Security Alert! Hackers And Cybercriminals Are Targeting YOUR Business Right Now … Is Your Cyber Security Protection Up-To-Date?
Many small-business owners are blind to the risks of the modern age. They don’t read reports like Verizon’s 2018 Data Breach Investigations Report, which states that more than half of all malware infections hit small businesses last year. They don’t realize that this staggeringly high number is only going to continue to climb over the coming decade. They aren’t aware of the statistics in Kroll’s 2017 report revealing that, as of last year, cybercrime has overtaken physical theft as the #1 illicit threat to businesses of all sizes. Many of them are unaware that digital breaches are even a serious risk for small businesses, assuming that the high-profile breaches of Fortune 500 companies they read about in the news each month are the only kind that ever happen. Few of them know that the cost of these attacks on small businesses typically surge far past $1 million, reaching into the stratosphere as business downtime ticks on and on.
According to a 2016 survey conducted by the National Center for the Middle Market, these business owners aren’t reading the writing on the wall. They’re the reason why less than half of midsize businesses have an up-to-date strategy to protect them from cyber-attacks. A few of them – about a third – don’t have any strategy in place at all.
But whether they have the most powerful cyber security in the world or are one of the millions of small-business owners who simply assume they’re safe, the cybercriminals are coming for them. The difference lies in whether these attacks will bounce off the robust barriers the company has put in place or destroy the company from the inside out. Which group do you belong to? The hapless team that can’t imagine they’ll ever be attacked and go under within just a few years? Or the visionaries who can see where the trends are going and put protections in place to secure their futures for the long haul? Hopefully, you count yourself among the second cohort and are doing everything you can to beef up your security long before disaster strikes. Whatever measures you’re putting in place, start with your employees. More than half of all cyber-attacks are caused by the negligence of low-level team members. You may assume that everybody can tell what a phishing e-mail looks like, but you’d be wrong. School your employees on the necessity and basics of Internet safety, and you’ll be a big step ahead of most of your competition.
Of course, even if your employees are the savviest in the world, it won’t matter if you don’t have the proper barriers in place. Skip the bargain-bin antivirus and put your money into solutions that will actually stop the bad guys. It’s not a one-and-done approach; you need a multilayered strategy that closes the gaps as they appear. A little research here can go a long way, but honestly, the best way by far to protect your livelihood is to get a managed services provider on board. They’ll proactively check nearly every aspect of your network to ensure that nothing is ever amiss. When old, outdated systems are supplanted by more powerful alternatives, they’ll upgrade them. You can get rid of that nagging anxiety in the back of your mind constantly reminding you that there might be a loophole somewhere in your security.
There are two types of business owners in the world: those in the know and those stuck in the past. The second group are the heads of those companies you read about collapsing beneath the weight of cyber-attacks, while the first are the successful businesses that seem like they can weather just about anything. Which one are you?
Help Us Out And We’ll Give You A Brand-New Amazon Fire For Your Trouble
We love having you as a customer and, quite honestly, wish we had more like you! So instead of just wishing, we’ve decided to hold a special “refer a friend” event during the month of October.
Simply refer any company with 10 or more computers to our office to receive a FREE computer network assessment (a $397 value). Once we’ve completed our initial appointment with your referral, we’ll rush YOU a free Amazon Fire of your choice as a thank-you (or donate $100 to your favorite charity ... your choice!).
Simply call us at 816-233-3777 or e-mail us at email@example.com with your referral’s name and contact information today!
Set The Right Priorities With This Formula You Learned In Econ 101
Most leaders struggle with prioritization. In the research we did for my book Power Score, we discovered that only 24% of leaders are rated as “good” at prioritizing. It’s no wonder, then, that employees are often so confused as to what they should be doing! And it’s certainly no mystery why so many leaders are tearing their hair out with stress.
But prioritization doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, you can boil the entire process down to a simple formula you learned way back in Econ 101: expected value.
Expected value is a number that does exactly what it sounds like. It helps you determine the value you think you are going to receive from doing something given the probability it will happen and the value if it happens. The formula looks like this:
EV = P x V
For example, if I tell you that you can keep a quarter if you flip it and it comes up heads, the expected value of that transaction is 50% x $0.25 = $0.125.
Let’s say your team comes up with this list of possible priorities for next year:
1. Redo website
2. Create SMB product
3. Open a London office
4. Free sushi lunches
5. Digitize intellectual property
6. Try to clone Elena
7. Launch candy bar product
Your next step is to say, “Let’s rate the probability we could achieve those priorities.” The team ratings come in like this: London 10/10; sushi 10/10; website 9/10; digitize 8/10; candy 3/10; SMB 3/10; clone 1/10.
After that, you say, “Let’s now rate the value of each priority if we achieved it.” The team ratings come in like this: digitize 10/10; clone 10/10; London 9/10; SMB 3/10; candy 3/10; website 2/10; sushi 1/10.
Then you multiply the numbers together, rank them from highest to lowest and voila! You’ve got your priorities. In this case, the London office would come out on top at 90, followed closely by digitizing your intellectual property at 80. At the bottom would be the option to create a product for SMBs, though all the other options are pretty low as well, so your team would likely want to skip them.
The bottom line is this: You will be more powerful as a leader if you allocate time to the priorities that have a high probability of success, high value and high urgency and that also fit your Skill Will Bullseye. Rate and rank ’em. Then just do the top ones. Don’t do the lower priorities. At the very least, delegate or delay them. That’s it!
Geoff Smart is chairman and founder of ghSMART. Geoff is co-author, with his colleague Randy Street, of the New York Times best-selling book, Who: A Method for Hiring, and the author of the No. 1 Wall Street Journal best seller Leadocracy: Hiring More Great Leaders (Like You) into Government. Geoff co-created the Topgrading brand of talent management. He is the founder of two 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organizations. SMARTKids Leadership Program™ provides 10 years of leadership tutoring, and the Leaders Initiative™ seeks to deploy society’s greatest leaders into government. Geoff earned a BA in Economics with honors from Northwestern University, and an MA and PhD in Psychology from Claremont Graduate University.
Are You Using These 5 Productivity Hacks To Improve Your Business And Life?
Being productive means trimming the fat and focusing on what really matters to you. Here are a few tips to help you do exactly that.
1. Know your routine. Everyone has a time frame during which they’re most productive and an hour at which they always tend to crash. Construct your schedule so that you’re always in top form.
2. Don’t get on Facebook. That one’s pretty self-explanatory.
3. Put away your phone. The average smartphone user checks their phone more than 200 times a day. Set that thing far, far away and get to work.
4. Do one thing at a time. Multitasking is tempting, but studies show that the human mind isn’t very good at juggling multiple ideas at once.
5. Meditate. By setting aside just 15 minutes a day to sit, you can strengthen your focus, better control your emotions and understand yourself that much better.
TOP WAYS TO PUSH YOURSELF TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Everyone knows how vital continuous improvement is to fulfillment and success, but everyone has a different strategy to keep themselves sharp and continue driving forward.
IZEA CEO Ted Murphy forces himself to run a mile every single day, rain or shine, forming an “unbreakable commitment” to “maintaining a balance between his personal health and the demands of work.” Thomas Pasquet, the co-founder and COO of Ogury, abandoned his office and desk a long time ago so that he could float around the company, meeting and communicating with his colleagues. Paul Koulogeorge, the CMO of Goddard Systems, Inc., listens to a podcast for at least an hour a day to ensure he’s always learning new things. First Saturday Lime CEO J.M. McDaniel does everything he can to reduce the number of decisions he has to make each day, wearing nearly the same outfit and eating the same lunch.
Whatever helps keep you fresh and looking forward, try to formalize it and turn it into a habit. Before too long, you’ll start reaping the rewards.