5 Ways Your Security Team Can Help Keep Your Company Safe

Business owners have a lot of responsibilities. This includes responsibilities to customers, employees, business partners, suppliers and the government. One of the most important responsibilities a business owner has is managing security operations. If you ignore security, it can put the well-being of the entire company at risk. Below are five things you should make sure your security team has covered to ensure that your business remains protected.

Secure Your Network

In today’s interconnected world, the biggest threats to businesses aren’t necessarily criminals that show up in person. Today, some of the biggest threats to businesses are hackers, cyber criminals, malware, viruses, Trojans and other cyber security threats. It has been estimated the annual cost of cyber-crime will rise to $2 trillion by 2019. Make cyber security a cornerstone of your security operations for your business.

Screen Your Employees

Your human resources department is actually directly related to security. If you don’t properly screen your employees with criminal background checks during the hiring process, you could hire criminals that are likely reoffend while under your employment. This could mean losing money to theft. It could even mean being sued when customers or other employees are put at risk.

Provide Radio Communications to Security Staff

In regards to securing your physical buildings and grounds, you will need to have security personnel on hand to deal with intruders and other security threats. However, your security personnel will not be able to accomplish much without the ability to efficiently communicate. Companies like Altech Electronics provide radio communications solutions specifically designed for security purposes.

Install Security Cameras

Something else you will need is electronic surveillance of your grounds. Without surveillance camera footage to examine after the fact, it can be very hard to solve or prove crimes. Make sure all significant areas of your grounds and buildings where theft or crime could occur are under video camera surveillance at all times.

Train Employees on Security Procedures

Even employees that are not part of your security staff should be trained on important security procedures. If employees do not know what to do when they come across evidence of a crime taking place, significant mistakes can be made. Employees must also be trained on how to maintain cyber security when dealing with company computer systems.

Overall, maintaining security is one of the most important responsibilities of a business owner. If you ignore security threats, the ramifications can be severe. It can even lead to the end of your business. Make security a priority and make the proper investments to protect your company.

Guest author, Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer from Columbus, Ohio. She went to college at The Ohio State University where she studied communications. In her free time, she enjoys the outdoors and long walks in the park with her 3-year-old husky Snowball.  @LizzieWeakley

If You Rely On IT, You Must Know The Risks

Your IT systems can play a crucial role in helping improve productivity, make complicated processes much easier, and streamline workflow. However, the more you rely on it, the more you expand your network of devices and software, the more of a risk it can become. Rather than arguing that you should scale down your tech reliance, instead, we are going to look at how you ensure you cope with that growing reliance and stay protected.

 

Are you protected?

Every business owner, big or small, should be aware of the real security risks related to their tech. From antivirus software to ethical hacking, you need to consider what data is available on your systems and just how much of a risk it can be if that data falls into the wrong hands. The riskier it is, the more you should invest in protecting it. Studies have shown that the majority of businesses that suffer a major data breach tend to close their doors within two years, and if you lose customer data, especially financial data, you could be legally liable for their losses too.

What happens when the light goes out?

What percentage of your employees’ working day involves them using the computer as their main resource? There’s a good chance it’s more than 50%. In that case, does that mean they are 50% less productive when the power or internet goes out? Your business can suffer a huge blow due to downtime. Finding backup power sources scaled to the number of devices you need, as well as alternative internet connections such as accessible Wi-Fi dongles is essential if you don’t want that downtime to shut you down entirely.

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How do you cope with disaster?

Sometimes, a sudden event can do more than prompt downtime. A breach or a power surge can not only shut down your tech, but it can lose you significant portions of data, as well. Besides finding and preventing the risk of such disasters, strategic IT consulting can help you put a disaster recovery system in place. Such systems can help you get powered on and online much quicker, as well as ensuring that you have the data you need backed up so you are never at risk of truly losing everything.

Are you underutilizing it?

Finally, if you are scaling your tech reliance, you should also scale what you get in return for it. For instance, think about the data your systems produce. These can provide essential insights into the productivity of the team, the efficiency of your tech, and much more. Big Data consultants can help you find these insights and provide the answers to questions such as how to make your team more engaged and how to increase end-user adoption of new software, amongst many other things.

There are risks involved in relying more heavily on any one resource within the business. The more you rely on it, the more of a potential weakness it becomes. Ensure you give those weaknesses the time and thought they deserve and safeguard your business.

How Well Do Your Know Your Computers?

Computers are fantastic inventions that have enabled us to be incredibly productive at work and at home. However, computers are still a mystery to many people and it’s understandable considering how complicated they are and how many parts they involve. However, we believe that it’s important to understand how your computer works, what it’s capable of and how you can make the most of them.

So whether you’re moving into a new office and equipping it with new computers, or if you just want to learn more about the technology that you use in your business, we’ve prepared a thorough article that will teach you everything you need to know.

A rough understanding helps you cut future costs when purchasing hardware

As with many other industries, it’s important to have a rough understanding of something before you make investments in it. If you understand how computers work and the value of the parts, then you can easily cut future costs by purchasing second-hand or refurbished hardware instead of brand-new from manufacturers. With this rough understanding of computers (a simple course) you’ll be able to make some huge savings. 

Equipping your employees with the right tools will help their productivity

How much do you know about your computers and their costs? Do you know how satisfied your employees are with them? If you want to equip your employees with the right hardware and tools, then it pays to have a deeper understanding of the tools they use, the software they require and so on.

Computer slowdowns and errors are a common cause of low productivity

You may have experienced crashes and slowdowns in the past with your computer systems, but had no idea how to deal with them. By learning about computers and their errors, you could easily fix common problems without having to call out an engineer or tech specialist. If your business suffers from computer slowdowns and errors then you’ll likely experience staff lazing around and nothing productive. With just a bit of experience, you can easily fix any common errors before they have a chance to become annoying and ultimately slow down your business.

Software can do more than you might initially think 

If you have a large number of computers in your workplace then you might be considering managed IT support to help you look after your computers. This is to help you keep your software updated, to ensure that your programs are installed properly and to also inform you on how you can use different types of software to help you grow your business.

Conclusion 

Computers are an integral part of any business, but it’s also important to understand how they’re used, how they work and also what they’re capable of.

If Your PC is Your Livelihood, Here Are Some Things You Should Know

For many people these days, it’s impossible to work and earn a living with your own personal computer. If your PC is your livelihood, you’re probably a little concerned about anything potentially happening to your computer. Many people would be completely lost without there, but burying your head in the sand and telling yourself it’s reliable and won’t break is not wise. Instead, you should be taking active steps to ensure that your computer doesn’t experience problems later on.

Backups Could Save You 

Backing up is one of those things that everyone knows they should do, but not many people actually do it. That’s a habit that you definitely need to break as soon as possible because those backups could save you if something does go wrong. If you’re going to lose your PC, it’s best that everything on it can be salvaged and made use of going forward, right?

You Must Understand Which Files Are Threats and Which Aren’t

If you spot a file on your PC that you’d don’t recognise, you might start to worry that it’s something that probably shouldn’t be there. Websites, such as the one you can find by following this link, will tell you which files are bad and must be removed ASAP and which files are harmless. Get in the habit of checking for these files in case your security software has missed them. 

You Should Take Steps to Make Successful Burglaries Less Likely 

It’s really important for you to take care of the physical security of your PC, as well as any other tech items you have. And the most important way of doing that is by making sure that your home is protected against the potentiality of a burglary occurring. No one likes to think about this, but if your home is a soft target, you will be more likely to have someone try to break in.

Keeping the Firewall Turned On is Essential

So many people turn the firewall off on their computer for all sorts of reasons. But there is no good reason to turn off the firewall. It’s there to protect you and it can stop your computer being invaded by something that could do real damage to your PC and stop you from earning your living.

Update Antivirus Software

Finally, you need to make sure that your antivirus software is up to date and in a fit state to protect your PC whenever it should be called upon to do so. You pay for that software, so makes sense that you should want to get the most out of it at all times. If it’s going to fail you because you kept skipping on those updates, you’ll definitely regret it later.

PC’s can be volatile at times, and there are so many problems that can arise out of the blue. Being aware of these issues and how you can fix them or avoid them is really important. Don’t leave things to chance if the entirety of your income relies on you being able to use your computer.

How To Protect Your Site From Hackers In 5 Steps

As an online business owner, you need to make safety one of your top priorities. Hackers are more likely to target small online businesses since these businesses cannot afford extensive cybersecurity solutions.

There are steps you can take to make your website safer, protect your customers’ data, and educate your visitors about online safety. This is especially important for customers who aren’t tech-savvy, such as senior citizens.

Set Up Best Practices And Stick To Them

You need to have a clearly defined safety policy that includes a set of best practices. These are some of the practices you should think about adopting:

  • Determine who needs to access sensitive data and where this data will be stored.
  • Enforce strong password policies for employees and visitors. Make sure passwords are changed regularly.
  • Think about using two-factor authentication.
  • Reset all passwords if you suspect that a security breach occurred.
  • Don’t use form auto-fill if you sell products online.

Updates

Updates typically become available when a flaw is found with a platform, a script, or an app. Some updates will be installed automatically, but you should regularly check for updates and install them.

Keep Your Backend Safe

There are a few things you can do to protect your backend from attacks:

  • Hackers often target admin directories. Make these directories hard to find and change the default passwords.
  • You can make your server safer with a Web application firewall.
  • There are other free or affordable security applications that you can install on your server.
  • Add a Content Security Policy to the headers of your pages. This element will tell browsers not to execute scripts from other domain names. Hackers might try to add malicious code to your pages to execute harmful scripts, but a CSP will tell browsers not to execute these scripts.

Use An SSL Certificate

You can easily obtain an SSL certificate and install it on your server. This certificate will encrypt all the data requested by visitors as well as the data shared with your server.

Once your SSL certificate is installed, visitors will see a padlock icon next to your URL. Depending on the certificate you install, there might also be a green section next to your site name.

An SSL certificate is an important feature since it prevents hackers from intercepting sensitive data when visitors fill out forms or make an online purchase. It also protects their privacy.

The padlock icon, HTTPS in the URL and the green section in your URLs are signs that Internet users know they should look for.

Transparency Is Important

Internet users care about security and particularly seniors need reassuring that they’re safe online. In fact, 85 percent of US Internet users said they wouldn’t visit a website if their browser told them it wasn’t secure. Some users will know they should look for a padlock icon, but others such as senior users won’t know what to look for. This is why you need to talk to your customers about the steps you are taking to protect their data.

If a breach occurs, you need to talk about what happened and the measures you took to prevent more incidents.

Security should be a priority if you own an online business. Take security in your own hands and remember that transparency is key to earning the trust of your customers.

 

Author, Jenny Holt, is a former HR executive turned freelance writer, who now spends more time with her young family and aging, but ever eager Labrador, Rover.

Trends in #CyberSecurity

The world of cybersecurity is in a state of constant flux, and every year brings new challenges, along with technological breakthroughs to keep constantly multiplying virtual threats at bay. In 2017 and afterwards, chief cybersecurity trends will comprise heightened focus on cloud data security, shift of attention from threat prevention to threat detection and response, increased demand for talent and skills in the niche, and merging of security and software development and operations sectors. So, how will each of these trends impact the general cyber protection landscape, and which direction will industry developments take in the months to come?

1. Cloud data security becomes a top priority

As more and more companies continue to jump onboard the cloud computing boat, security of data stored online will become one of the main concerns for businesses around the world. For this reason, companies looking to move their line of work to the cloud should invest additional thought and planning when selecting cloud service providers to avoid large-scale complications and expenses caused by compromised security of confidential business data. On top of that, in-house IT teams can develop special security guidelines for staff members who want to sync their devices with company servers as to ensure maximum protection for sensitive corporate data. By doing so, important business information will stay out of harm’s way but employees will still be get to access it from their smart gadgets even if these are not supported by in-house IT team.

2. Security skills get more precious by the day

Right now, the security sector takes pride in zero percent unemployment rate in most countries, and the demand for talent and skills in the industry is constantly rising. Over the next few years, companies around the world are expected to generate more data than ever before but the type of cyber security protection which will be in highest demand will be slightly different than today. Namely, the skill set of an average security expert will be centered mainly on new skills in data science and analytics, and the need for continuous education will only grow further. In addition to that, the global increase in the quantity of virtual information will push the need for artificial security intelligence to unprecedented heights, putting adaptive skills and innovative security solutions front and center in overall IT development trends.

3. Push for detection and response solutions

Up until recently, businesses used to allocate the greatest portion of their cyber security budget to threat prevention purposes, but the future will be painted in quite a different shade of cyber protection. With the number of virtual threats multiplying at the speed of light, your in-house IT won’t always be able to prevent attacks coming from the worldwide web, and it’ll have to focus more on the threat response aspect of data protection and use special tools such as penetration tests to detect security system vulnerabilities and threats and remedy them. In this light, brands looking to take their cyber security game to the next level should adapt their security setups for threat response and malware removal instead of focusing on prevention of attacks on sensitive corporate data.

4. DevOps need to evolve into DevSecOps

The importance of cyber security for businesses both large and small has been on a steady rise for years now, and it’ll remain in the limelight in the decades to come, which is in itself a good reason for companies to start treating their IT sector with greater respect. To reduce long-term cyber security costs, companies should merge their security sector and software development and operations teams to boost safety of virtual information and improve coordination of data protection measures. By turning DevOps into DevSecOps, companies will optimize their cyber security game and ensure smooth running of key IT activities while at the same time avoiding the expenses they’d otherwise incur by outsourcing security protection to third-party services.

Data protection is one of the most sensitive aspects of business conduct, and its importance will only grow as an increasing number of companies move their line of work over to the web. Still, if you take heed of the trends listed above on time and makes cyber security system tweaks, your business will be able to withstand the threats and challenges hackers decide to throw its way without major difficulties or extensive cyber protection costs. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so you’ll need to keep investing active efforts and funding into cyber protection if you want your corporate empire to stay safe and flourish.

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Guest Author is Alex Williams is a journalism graduate, and a rookie blogger trying to find my luck. Blogs are the perfect opportunity for presenting yourself to wider audience, getting the chance to showcase my expertise and receiving recognition. I am a regular contributor at Bizzmark Blog

Turn Your Online Business Into A Fortress

The internet has made it possible for so many people to build businesses from their own home; it saves them on paying rent for a premises, it makes it cheaper for them to advertise their products and services, and it gives them a wider customer base to buy their products. Unfortunately, no one really considers that online businesses have a few vulnerabilities that aren’t usually seen in physical stores. Whether you’re conducting your business part-time, or you depend on it as your sole source of income, here are a few vulnerabilities that could affect your business, and how you can protect it like a fortress.

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Cyber safety

Since 2016, there has been an increase in reports of online businesses being targeted and held to ransom by cyber-criminals. Experts are warning that small businesses are fast becoming their favorite target because most of them are woefully unprepared for hacks to their online domain. Don’t make your business a weak target for cyber-criminals – this is your livelihood, so protect it like a fortress. Invest in antivirus and encryption software that automatically updates to patch vulnerable spots in your security, blocks spam, and detects spyware. Companies that sell this type of software include McAfee, Norton, AVG and Avira. Cyber criminals also look for exploits in WordPress and popular plugins, so it’s vital you keep them up to date if you’re using this to host your website.

Get insurance

Depending on the kind of service you offer, you might want to consider professional indemnity insurance; this will protect you if a client accuses you of providing  inadequate advice, services or designs that resulted in a financial loss. You can get professional indemnity insurance to cover both defence costs and any liability found owing in the event of a claim up to the limit of indemnity. There are different kinds of insurance for different services, so make sure you do your research to ensure you’re properly covered.

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Secure payments

If you’re selling something online, enabling mobile payments such as PayPal can increase your sales by allowing more impulsive purchases. You’ll also receive prompt payments rather than dealing with a billing or invoicing system. A good merchant service provider can sort you out with an online payment system for your eCommerce store. But more importantly, they can help you set up secure payments. The minute your customers enter their card details into your system, they are vulnerable to cyber attacks. You need excellent encryption software and top of the line credit card security to keep these details safe from cyber thieves. No one will use your store again if they’re worried about their details being stolen.

Reputation

The best kind of protection you can provide for your business is building up a solid reputation. Establish yourself as a reliable salesperson, a provider of good quality products, and someone who responds well to customer feedback. Customers are usually very trusting of online businesses, but once they hear of any hacking incidents or lawsuits, they are less likely to return.