need to consider two areas of security when planning how to protect their companies best. Cybersecurity and the risk of data breaches make protecting computer systems a high priority for many businesses. However, physical security should never be overlooked.

Small businesses, in particular, are often targeted by cybercriminals. This is because many small businesses fail to make cybersecurity a high priority, and are then left vulnerable to hackers. Ensuring that your company data is protected is vital. Otherwise, you are at risk of exposing both your client’s information and sensitive business information too.

Keeping your systems up to date with the latest security software to protect them from viruses can help. However, to further minimize the chances of a data breach, it is crucial to train your staff so that they can also help prevent data breaches from happening. Data breaches often occur as a result of human error. Make sure that everyone is aware that they shouldn’t share passwords, and should only have access to systems that they need to use. Staff should also take care not to click open suspicious emails, as these could potentially be phishing attacks.

Along with staying vigilant to the threat of a cyberattack, your business will also need to operate rigorous physical security measures too. High-value vehicles and inventory, make transportation businesses appealing to criminals, so it is essential to have intruder alarms and CCTV installed. Ensuring that all visitors to your business need to be signed in is crucial, too, to prevent opportunistic thieves from striking. Having security guards patrolling the premises is vital so that any potential security breaches can be dealt with immediately.

Stay Secure: How to Do an IT Risk Assessment

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |IT Risk Assessment|Stay Secure: How to Do an IT Risk AssessmentThere is no question that IT security is a high priority for businesses and government organizations around the world. It seems like there’s a new major story of a security breach every day.

Universities and even the U.S. Coast Guard were attacked with ransomware. You may think that your business is small so it won’t be targeted. Every organization that has a network connection is at risk of an attack.

The best way to prevent an attack is to perform an IT risk assessment. Read on to learn what a risk assessment is and how you can perform one to improve your security.

What is a Risk Assessment?

Your first question is likely to be “What is a security risk assessment?” It’s an in-depth process where you analyze your entire network and databases to determine where your systems are the most vulnerable.

That allows you to prioritize your risks and take action to secure your systems. This is an important thing to do regularly because it can save your business.

A security attack or data breach can be incredibly costly to your business. You’ll experience downtime and lost productivity. Your business will also lose public trust, which can be very difficult to regain.

Your business may be exposed to class-action lawsuits. Those are very costly and could bankrupt your business.

How to Perform an IT Risk Assessment

You don’t want to wait until your systems experience an attack to strengthen the security of your network. An IT risk assessment is a preventative measure that can help you identify your most vulnerable areas and plug up the holes in your systems, policies, and procedures.

Here are the steps you should take to perform a thorough risk assessment.

Know Your Most Vulnerable Assets

Usually, when hackers attack your systems, they want a couple of things. They want to get your most sensitive data, and they want to make money from it.

Your first step is to identify the areas that are real threats that hackers could attack. For example, databases where you store payment information needs additional security.

Intellectual property, trade secrets, confidential documents with vendors, servers, and contact information all require a high level of security.

You want to ask yourself what types of data you collect, why you collect the data, and where the data is stored.

Review Current IT Policies

Most organizations have an IT policy that governs how internal networks and devices are used by employees.
Employees are often the biggest threat to businesses because they are targets of phishing attacks. They just need to click on the wrong email to bring your systems to a halt.

Another area that needs review is mobile device usage. Many employees are mobile and conduct business at client sites and coffee shops. You need to have a strict policy to protect these devices.

For example, a part of the policy could state that they cannot use a public WiFi connection to connect to your network. Instead, they have to use a VPN at all times.

What Would Happen If…

This step isn’t very fun, but it will help you figure out the worst-case scenario if you were to experience an attack.

Think through different situations, like what would happen if you got hit with a ransomware attack. What would the consequences and the costs be to your organization?

Other situations include data loss and compliance consequences. In some cases, a data breach could violate privacy laws and regulations. That could result in major fines for your organization.

Compliance Audit

As part of your audit, you need to make sure that your organization is in compliance with various privacy and data laws.

This will vary by industry, so you need to be aware of the laws and regulations that apply to you.

Prioritize the Threats

Your next step in the risk assessment is to prioritize the threats according to the cost to your business.
You want to have three levels of danger to your business – high risk, medium, and low risk.

For example, a denial of service attack would be detrimental to your business because it would bring down your servers. This would be a high-level threat.

A natural disaster could be a low-level threat if your building is far from a flood plain or is in an earthqueak-resistant building.

Create an Attack Strategy

You have to develop a plan of attack to shore up the security of your systems. This will help you take care of the most critical threats first and then tackle the low-level threats.

You should have a spreadsheet or document that outlines the threat, when it needs to be complete, and who is responsible. That will keep everyone accountable.

Educate Your Team

The one thing you can do to prevent security attacks is to educate your team. Not just the IT staff, but everyone who interacts with your networks. That could be vendors, customers, or employees.

The more they understand about IT security, the less risk they become to your business. That enables them to be on the lookout for threats and bring them to your attention.

Have a Response Plan

It also helps to have a response plan in place in case the worst does happen. Your response plan is meant to take quick action to minimize the damage.

Be Smart About IT Security

If there’s one major threat to your business, it’s your IT network. Hackers will try to get into your systems and steal data, which can be sold to the highest bidder.

The best way to prevent those attacks is to do an IT risk assessment. That is an in-depth overview of your systems and networks to identify the vulnerabilities and close them before it’s too late.

Do you want more great tech content? Come back to this site again for more great articles.

Fending of the Cybercriminals: How to Protect Your Business in the Digital Age

StrategyDriven Risk Management Article |Cybercriminals|Fending of the Cybercriminals: How to Protect Your Business in the Digital AgeIn the digital age of today, cybercriminals are your business’s biggest enemy. They will stop at nothing to take advantage of both your company and your clients in order to benefit themselves, regardless of the damage they cause. They’ll phish, impersonate, hack, and scam their way to financial success, without bothering to even consider the consequences of their actions.

You cannot allow these petty cybercriminals to bring down the business that you’ve worked so hard to build up. Quite simply, you have to resolve to fend them off at all costs. To find out how that can be achieved, be sure to read on.

Know your enemy

Simply knowing your enemy and getting familiar with the dangers that you face will help you to fend off cybercrime.

Some forms of cybercrime that you should definitely be aware of include:

Partner up with an anti-phishing expert

Fake websites, social media accounts, and email addresses are created by cybercriminals in order to hoodwink unsuspecting customers. Instances of this happening are referred to as phishing attacks, and they are common place on the world wide web today. Unfortunately, the bigger your business’s reputation, the greater your chances are of being targeted by a cybercriminal who specializes in this type of criminality — your company’s reputable name and extended customer base provide them with plenty of opportunities to scam their way to financial success.

Fear not, however, as you’re not alone in your fight against phishing. There are plenty of anti-phishing experts out there, and you should partner up with them if you’re serious about preventing this kind of plight before it has the chance to befall you.

FraudWatch International are one such expert that you could turn to in this instance. The anti-phishing services that they offer include:

  • 24/7 monitoring
  • Domain registration
  • Detection capabilities
  • Layered protection
  • Scanning tools
  • End-to-end solutions
  • Speedy site takedowns

Make sure your employees understand the dangers

If they remain in the dark with regards to all the digital dangers your organization faces day in, day out, your employees could inadvertently end up making it incredibly easy for cybercriminals to hack into your business.

Should your staff members access a virus-contaminated website or open up a trojan email while they are connected to your office WiFi, your whole network could be infected and your personal details could be hacked into — once they are granted access in this instance, you can be sure cybercriminals won’t leave you alone or give you back what is rightfully yours until you yield to their financial demands. For this reason, you need to ensure that the entirety of your workforce understands the severity and danger of cybercrime.

In the digital age of today, physical crime is not the only danger that you face. You also have to contend with cybercrime — fail to tackle it, and an untold amount of problems could befall your business. Take the above advice, and be sure to fend off cybercriminals before they have the opportunity to sink their claws into you.