6 Steps Small Businesses Can Improve Cyber Security

Smart companies are not just those that have intelligent leaders. They also have systems, tools and proper planning in place that allow every department or function to run together seamlessly. To become a smart company, you need to integrate smart ideas into every facet of your business. Here are some tips from members of the online small business community.

Manage Your Website Effectively
Your website is one of the most important tools your small business has. To manage it effectively, you need access to the right tools. In this WP Buffs post, Brenda Barron provides a full explanation and walk-through of GoDaddy Pro, so you can see if it may be helpful for your business.

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SBDC Centers offer free consulting and free or low-cost training. (Find yours here.) Their results speak for themselves: SBDC clients grow sales by an average 18.1%, which is 4.3 times the national average. March 20th is SBDC Day, and to celebrate, we assembled some tips from their experts.

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Small businesses can be more vulnerable to cyberattacks than larger companies because they often do not have sophisticated and comprehensive systems to protect themselves from hackers, viruses, malware and whats called ransomware. And owners who are focused on customers and employees may not ensure that their defenses are up to date.

But there are things small businesses can do to improve cybersecurity.

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Whether you are an entrepreneur plotting to launch a startup or a CEO strategizing where to put another office, knowing where the next hot city is would be a game changer. Should you expand to Raleigh? Would you attract better talent in Austin or Atlanta? With the new Surge Cities Index, Inc. and innovation policy company Startup Genome crunched the data to score and rank the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. on seven key indicators–from early-stage funding metrics to job creation. Finally, here’s the smartest way to answer the age-old question: Where should you go next?

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We are creatures of habit. Everything we think, say and do is a result of deep-seated habits etched into our minds through years and years of repitious behavior. Those very same habits either help to propel us forward or to hinder our progress in life. In fact, the state and quality of our lives right now is a direct reflection of our daily habits.

Habits are an undeniably powerful part of life.

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Big companies often have big perks. That is especially true in the technology Opens a New Window.  space, where free meals, gyms, and even day care are quite common. Even more traditional large companies that do not offer those kinds of benefits still have things that smaller businesses Opens a New Window. do not — there are more opportunities for advancement, more training opportunities, and maybe even the option of transferring to another location.

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The latest report from Clutch says 39% of small businesses will add sales and marketing employees.

This data point underscores the importance of sales and marketing in today’s digital commerce. You must optimize websites, social media channels and eCommerce sites to make it happen. And you need sales and marketing employees to do  the heavy lifting.

Some small businesses have already created a digital presence. And the job of sales and marketing generally goes to in-house staff. This job often goes to employees with the necessary skill sets or to someone learning on the job. But remember how important these positions figure in the company’s growth.

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Billing your customers is, of course, vital — but even more critical is getting paid for those bills. Thanks to the ongoing evolution in the payments industry, there are more payment tools and platforms to choose from to help find the perfect option for your business based on how many payments you receive, the type of business you have and your budget.

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Ever wonder how people get chosen to speak at TED? Well, it is curator Chris Andersons job to weed through the thousands upon thousands of possibilities and choose who will appear on the events prestigious main stage. Clearly, the guy is amazing at separating the wheat from the intellectual chaff.

Which is why TED fans (or anyone looking to make themselves smarter and more aware in easily digestible 20-minute chunks) should pay attention to Andersons picks for the 10 best TED talks of 2018. Touching on topics ranging from astronomy to social justice to artificial intelligence, they are guaranteed to change how you think about the world.  

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Switching careers can feel intimidating, but you have got to make some moves if you’re spinning your wheels at your current job. Tech industry jobs are hot right now, and you can make great money once you’ve got the know-how to compete with other tech candidates. Here’s a breakdown of the fields with the best opportunities.

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What is the best retirement plan for a self-employed person? Which is the best retirement plan for a small business owner? More importantly, which is the right retirement plan for you – as a business owner and / or a self-employed individual? Choosing the best retirement plan for you and your personal financial goals will depend on a few factors. Those include how much you can save into a retirement plan, whether or not you have employees and when you are setting up the retirement plan. Is it during the tax year or when filing taxes? To name a few.

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Here are 15 examples of great integrated marketing campaigns that work by combining content, digital and website marketing, with traditional marketing methods like PR.

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Here are three popular things that are actually not mandatory for all small businesses:

1. Aggressive Marketing

It is easy to go overboard with marketing. With so many tools available, your gut instinct is to try anything with the slightest potential. Even if you stand to lose money, you want the assurance of knowing you are doing everything you can to gain the interest of your target audience. And it is difficult to ignore a marketing tool that has worked marvelously for other small businesses. If they had to do it all over again, these businesses would likely spend 10% of their time developing their products or services and 90% marketing them.

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So what sets those who actually take the plunge from those who only dream? What pushes a keen hobbyist or excellent amateur into actually becoming a business owner? A recent study of more than 400,000 people out of MIT came to decisive answer, and it is not the one you are probably expecting.

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Many successful entrepreneurs were inspired to start their businesses after noticing a hole in the marketplace that needed to be filled, whether it was Bill Gates creating an operating system for home computers, Pierre Omidyar starting an online auction site, or Elon Musk building a reliable electric car.

But what happens when you want to jump feet first into a marketplace thats already crowded? We spoke to the entrepreneurs behind a wide-ranging group of successful companies in some of the most competitive digital spaces — from butchers to home brands to eco-friendly cleaning products — to get their insights into what makes a business that lasts.

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Today, tens of thousands of people are considering starting their own business, and for good reasons. On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being one they can run out of their own home. The good news: Starting a home-based business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard, as are a plethora of other low-cost ideas.

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Now, I do not want to burst any happy bubbles for those of you who are already treading the traditional pathway, but that traditional narrative no longer makes much sense, because over the past two decades, big corporations, big academia, and big corporatist government have rigged the business world so that the longer you wait to start your own company, the less likely you are to be successful.

Because of this, young entrepreneurs (Mil

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) included a bevy of changes that will affect the 2018 federal income tax returns of many small and medium-sized businesses and their owners. As tax return time approaches, here are the 10 changes that are most likely to affect your business or you as an owner.

1. New flat 21% tax rate for corporations
Before the TCJA, C corporations paid graduated federal income tax rates of 15%, 25%, 34%, and 35%. Personal service corporations (PSCs) paid a flat 35% rate. For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the TCJA establishes a flat 21% corporate rate, and that beneficial rate applies to PSCs too. So the tax cost of doing business as a profitable C corporation is greatly reduced, and this favorable development will show up on 2018 corporate returns. Enjoy.

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When done correctly, a tagline can become synonymous with a brand. A good tagline should communicate your companys message quickly and effectively, helping your target customers understand how you can help them in a way that’s easy to remember.

Since it is something that will likely appear in all of your companys marketing materials and may stick with you for years, your team should put a lot of care and consideration into crafting your tagline.

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A business plan is a written description of your business future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you have written a plan, or at least the germ of one.

Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities.

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Very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background. Here are four tips to ensure your small business is achieving profitable growth.

Most small business owners start their own business because they have a passion for something, a new idea, want to be their own boss or are seeking more financial stability and/or earning potential. However, very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background.

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The standards for small business success have unquestionably gone up. Todays small businesses must do a lot more to stay competitive than their predecessors. Myriad businesses, however, take this notion a bit too far. Once they discover yet another resource or strategy with the potential to elevate their success, they jump all over it. This is partially due to the many online articles urging business leaders to devote more effort to virtually every element of their businesses.

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Many small businesses start out with a single location or product offering and grow over time. Expanding your business is a good way to increase your long-term profitability and reach a wider audience.

But while growing your venture might be something you’d like to do eventually, now might not be the ideal time to dive in. Here are four reasons you might choose not to grow your business, and instead stick with the status quo.

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Get out your pink paint. Or your coral, or yellow or teal. By the time you finish reading this column, you’re going to be painting one wall of your small business a color that will pop on Instagram.

Why? Because Instagram is today’s powerhouse social media site for consumer businesses. And if you give customers an inviting way to post to Instagram, they’ll advertise your business for free.

A few years ago, if you wanted to reach retail consumers, the social media site of choice was Facebook. While it may still work for reaching certain demographics, many consumers – especially female Millennials – love Instagram.

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A new report is saying that almost half of people recently hired (41%) used an online job board to find work and 61% flagged automatic job alerts as helpful. What is more, a full 14% found their present job using social media. The findings from How Do People Find Jobs? published by the B2B research firm, Clutch, highlights how today’s candidates are connecting with small businesses and vice versa.

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How did life lead you to entrepreneurship?

I have been in the technology industry for 25 years. I am a business-facing technologist, which basically means I have a background in finance and business. However, I stumbled into being a software engineer early on in my career. This resulted in a passion for data and solution creativity.After hitting the 20-year mark of working for enterprise-size organizations, I decided I needed a change. I experienced some life-threatening health challenges–all while taking care of my two sons with their own unique needs. A culmination of it all really made me stop and reflect on what I really wanted to do on a daily basis and the people I do it with.

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Step 1: Set meaningful goals.
People do nott achieve goals unless the goals are meaningful to them. Sure, every seller has a quota for this year, but so what? If you want to maximize your motivation to achieve the goals, you must know why achieving it is important to you. To do that, go beyond your one-year quota-focused goal.

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Are you making big changes to your small business?

Whether you’re entering a new market, eliminating services that your clients love but no longer work for you, or changing the structure of your business entirely, follow these three tips to shake up your small business without losing revenue or hurting your reputation.

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Most working class Americans are employed by companies that either require or offer retirement savings options in the form of a 401(k), 403b), or pension plan. Because these contributions are automatically deducted from the employee’s paycheck, saving for retirement tends to be a rather painless process. Over time, the cumulative effect of regular monthly contributions leads to a nice sized nest egg that can be used in the retirement years.

But for entrepreneurs, the story is a little different. With no steady paycheck or employer-sponsored plans, many of these hardworking individuals forgo retirement contributions.  And though it may not seem like a big deal in the early years, this misstep can prove to be dangerous and irresponsible as entrepreneurs age.

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Crowdfunding has become a viable form for funding a venture, project, cause, event and much more. For small businesses looking to bypass traditional sources of financing such as bank loans, angel investing or venture capital, it is now a great option.

If you have been thinking about starting a campaign, it is important to note there are different types of crowdfunding. And this does not mean the platform or portal such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others.

The confusion stems from clumping crowdfunding under one umbrella, when in reality there are different types or models. Depending on your project, choosing the right model for your small business is critically important to ensure the success of your campaign.

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Being a leader can be a difficult, and sometimes thankless, job. You work long hours, make tough decisions, and try your best to make your employees and your customers happy. But things don’t always work out the way you hope.

Every leader can use a bit of inspiration and humor every once in a while. Adding some fun to your day can make it all come together and, at the same time, perhaps even put a smile on your face.

The next time you feel down, here are 17 funny leadership quotes to perk you up.

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Procrastination is an odd compulsion. Everyone has experienced it, but the underlying reasons can be tough to pin down.

After all, procrastination delays the very activities that bring people closer to their goals — whether that is building a thriving business or stronger triceps. So why do not humans just sprint toward that brighter, fitter future?

The science.
Scientific studies of procrastination have spiked over the past 20 years. Researchers once considered the issue a basic time-management problem, but they now view it as a complex and highly individual phenomena.  

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Not every step you take to move your business forward will be a big one. But sometimes, even small steps can make a large impact on your future. Here are some recent tips and insights from members of the online small business community about big and small steps you can take to really make an impact on your business.

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Like departments and agencies throughout government, the Air Force is tuning its acquisition methods to get closer the speed of technology, and will be holding its first live pitch day in March, with an available funding pool of $40 million.

The Air Forces Small Business Innovation Research program has issued a call to start-ups and small businesses—those with fewer than 500 employees—to offer pitches on innovative technologies for secure communications, down-range battlefield operations and digital technologies.

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I am pleased to bring you my top five tricks for disconnecting – and at least temporarily escaping the job stress.

1. Make the business case.

Taking time to recharge is not just good for your mental and physical health — it is the smart thing to do for your business. Studies have shown that increased stress leads to reduced productivity, while decreased stress levels lead to increased productivity.

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Microsoft Security Breach that affected Outlook, MSN and Hotmail Users

On April 12th 2019, Microsoft sent out emails to Outlook users about a Microsoft Outlook security breach. Their email said that a hacker could have been able to access some accounts for a few months earlier this year. Microsoft discovered that the credentials of one of their support agent’s were compromised, allowing unauthorized access to some accounts between January 1st and March 28th 2019.

The email said that hackers got into the system when a support agent’s credentials were compromised and once identified the credentials were disabled. Microsoft told the users that as result of this, they might see more spam or phishing emails. “You should be careful when receiving any e-mails from any misleading domain name, any e-mail that requests personal information or payment, or any unsolicited request from an untrusted source,” read the email.

Microsoft outlook security breach

Microsoft outlook security breach

A new report by Motherboard however, revealed that the Microsoft Outlook security breach was more severe than what Microsoft revealed. The breach gave hackers access to a large number of Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail email accounts. The email sent out by Microsoft said that hackers could only access email subject lines, email folder names, and other names from a user’s address book.

Motherboard found out that hackers could in fact, get access to email content as well. Later, Microsoft accepted that the exploit was indeed worse than what had been previously revealed. This breach has affected only personal email accounts. Corporate accounts are safe. Microsoft advised that users who received the cautionary email should change their Outlook credentials out of caution.

Microsoft hasn’t revealed how many users were affected. In a statement to The Verge, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “We addressed this scheme, which affected a limited subset of consumer accounts, by disabling the compromised credentials and blocking the perpetrators’ access.”

Motherboard also claimed that hackers had access to email accounts for nearly six months, but the Microsoft spokesperson deemed this as inaccurate.

7 Security Measures You Should Take When Hiring a Remote Team

By John Tie

Engaging remote employees is now quite common across many kinds of businesses. The significant savings and unfettered access to talent that offshoring ensures has meant that the practice of hiring remote employees has grown rapidly in the past ten or so years.

With so many vendors in play, this has driven prices further down and made the market extremely competitive, which means that businesses who are outsourcing have profited immensely. However every positive turn has a flipside to it. The massive numbers that the offshoring business has attracted and the inevitable price war between vendors to win customers has allowed many bogus entities to slip through the cracks, too. Hence you hear about clients running into trouble with offshore teams, suffering data theft and getting defrauded once in a while.

While the numbers are very low, it happens. To be fair, it also goes with the territory. Putting your trust on offshore entities to do your job will always carry an element of risk. It is necessary that you do your due diligence while selecting and managing your remote staff, not unlike what you would do if you were to hire staff locally.

1. Hire Through a Reputable Agency

Remember how were talking about the price war that exists between offshore vendors to attract clients? It’s great that you have an option to maximize your savings. However, somewhere you need to draw a line and say, “You know what? This is a pretty good deal, but I will now focus on the security aspect and not the price.” You will surprised at how many of the clients who have run into trouble while hiring offshore remote assistants ended up hiring the cheapest available option.

How cheap? As much as 85% to 90% cheaper than local hiring. That’s the point where someone should have asked, “How is it possible to deliver at this price?” Yes, India and Philippines are cheap, but even they have their limits! Any good, reputed agency will easily give you anywhere between 50% to 70% percent savings, depending on the type of resource you choose.

Isn’t that enough? At least a bigger, more reputed agency will have a reputation at stake and has as much to lose from a badly executed project as you. They will be able to provide the best of talent available and will have excellent data security policies. Any good remote staffing company in India will be GDPR compliant, even if many small U.S. businesses are not. In fact, recently I have seen good agencies decline business if the client themselves are not GDPR compliant! Now if you want that sort of diligence, there will be a minimum price tag attached to it. That’s only fair.

2. Switch to Cloud Storage

Switching to cloud storage is going to benefit your business in more ways than one. Cloud storage providers exist due to their good reputation regarding security. It will take some doing to steal your data from the cloud by anyone outside the company. Cloud storage also ensures that you can provide data instantly to your remote employees without compromising on security. The whole process is seamless and safe.

3. Create Tiered Access of Data

This is actually a follow up point of the previous point. Cloud storage allows you to control permissions attached to specific data, which you can then use to give access to only what is required to your remote employees, and even your in-house staff.

One of the simplest and best ways to counter significant data theft or leakage within your employees is by putting in the simple rule of “Need to Know” while setting permissions and access to data. What doesn’t concern your remote employee, won’t even be available to view.

On those occasions where you need to share sensitive data with your remote employees, but don’t want the data to be tampered with even by mistake, you can set “Read Only” filters to the data concerned, while granting editing permissions if and when required only.

4. Sign an Airtight NDA

Offshore remote staffing companies are not governed by the same rules and regulations as you are in the U.S. or EU. They follow the rules of the country they are based in. Ensure that you are signing airtight non-disclosure agreements which are valid legally locally in the country where your vendor is located.

In case you are worried about how to ensure this, it is business necessity followed by almost every genuine remote staffing company. These companies sign legally binding NDAs and non-compete agreements with every single employee they hire on your behalf. In case you find that this facility is absent in a particular vendor, it would be prudent to look for another one.

5. Refrain from Hiring Home-Based Freelancers

Most frauds that one hears related to offshore staffing involves unprofessional ad hoc setups where people with very little experience or malicious intent masquerade as “freelancers.” Or they would call themselves a “boutique” company.

Let me tell you right away that the word boutique doesn’t go with a multi-billion dollar industry. Experienced freelancers are off course there, and trust me they are very, very expensive. A sure way to prevent data theft is to ensure that your remote employees work under a controlled environment. That can only happen in an office; not a café, nor in someone’s garage,

6. Engage Colocation Services

If your work is too sensitive or you would rather not trust the agency’s own servers, you can hire space at a colocation center, or a carrier hotel, as they are known colloquially, in the same location as your vendor. That ways your remote staff will have access to your data without having the vendor acting as a carrier.

7. Establish Uniform Organizational Policies

While your employees may be located in different places, it is a good practice to have a uniform code of conduct for all of them and ensure that it is followed by everyone. That ways you can ensure a safer and more secure work culture amongst all your employees.

There are off course other steps that one can take. I have highlighted the ones that I feel most strongly about. Also, let’s remember that security and due diligence is a continuous process. So while trust is important for business and commerce to flourish, safeguards are important too. Ultimately, can you be too careful? Never!

Photo credit: Depositphotos

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John Tie
John Tie works for Virtual Employee, remote staffing agency, offering affordable and scalable remote staffing solutions for mainly Small and Medium Businesses (SMEs) around the world in over 150 domains. He is a versatile tech writer and loves exploring the latest trends about outsourcing offshoring, remote staffing, virtual employment solutions.

7 Ways to Elevate Security in a Workplace

Cyber attacks are a common threat to organizations today. Whether you are a small business or a major corporate entity, you need to have an IT network. The upside to a network is that it helps an organization become more productive, efficient and profitable.

The downside is that a network hosts information and data that is vital for an organization. It has details about the customers, the daily communications of the organization, linked hardware assets and more. So it offers an entry point for intruders and attackers.

If the network of your organization is compromised, it puts your organization’s data and reputation on the line. A breach of network security can lead to financial losses, lawsuits from customers and even legal problems for an organization. This is why it is critically essential to secure the IT network of your organization.

IT security personnel are typically tasked with the security of an organizational network. In this position, you are to create network security policies, take suitable measures and decisions, and train the employees on the desired security behaviors.

Even if you have solid network security in place, you can still improve upon it by adding new security measures. In this guide, we share some excellent desired behaviors and measures you can use to ramp up network security at your organization.

1. Sensitive Data Handling

Sensitive data can include customer information, financial details and other business secrets. Basically, it is anything that can be used by a malicious outsider to hurt your organization. When sensitive data is shared over your organizational network, it is important to ensure that it stays in the hands of authorized persons only.

To ensure this, you can create network security policies related to file sharing and email forwarding. Use these policies to block emails and files containing sensitive data from reaching unauthorized individuals. You can also set up a flag for additional confirmation when such data is shared by the network users.

If your organization uses cloud services, and it very probably does, make sure you include the cloud in your data handling policies.

2. Stronger Passwords and Password Managers

Stronger passwords are vital for a solid network security. And yet network users often create weak passwords that are too small, too simple or too easy to guess. To prevent this, you can create network policies that require the employees to create stronger passwords by default.

For instance, ask for a combination of symbols, alphabets and letters when a network user creates a password. You can also ask the user to choose a password of at least 10 to 15 characters to ensure better security and prevent the chances of a brute force attack by a hacker.

For more sensitive aspects of the network, you may require the users to change passwords frequently.

A common problem with passwords is that they can be hard to remember. This is especially true for longer, more complex passwords.

If the users on your network need help with remembering passwords, encourage them to use a good password manager. Password managers make it easier to keep track of all the passwords while ensuring that no unauthorized persons access them.

3. 2FA Adoption

Two-factor authentication, or 2FA, uses two factors to authenticate a network user. It is a significant improvement over the single-step password-only type of verification. 2FA uses a combination of something the user knows, something the user has and something the user is, to verify the user in two steps. It is particularly effective in countering phishing and session hijacking.

To implement 2FA on your organizational network, you can use an email code, a one-time SMS password, a personal question or any other identifier in addition to the standard password.

Make sure to consult with the stakeholders at your organization before deciding the two factors you use in 2FA implementation. The factors you use for verification must be easily accessible for network users and unique to them.

4. VPN Use

Most hackers target data traffic that flows between an organization’s network and its registered users. This is particularly true today when employees use smartphones, tablets and a variety of other devices to remotely access an organization’s network.

If the data traffic is compromised, a hacker can launch session hijacking or man-in-the-endpoint attack. He can masquerade as the registered user and access the network as well as all assets on the network. This is why it is crucial to secure the data traffic or the communication lines between the network and its users.

This is where VPNs come in. Quality VPNs are able to encrypt all communication taking place between a user and the network. However, in order for a VPN to work perfectly, both the network and the user must be using it at the time of communication.

A VPN almost makes it impossible for an attacker to launch a man-in-the-middle attack. It also counters other phishing attacks quite effectively. However, it is important to use a quality VPN with a sound reputation. A good example is NordVPN. To weigh the pros and cons of NordVPN, check out this review.

5. Safe Browsing

Safe browsing is the cornerstone of a good network security. You can train the employees at your organization on best practices related to safe browsing. Some of these include:

  • Use a well-known and up-to-date browser
  • Use anti-virus software with file scanning before downloading
  • Turn on Pop-Up Blocker
  • Avoid using public Wi-Fi
  • Check emails and email sources thoroughly before clicking any links
  • Verify URL authenticity especially when entering sensitive information
  • Be very careful when sharing credit card info and other personal details

You can alternatively implement some of these measures as network-wide policies. This way, when your users are browsing the web while connected directly to the network, alerts can be used to prompt them on safe browsing habits.

6. Secure USB Usage

USBs are a very handy and portable form of data. In a business workplace, sharing data between colleagues is very convenient with a USB. That being said, a USB can easily bring malware, viruses and other security threats into an organization’s work. So it is essential to have a network security policy relating to the USB use.

For a start, make sure all USBs used within your organizational workplace are secure. Strong encryption keys ensure that any data loss can’t be deciphered and misused. Also, use specialized mechanisms to scan USBs before they can be used to make sure they are clean.

If possible, limit the use of USBs to only the most essential occasions. On these occasions, use strict policies to monitor, regulate and scan the use of the USBs.

7. Anti-Phishing Measures

One of the most common security threats for organizations and employees are phishing attacks. Hackers masquerade as an authoritative or familiar person, tricking employees into clicking on malicious links. Once this happens, hackers then find a way to infiltrate the organization’s network.

Apart from awareness and security training, you can use network and email policies to mitigate the risks of phishing. Encourage employees to use other forms of confirmation from the purported sender before clicking a link in the email. Use white-listed email addresses to separate trusted email addresses and unknown addresses.

The security of an organization’s IT network ultimately rests on the policies and best practices of the employees and IT security personnel. The guide above provides some handy tips in the right direction. But make note that these are only a starting point and you should explore other ways to enhance the security of your own organizational network.

Image: Depositphotos.com

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5 Security Mistakes Every Business Makes

By Ahmad Hamidi

A risk to your business can come in many forms. It can be a cyber attack which can cost you valuable data. A slip in security can expose your premises to a burglar.  Then, the risk of fire breakouts or workplace injuries can’t be denied.

Sadly, not all small businesses, especially those are new, take these risks seriously or are even aware of them at all. They might unintentionally make some mistakes that can make their business vulnerable. For example, they have weak passwords or are working with an inexperienced security guard company. With the right guidance, support and practices, you can avoid such security mistakes and consolidate your business security to keep the potential threats at a bay.

Therefore, make sure you are not making the business security mistakes like the ones outlined below.

1. Not Taking Cyber Security Seriously

Do you think your business is immune from cyber attacks like hacking or data breaching?

Here is a shocking fact — 30,000 websites are hacked a day while 62 data incidents take place every seconds. Top of that, 80% of victims don’t realize that they have been attacked.

From a weak password, to accidental deletion, to an insider threat, there are many things that can make your data prone to hacking, phishing, malware injection, virus, etc.

Remember, business data includes critical information related to finance, assets and employees. Losing data won’t only impact your business operations, but also lead to legal troubles and bad reputation. Therefore, having a solid data security policy in place is essential for all businesses. Here are some points to consider in your data security policy:

  • Use strong passwords (mix of numbers, alphabets, and characters)
  • Consider taking frequent data backups
  • Use quality antivirus protection
  • Create a strong data policy
  • Change the passwords every time the employee leaves your company
  • Educate your employees about cybersecurity

2. Not Hiring the Right Security Company

Do you choose a security guard company randomly? You are not alone as most small businesses do that. But a security guard is more than a person in uniform and a baton in hand. They are the one who knows what to do in a particular situation of emergency. Therefore, you should choose the right security company for your needs as there are various benefits of hiring a professional security guard for your business. And these basic tips will help you:

  • Check their background to determine their service quality
  • Make sure they are licensed and bonded
  • The company should have general liability insurance
  • How long they can provide coverage for a day? Do they offer 24/7 support?
  • Are they experienced in serving your business type?
  • Do they have trained security guards?

3. Not Identifying Workplace Hazards

From a slippery floor, bare electric wire to malfunctioning machines, there may be many risks lurking at your workplace. According to the National Safety Council, every 7 seconds, a worker is injured on the job. Slips, collision, trips, and falls account for 25% of workplace injuries. This is why workplace safety should be your topmost priority. It not only ensures the safety of the workplace but also minimizes the risk of injuries. While each industry will have their own workplace hazards, here are some basic security measurements to consider:

  • Make sure the lightings over the stairwell are working
  • Emergency exit should be available
  • Mount a warning sign for potential risks like wet floors, malfunctioning lifts and moving machinery
  • Provide safety gears to your employees

4. Not Placing the CCTV Strategically

While security systems like CCTV and alarms support your business security, if they aren’t installed properly, or they don’t serve a purpose, you are not protected. For example, CCTV camera should be installed on the areas that are prone to the incidents and other secure parts like vaults and computer server rooms. They should be placed high enough and discreetly enough to be hidden to the people and away from the reach of potential vandal or burglar.

It is better if you set them to notify your remote monitoring service when an incident or breach is detected to assess the situation. Besides, make sure to get checked them by a professional every year to ensure their functionality.

5. Not Making ID Requirements Necessary

Enforcing ID requirement is important to restrict the entry of non-authorized persons to your critical business areas like a server room. It also minimizes the risk of thefts and burglary. Today’s ID cards contain a magnetic strip imprinted with a passcode so that a company can keep track of their employee’s in and out time as well as facility and equipment usage.

The Bottom Line

Making your business secure from all threats is important to protect your people, data, finances and assets. Apart from avoiding these security mistakes, make sure to educate your employees about the risks and how to deal with them. They should know who to report in an emergency or when they spot a malicious activity. Also, create a strong protocol for digital security, physical security and emergency respond.

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Ahmad Hamidi