Your #1 Hacking Threat Is INSIDE Your Own Organization
Every movie portrays hackers in pretty much the same way. When it comes to crunch time, they crack their knuckles, sit down at the keyboard, and begin tapping away at lightning speed. The timer is ticking down, the music reaches its peak of tension, but the hacker remains cool as a cucumber. Within seconds, they’re in, they’ve “hacked the mainframe” and prompted high fives from their swarm of cohorts waiting in the wings with bated breath.
In reality, hackers are rarely up against some impenetrable digital fortress, digging into the passwords of a megacorporation or the US government. The vast majority of the time, they’re nothing more than a ragtag group of bored criminals up against some unassuming small business. And more often than not, netting thousands of dollars from ordinary businesses just going about their day-to-day routines requires little coding at all, and certainly no “mainframe hacking.” According to IBM’s 2016 Cyber Security Intelligence Index, 60% of the time, all it takes is an unwitting insider to accidentally leave the company’s digital front door wide open.
The Dangers Of Human Error
Cybercriminals may be experts in sniffing out the slightest vulnerability in your company’s security, but a lot of the time, the data they need practically falls into their laps. Every day, internal e-mails are mistakenly addressed to the wrong people, sensitive info is inadvertently made public and employees unknowingly click on malicious links.
As technology has progressed, the number of potential threats has increased exponentially. Average Joes simply can’t be bothered to keep up with hacking trends, and therefore can be prone to opening your business up to cyber-attack by simply performing their daily activities. If they’ve never been taught, how could they possibly know otherwise?
One of the easiest ways hackers can gain access to your business’s valuable data is by posing as a trusted figure within your organization. This may sound complicated, but in today’s world of social media and constant interactions through screens, it really isn’t. Hackers can use data pulled from Facebook to either hijack the e-mail accounts and identities of employees or pretend to be them outright. After that, they can send peculiar requests to other members of your team. After all, if your CEO, Controller, or Office Manager sends you an urgent e-mail, you’re probably going to open it. In many cases, by gaining access to a particular team member’s credentials, hackers can bring down barriers and decrease the effectiveness of your security network, while staying completely invisible.
Smarten Up Your Team
No matter how comprehensive and powerful your cyber security software may be, it’s not going to do much if an unsuspecting employee welcomes the bad guys into your network. With that in mind, it’s vital that we provide specific training to our teams to truly make data security a priority.
But don’t do this alone — after all, you’re not the security expert. Instead, ask us (or your current provider) to equip you and your employees with the know-how to stave off digital attacks. We provide comprehensive services for you and your team, including:
1. Giving employees a crash course on contemporary hacking strategies. You’ll likely be shocked by how many of them don’t even know what phishing is. During the training, we will provide specific examples of potential attacks - especially phishing - and how to avoid them.
2. Putting systems in place empowering employees to alert the organization of vulnerabilities. For example, if John in manufacturing receives a suspicious e-mail, the entire company should be on the lookout within minutes.
3. Teaching your employees that software updates and patches are more than just a nuisance, they’re a necessity for up to-date security. When a new patch for a key program is released, we’ll make sure your team knows it’s available and that they shouldn’t avoid installing it until later, and provide them with the tools to make it happen.
4. Testing your team on what they’ve learned, such as sending out false suspicious e-mails containing shady links. If anybody fails the test, there’s still work to do.
If you would like help with educating you employees, check out our TS University service. It's fast, it's effective, and it's inexpensive... for both cost as well as labor.
At no cost or obligation, our highly skilled team of IT pros will come to your office and conduct a comprehensive Cyber Security Audit to uncover loopholes in your company’s IT security.
After the audit is done, we’ll prepare a customized “Report Of Findings” that will reveal specific vulnerabilities and provide a Prioritized Action Plan for getting these security problems addressed fast. This report and action plan should be a real eye-opener for you since almost all of the businesses we’ve done this for discover they are completely exposed to various threats in a number of areas.
To book your free Technology Assessment,
CLICK HERE or call our office at 816-233-3777.
Social Entrepreneurship Could Be Your Solution
As a business owner, it can be easy to throw on the blinders and focus exclusively on profitability. But what if becoming permanently profitable and supporting the causes closest to your heart could go hand in hand? Social entrepreneurship can actually boost your employee retention rate and their productivity at the same time.
Nowadays, people (especially young people) want to do meaningful work, something that translates into more than just a 9-to-5 job. When you blend your company’s for-profit goals with larger societal aims, your employees will feel more accomplished and satisfied with how they’re using their time.
Still, your mission doesn’t have to be solely about donating money. Here are some creative ways for you and your team to incorporate humanitarianism into your day-to-day work life.
1. Teach classes at your local community center. Everyone on your team has some specific skill related to your industry. Equipped with this knowledge, your team can run a workshop at a nearby community center. You might be surprised how many people will find this useful.
2. Switch from paper to digital. Not only will this minimize your environmental impact, but you’ll save money on printing costs. This extra change could be donated to charities that combat the effects of deforestation, such as the Jane Goodall Institute or Plant a Billion Trees.
3. Buy locally. If you want to support your fellow local businesses, take part in Small-Business Saturday. As a team, make a list of the businesses you want to patronize and take turns leaving them reviews. This also encourages cross-promotion between your company and these other businesses.
4. Referral program. This strategy is a win-win. If you want to boost your number of customer referrals, advertise a deal in which your company donates $30 to a charity of your choice for every referral. This will quickly build your reputation, not only for a quality service or product, but for your socially conscious practices.
5. Offer your services. Or, you could always go with classic pro bono work. Offer your services to one or two potential clients who are lower income or otherwise disadvantaged. Create teams to tackle these cases each quarter, on the clock. Although you’ll lose a bit of money to opportunity cost, the inspiration and enhanced productivity your employees will experience will more than make up for it.
Don’t underestimate the immense impact socially responsible entrepreneurship can have on your office culture, employees and the world at large. For your team, it can be the extra motivation they need to truly tap into their passion and drive. Denise Blasevick saw these results firsthand in her own company, and we’ve seen them at Profit First Professionals in our mission to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty. It could also be the solution for you.
Do These 3 Things BEFORE Your Next Trip Out Of Town
One of the worst things that can happen in this age of cell phone addiction is going out of town and losing your phone, iPad or laptop. But it happens all too often. Here are a few common-sense security tips that can reduce the sting if you misplace a device or two.
First, make sure you back up your phone to iCloud, your computer or whatever method your particular phone supports. Then, ensure it has a passcode. If you can change the settings to set a passcode that incorporates both letters and numbers, that’s even better. Also be sure to enable “Find My iPhone,” or your phone’s equivalent, as this will allow you to wipe the data if it gets into the wrong hands.
If you travel with your laptop, it’s a good idea to encrypt your hard drive. This is an easier process than it may sound –typically, all you’ll need to do is enter a password immediately when booting up the computer.
Stop These Habits Immediately To Become More Productive
1. Put your phone away. Phones may be an incredible way to stay in touch with friends and family and the world at large, but they’re also a massive distraction when you’re in the middle of important work.
2. Close those extra tabs. According to the American Psychological Association, only a measly 2% of people are actually good at multitasking. Don’t have everything open at once – make a to-do list and stick to it.
3. Don’t chatter during meetings. Unless you really have something vital or new to share, save it for a one-on-one communication.
4. Avoid reply-all e-mails. When you need information urgently, it’s better to pick up the phone and call; then, if you need to, follow up with an e-mail.
5. Maximize your efficiency. A cluttered desk, a lazy morning routine, a stressed-out body or really any obstacle that jams you up daily will slow you down. Pay attention to the things that stand between you and making the best of your time, then work to alleviate them over time. Inc.com 12/13/2017
Business Technology Trends In 2018 To Help You Run Your Company More Efficiently
Telecommuting is the industry standard. Today, remote working is more prevalent than ever, thanks to modern software and technology. Take advantage of this shift to reduce overhead and improve employee happiness.
Cloud services continue to dominate. Ninety-two percent of modern businesses are using one or more cloud-based programs, a number that only continues to climb. The productivity and ease-of-access fixes that the cloud offers are simply too powerful to ignore. Live video improves business-customer relations. With live chat utterly pervasive, we’ll see a shift to live video chat to further improve the customer experience. Face-to face interactions, even through the Internet, provide a level of connection impossible in years past.