Are You Overcomplicating Your Security?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Keeping your business property and data secure is a priority. Many companies feel that they have to resort to complex layers of technology or complicated security systems in order to stay secure. 

However, such complexity can often lead to more errors – which may even lead to security vulnerabilities. Complex security measures can also be more expensive and time-consuming to manage. 

Security can be simple and secure. Below are just a few instances of overcomplicated security measures, and how to simplify them without negatively impacting security. 

Unmemorable passwords

The most secure passwords tend to be completely random jumbles of uppercase and lowercase letters, with a few numbers and symbols thrown in. The longer the better – it’s recommended that passwords are over 8 characters, but for ultimate security it’s worth looking at combinations above 15 characters.

The problem with these passwords is that they’re often impossible to memorise. Such passwords often have to be written down or stored somewhere – which can increase the risk of them leaking out.

Fortunately, there are solutions to this. One popular option is to take a memorable phrase and use the initials to create a password, while ideally throwing in some numbers and uppercase letters. This could be a song title, a movie or a quote. An example could be to condense ‘on the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me a partridge in a pear tree’ into ‘Ot1doCmtlg2mapiapt’.

Alternatively, you could opt for a very long password made up of three or more unrelated but memorable words with a number thrown in. This could be something like ‘UmbrellaRacoonPacific44’. The key is to keep it completely random.

Too many different keys/passwords

It’s good to use multiple different passwords and different keys for different areas. However, keeping track of lots of different keys and passwords can be a challenge. While you can label keys and keep password lists, you need to be careful that the wrong people don’t then gain access to your keys or password list.

When it comes to keeping track of multiple keys, it’s worth looking into master keys that can be used for multiple locks. If a key gets lost or stolen, you’ll still then have access to this lock without having to keep multiple spare keys for different locks. 

As for managing lots of different passwords, consider using a password manager software tool. In some cases, you may also be able to set master passwords. You should limit access to the master keys/master passwords to one or two people only. 

Too many/not enough security privileges

A lot of companies overcomplicate security when it comes to privileges. 

Quite often there’s no need to give everyone the same security privileges as this means going through security protocol with each new employee. You may not trust every employee with such information, plus certain employees may not need access to certain information – so it’s best to only give certain people access to passwords, keys and security information.

This doesn’t mean only allowing one or two people to have authorization to all passwords and keys. If you’ve got a large team, it could be frustrating having to constantly rely on one or two people to unlock doors or enter passwords. In other words, make sure that you’re not being too selective with security privileges to the point of hampering productivity.

In-house IT reliance

When there’s a cybersecurity issue, it’s good to have access to IT experts who can solve the issue. 

Most smaller to medium companies can benefit more from outsourcing IT support than hiring in-house IT staff. Doing everything in-house can often be a lot more expensive – you have to be able to pay each IT staff member a full wage with benefits and you need to invest in equipment and tools for each of these staff members. 

When outsourcing your IT, you’ll be able to hire the help of a team of experts for the cost of a single in-house employee. You also don’t have the responsibility that would as an employer.

Unconventional Business Ideas Drawing Profit from Corporations

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

With all the negative press of massive corporations like social media platforms, financial institutions, and manufacturers, they always need to look their best. This means behaving well on TV, presenting a unified outward appearance, and protecting their assets. But they cannot do this alone. As such, they hire outside help from unconventional business ideas drawing profit from their need to look good and present themselves well.

Cleaning on a Massive Scale

Their size doesn’t matter, and that is debatable. Yet when it comes to corporate displays of power and prominence, the bigger, the better. And massive corporations love nothing more than to show their success with an enormous skyscraper or excellent office building. So these steel-framed behemoths, such as 30 St Mary Axe in London, are clad with thousands of square meters of glass panel windows. And just like your windows at home, they need to be cleaned.

High-rise commercial and residential cleaning projects that companies like Shine On Group handle are worth a pretty penny in contracts. Not least because such a task requires specialist knowledge, skills, and dedication. For example, an average New York skyscraper will take you and a team around one month to clean from top to bottom. And given smog and debris, you need to start all over again when you are finished.

Meta Security

The issue of security plagues the corporate world. Cybersecurity, corporate espionage, the theft of trade secrets, social engineering, and antitrust are prime examples. Therefore, you can negotiate a large contract for protecting a company from harmful outside influence. The costs vary depending on what is required. And you can make a lot of money from specialist security such as proactive hacker deterrence where trained experts are employed, such as:

  • Armed personnel
  • Cybersecurity experts
  • Security guards
  • Premises inspectors
  • Damage regulators
  • Health and safety personnel

In the United States alone, the private security sector is worth almost $130 billion. Access controls and clearances are handled by barcodes, QR scans, and biometrics. While IT systems are isolated onto your own network and defending using honeypots and fail-safes to detect intrusion. Armed guards and private security are also hired to protect the most sensitive locations and VIP corporate personnel. 

Digital Mapping and VR

Like corporations love to show off their skyscrapers and impressive buildings on the outside, they also love presenting the interior. Typically this is done with promotional videos and publication photographs. Yet, technological advancement has taken this a step further. Complete immersion into the corporate office building is possible using virtual technology from a remote location anywhere in the world. This has proven helpful to real estate agencies throughout the pandemic.Digital mapping with laser-based sensors means any structure, site, or interior is faithfully recreated inside digital imaging software. This is then converted into a virtual reality program navigable by anyone wearing a compatible device. The technology is becoming so successful that there is a market for virtual real estate. People are making a profit selling computerized homes and offices that don’t exist in the real world. Instead, these are copies of actual buildings or fictional locations.

Why Your Business Needs to Invest in its Cybersecurity

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

For Business owners, the area of cybersecurity needs some complex thought executed in simple ways supported by advanced resources.

Cybercrime is often a crime of opportunity, with a lack of vigilance on the part of the victims making way for with the internet allowing criminals to cast a wide net. 

It may only take a single click from an employee to expose a company to cybercriminals who will then have access to your data. 

This, among other reasons is why your business should invest in its cybersecurity.

Fake emails can be convincing

Over the years, the structure and coding of fake emails used for phishing have become more sophisticated. 

Even if cybercriminals don’t know exactly what the company’s corporate communication looks like, there is enough information available on many company websites and online to create credible third party emails that suggest a legitimate business link to a company’s operations.

Once that’s established, the phishing email’s call to action can lure people to click before thinking things through. You can train all employees not to click on any emails that seem to be suspicious, but the sophisticated hacking software can make senders believe they are clicking on emails from colleagues. 

However, it’s always important to notify IT professionals and have CyberSecurity solutions in place to prevent the attack causing unrepairable damage to your business. 

Train employees to look at the email address of the sender. It’s not uncommon to see URLs in email addresses that are very close, yet slightly different from legitimate emails. Also, they can be so generic to raise suspicion.

Anchor texts bypass critical thinking

In many phishing attempts, websites are often hidden by hyperlinks with anchor texts. By telling you what you need to do without showing you where you’re being sent, cybercriminals are attempting to bypass an essential moment of critical thinking. Damage can be done with one single lapse in judgement. This is how cybercriminals are able to use sophisticated messaging in order to trick people. 

They don’t necessarily have to convince a specific person, but rather any person can be a gateway to accessing data. Be intentional when searching for things online, in particular when looking on unfamiliar websites. 

Keep All Levels Educated

Emphasizing common sense is absolutely a best practice for anyone who owns and runs a company, but make sure that knowledge trickles down to employees as well. In fact, anyone who has access to critical data should receive reminders and training resources to limit vulnerability. Businesses such as Cyber Ally Services can help keep you protected. 

It’s impossible to stop phishing attempts from occurring. There is no software that exists that 100% guarantees that bogus emails won’t make it into a person’s inbox at some point 

The best defense is staying vigilant.  Create workflows that provide a clear mandate for how to handle suspicious emails and specific steps on how to handle the verification of those emails.

Having strong protections in place for your data doesn’t mean too much if you’re subconsciously allowing phishers access to it.

Protecting Your Business Bubble: Could You Be Doing More?

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

In some cases, it’s not possible to avoid disasters in business, but often, there are steps you can take to protect your company and minimize risks. In this guide, we’ll take a look at some strategies you can employ to shield your business and reduce the risk of unexpected incidents or threats. 

Maintaining a safe working environment

No matter if you work in an office, a store, a restaurant, a warehouse, a construction site or something totally different, there will be hazards in your workplace that need to be assessed. Health and safety should be a huge priority for your business, even if you work in a relatively “risk-free” industry. If there are health and safety oversights and somebody gets hurt, it could be devastating for your business.

Especially if you work with chemicals or other hazardous materials, your working environment’s safety should be taken even more seriously. Processes like Ambient Air Sampling and regular health and safety assessments can ensure you are doing everything you can to reduce risk.

Securing physical premises

If you own a store, a restaurant or a bar, or you rent a warehouse that is full of stock or an office packed to the rafters with technological gadgets and gizmos, it’s essential to ensure your premises are secure. Commercial properties can be enticing prospects for thieves looking to seize items with high street value. Consider investing in security measures and deterrents, such as alarm systems, outdoor lighting and CCTV, or hire a security firm if your premises contain expensive or sought-after products. In addition to investing in robust security measures, it’s also essential to ensure that you have insurance. If your store is broken into, and stock is taken, for example, you should be able to make a claim. 

Strengthening cybersecurity

Cybercrime is one of the most significant threats to businesses today. It is often assumed that it’s only large corporations that are on the radar of cybercriminals, but small businesses are also a target. If you don’t already have rigorous policies and watertight plans in place to prevent security breaches, now is the time to investigate measures you could take to protect your business and your customers. Many companies store personal data, and breaches can contribute to lost revenues through downtime and a loss of consumer confidence. If you don’t have an IT department, it’s worth considering working with an agency that offers consulting, IT support and data security and disaster recovery services. Having access to expert advice will provide you with peace of mind and ensure your networks, systems and devices are secure. It’s also beneficial to provide staff training to help employees spot the signs of scams and to ensure they understand policies related to network security, working from home and using personal devices.

Protecting your reputation

Did you know that over 80% of people now check reviews and ratings before buying products or choosing service providers? In an age where online feedback can make or break you, it’s vital to be proactive when it comes to protecting and improving your reputation. Prioritize customer service, reward loyalty, make sure you deliver on the promises you make and try and set your business apart from others. Connect with customers through social media and personalized emails and showcase the human side of your brand. Supporting good causes and initiatives that are relevant to your business is an excellent way to give back and to enhance brand image. It’s also important to look after your employees, to be honest and open with customers and to address complaints or negative feedback promptly.

Business owners will always face challenges, but disasters are not always inevitable. Protecting your business bubble can help to save money, enhance your reputation and increase your chances of survival if an unexpected obstacle or incident threatens your future.

4 Tips For Protecting Your Business Against Cyber Crime

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

More and more businesses rely on technology. In turn, this means the types of crimes that can occur against companies are changing; cyber crime is on the rise. It can be hard to find and prosecute those who commit cyber crimes without the help of skilled cyber security & computer forensics experts. This is why it is essential to make sure that you have taken all the right measures to ensure that your business is as protected as possible from all cyber crimes and data breaches:

Make sure all your software is up to date

Any software that is used by your company needs to be kept updated to the latest versions. Updates are created to add new features and improve stuff, but they are also created to solve any problems that users have had with the software. If you don’t have the updates, your software and technology are easier to attack, meaning criminals could steal important data and information, or cause damage to your technology.

You should include all of your anti-virus software on your update list, and although many things tend to update themselves automatically, some things need to be manually checked so that you do not miss any important updates.

Train your staff

Your business should have a policy for staff to follow when it comes to cyber security. It may also be helpful to train them so that they are aware of the things that are likely to be suspicious. Your employees need to know what a strong password is, and that they should be using them for all of their accounts, especially work accounts. It would help if you also taught all of your team members about how cyber criminals try to trick people. It could be a phone call or an email that even seems legitimate unless you pay closer attention. Create policies about giving information out over phone or email along with other strategies that will keep your business safe.

Encrypt and backup your data

Important data needs to have layers of security so that they cannot be accessed by just anyone. All of your business data shouldn’t even be accessible to all of your employees, only those who need to use it. After all these levels of security, encryption is still required for sensitive information and customer and employee details, as if anyone manages to get through all the security, it means that they will not be able to understand what any of it means.

Backing up your data is also essential because some cyber crime involves damaging your software or technology so that you cannot access your data. Cloud services are a handy tool when it comes to data storage. Cloud services are also useful if some of your employees work remotely.

Get a cyber security audit

If you want to know whether you are doing enough to protect your business from cyber crime, you could hire a company to perform a cyber security audit. They will be able to check the software that you have in place and find any weak spots. Once they have found your business’s cyber vulnerabilities, they will be able to help you install some more software or take other precautions to protect these vulnerabilities.

How To Make Remote Working Work For Your Business

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

Remote working is something that is definitely worth doing when it comes to your business. There might be times where staff need to work from home, including yourself, and not having the resources available to do so can make things difficult. Here are some tips to make remote working work for your business.

Get The Right Outsourced IT Help

Outsourcing can be a fantastic way of helping your business improve your IT services overall. A lot of companies have difficulty in their organizations due to the IT services they have been slow in their response to help employees, and that can put a business behind in terms of ongoing projects or simply getting work done efficiently. With that in mind, remote working needs to have a strong IT support behind it in order to work properly. So outsourcing your needs with strategic technology consulting might be needed. The right IT assistance is definitely going to help to make sure that everything continues to tick along as normal and hopefully, with as little disruption as possible. Outsourcing is also a great way to save money when you’re a small business, and your funds are perhaps limited to what you can afford when it comes to staffing.

Provide Staff With Quality Laptops

When it comes to working from home, you can’t expect your staff to work on crap laptops or electronic devices that are slow to load and continue to be a nuisance. If you allow that to happen, then you’re likely to see a lot less productivity as a result of that. For remote working, make sure you have a budget whereby you can invest your money into some good, quality laptops, rather than ones that are just cheap at the time and don’t last as long. That’s only going to waste your money as a business, and that’s not something you want.

Make Sure Security Is Tight

Security is part and parcel of working from home because your staff’s security in terms of it’s WIFI, might not be as strong as the protection you have in your workplace. Therefore, it’s important to have a good security software actually installed on the laptop or device itself in order to protect it. If you don’t, then that could create risks to your computer but also any data and files that this particular staff member might have access too. So it’s good to make sure that even if they’re working remotely, they’re still secure when it comes to security.

Roll It On A Trial Basis For Selected Few

Remote working doesn’t need to be given to everyone, especially if you’ve not done it before. Look at which staff members would benefit from it and start rolling it out as and when you can. By trialing it, you know whether this is something that will work for your business or not.

Doing remote working can be highly beneficial, so use these tips to help introduce remote working so that it works for your business.

Minimizing Risks For Your New Business

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

It has never been easy to manage a successful business, but today’s startups face a raft of new challenges. Setting up a new venture is a risky step, and there are obstacles lurking around every corner. The good news is that being aware of potential risks and taking steps to protect your business can make all the difference. Here are some of the most pressing hurdles to think about and some tips to help you keep your business afloat

Feedback and reviews: protecting your reputation

Today, customers don’t just expect to buy a high-quality product. They’re also concerned about service and experience. As a business owner, it has never been more crucial to impress clients and to go all-out to ensure every individual receives first-class service. Reviews and comments can go viral in a matter of seconds, and even the smallest business can make the headlines for the wrong reasons. Word of mouth has always been an important and influential marketing ploy, but with social media and Internet sites dedicated to reviews, other people’s opinions count for everything. If you receive a bad review or a negative comment, contact the individual in question and discuss the matter with them. If you made a mistake or you let that customer down, you can take steps to rebuild the relationship and limit the damage by offering an explanation, issuing an apology and providing some form of compensation.

Cybersecurity: reducing the risk of cybercrime

Cybercrime is one of the most dangerous threats to modern businesses. We often see high-profile breaches and attacks in the media, but all companies are vulnerable without the right security measures in place. If you’re preparing to launch a new venture, it’s crucial to make sure that your systems, networks and devices are protected and that you employ measures to shield sensitive data and files. Embracing innovations like remote browser isolation and providing your staff with training and access to password-protected networks can help to reduce the threat and ensure your reputation remains intact.

Legal issues: being aware of your responsibilities

When you establish a new business, there’s a huge amount of jobs to tick off the list to even get off the ground. One aspect you should never overlook is the legalities of running a company. If you employ people, for example, you should be aware of your responsibilities in terms of employee rights and contracts. You’ll also need to work with legal experts to protect your intellectual property and make sure you have a thorough understanding of the structure of the business and how ownership works. Your company should be registered and everything you do should comply with the relevant laws and guidelines.

Launching a business is a difficult task, which involves spinning multiple plates and swerving hurdles and bumps in the road. You can’t avoid every crisis or avert every issue, but it is wise to be wary of common threats and to have procedures, policies and plans in place to protect your venture as best you can.

3 Sure Fire Ways To Protect Your Business Assets

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

As a new business, you might feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tasks to do before you launch. The majority of these will be reliant on your finances. Funding is a critical factor in the success of your new venture, so it makes sense that this will take up much of your time. However, equally important is the data and assets that your new business produces. If this falls into the wrong hands, you could be left with a massive infrastructure failure as well as compromised confidential data. Instead, you need to construct a policy that will help your startup to hit the ground running with all data and information protected. Take a look at these simple ways to protect your business assets.

Training

If you have a new team of staff it’s crucial that they are aware of the importance of being safe and secure online. All too often, a piece of malware or adware will be unleashed onto your network because a member of your team has opened a dodgy looking email attachment. Don’t just pay lip service to training and actually get some pros in to highlight simple strategies that all of your staff can take to prevent human error causing cybersecurity threats. Ensure that your staff understand the importance of changing their passwords regularly. Make sure that they only ever access the most confidential data in the office rather than over an unsecured network at their favorite coffee shop. And always have a process for reporting online incidents that all staff should be aware of.

Paper

Most office based businesses try to be a little greener nowadays. The need for document hard copies is diminishing, although you may still need master copies for your filing cabinet. Any documents that you do need to print off need to be disposed of in a secure way. If these documents have customer addresses or financial details on them, you cannot simply send them out to recycle as they are. They could easily slip into the wrong hands. Instead, consider utilizing a company that specializes in paper shredding services. These companies will have pricing plans to help with your ongoing shredding needs, meaning that you never have to worry about the integrity of your asset protection measures.

Cybersecurity

Most threats are of a cyber nature. In the twenty first century, hackers and rogue nation states have become adept at causing chaos for even the largest companies in the world. Although your venture may be much more modest, you could still fall victim to a ransomware attack. Ensure that you have a strong anti-virus software on your network, that you utilize cloud storage and that you back up your systems regularly. Should the worst happen and you find yourself tackling a piece of ransomware, you can still trade and carry on because you have backed up data.

As a new business, you will be nervous and excited about what lies ahead. Follow this guide and ensure that you protect your business assets.

7 Ways To Keep Your Company Safe From Anything And Everything

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

As the owner of a business, you should know that anything can go wrong at any time. You won’t exactly be harboring a pessimistic and negative disposition throughout your tenure as a business person, but those thoughts should always be with you. It wouldn’t be naïve, neglectful, and downright stupid to think that you’ll be completely invincible. 

You’ll want your business to stand out, of course, but you don’t want it to stand out for all the wrong reasons now, do you? If you leave things to chance, then that will probably happen. You’ll need to be covered and as safe as possible if you want to have longevity in this game. Fortunately, there are lots of little things you can do to make sure you’re secure. There are also a bunch of services around that are dedicated to keeping you and your business away from anything bad. How lucky for you! Here are just a few methods of prevention you can undertake:

Guards

Having some trained and experienced people outside of your premises would make the place a lot stronger. When you pass a building, and it has large, authoritative men and women keeping watching outside, you tend to feel a lot less at ease. Our minds bow to authority, and that’s what would happen in this instance. Criminals would think twice about approaching your workplace. If they are still stupid enough to do so, then they’ll be dealt with accordingly. 

CCTV Cameras

In this day and age, we have ridiculously high-tech cameras available to us for reasonable prices. You may as well invest in a few while you have some money to spend! The investment may seem a little steep if you want the best, but it’s a sure-fire way of stopping anyone from getting away with their crimes. Again, like the guards, it’ll deter people before they even commit – they’ll know the camera can hold data forever. If, again, they decide to pursue their stupidity, then they’ll be caught red-handed. 

Alarm Systems 

If someone does somehow manage to bypass the initial security measures, then an alarm system should do the trick. Nothing says guilty like a ridiculously loud beeping noise alerting everyone to the scene of the crime. This is something that most commercial buildings already have installed – if you don’t have one, then it should probably be near the top of your list of priorities. 

Extra Locks

This sounds like a pretty tame way of keeping things tight, but it would work, and it wouldn’t cost you a fortune. If people can’t access your valuables, then that’s only going to be a good thing, though, right? Adding a few extra padlocks to certain doors and lockers might be the shrewdest way of keeping things tight. Literally adding locks to a few bare doors would also do the trick. While we’re at it, buying a safe or two to store your important items would be smart. 

Increased Fortification

Think about building extra fences and gates around your workplace. If there’s literally an obstacle ahead of their target, the perps are going to think twice about entering – probably because they won’t be bothered to jump the gates! That increase fortification not only makes it more difficult to access, but it also gives off a strong and more menacing presence. It says to people, ‘don’t mess with us.’ 

Protect Against The Elements 

Nature is strange, and it can cause you issues at any time. During the winter, you’ll want to protect your workplace from things like floods and snow damage. It’s amazing what a little liquid can do to a place. You’ll also need a few fire extinguishers scattered around just in case something gets ignited by accident. 

If anything does flare up or cause any damage to your premises, then you’ll be in a lot of trouble financially. To stop that from happening, you’ll probably need to get some insurance. If you’re covered in that respect, then that’ll be removed from your list of worries. 

Cybersecurity 

An awful lot of the work you do will be on your computer. You’re going to have lots of information stored on there, and you don’t want any of it to be compromised. For some reason, there are lots of people out there looking to take control and take advantage of your systems – try not to let this happen. Install protection software, and get in touch with an IT support firm. An IT firm will be able to watch over the behavior of your system(s) and tell you when something seems a little fishy.

Tips To Improve The Cybersecurity Of Your Business

Collaborative post – may contain affiliate links

As a business owner, you’ll know that the security of your data is paramount. Data breaches can be inconvenient, costly and risky to say the least. As the cybercriminal moves with the technological times; so should you! With this in mind, let’s consider some essential tips to up your protection game. 

Multi-factor authentication 

Gone are the days when a strong password was enough! If you want to improve your security, it’s a good idea to go for multiple layers of authentication. A strong password is the first step. The next is authentication via a code; this code can be sent to the users iPhone for example. Some businesses go for a third method of authentication as well as these two steps. The third method is generally more advanced, for example, fingerprints or voice recognition. Security is especially important when employees are accessing your network on the go and from multiple devices. It’s also a good idea to use mobile device management so that you can monitor the devices which access your network.

Cloud-computing 

IT solutions like cloud-computing arrive with plenty of benefits, one of which is improved security. Cloud-computing systems use robust security regulations and have inbuilt antivirus software. These systems are encrypted to protect your data continually. It’s also simple to remotely wipe a device if it’s lost or stolen. With cloud computing, it’s easy to access your network anywhere and any time. Such features will increase the productivity of your business. You’ll also save money on IT equipment due to the use of remote servers. Cloud-computing can improve your communication as you can integrate your voice calling, messaging and email all on one platform. When you take steps to improve your productivity, you’ll have more time to spend on top priority tasks. 

Update your software

Software updates seem to pop up constantly, so some find them a bit of a bother. The fact is, it’s essential to install every update that comes up. Running software on older versions only makes you more vulnerable to security threats. Don’t be tempted to ignore software updates even if you’re really busy. It’s well worth the time it takes to update rather than risking a breach or a virus. Strong anti virus software should help you to decrease these kinds of risks. 

Train your staff

Your staff are the hub of your operation, so it’s vital that they are adequately trained on security. Ensure that they understand all the ins and outs of your security policies to minimize mistakes. You could also invest in a cybersecurity training course if you wish to help your staff further. Straightforward advice about not writing down or sharing passwords can go a long way. Password management tools can also come in handy to keep everything safe and sound.

Security breaches can put your company at risk and waste your time. It’s best to sit down and create a well designed policy and action plan to protect yourself. With a little research you’ll find the solutions which best suit your company and your current needs.