Employees Keeping Your Data Safe? Don’t Count On It
One morning late last year, an unemployed man was making his way across London, heading to the library to continue his job search. But on the way, he encountered something peculiar: a USB stick, peeking out among the fallen leaves and shining in the morning sun. Not thinking much of it – and perhaps afflicted with a morbid curiosity, he popped the device into his pocket and continued on his way.
Once he made it to the library, he connected the USB to a computer to check out its contents. As he clicked around, he realized with a huge shock that this was a treasure trove of security information for Heathrow International Airport: 174 folders packed with maps detailing CCTV camera locations, a labyrinthine of tunnels snaking below the building and even the exact route the Queen takes when she uses the airport!
Understandably worried, the man quickly ejected the device and took it – for some reason (?!) – to the Daily Mirror. Today, despite a full-scale security investigation by the airport and the scrutiny of dozens of police and security experts, it’s still unclear just where this extremely sensitive data came from. However, all signs point to the USB drive being dropped by either a hapless employee carrying around a national security concern in their pocket or a less-hapless employee looking to instigate a national security crisis.
Either way, the story hammers home a vital point: whether you’re an international airport hosting more than 70 million travellers each year or a small business with less than £10 million in annual revenue, your biggest security risk isn’t some crack team of hackers – it’s your employees.
You may chuckle at the idea that any of your employees would actively wish your organization harm. But you probably underestimate the wrath of an employee scorned. Even if you treat your team better than any boss in the world, they are still human – which, of course, means they’re going to make mistakes from time to time.
Considering the cyber security of many SMEs, “time to time” actually means every day, leaving huge openings in your digital barriers. These errors don’t matter too much really – until the day that a hacker turns an eye toward your business and immediately realizes the laughable security gaps your team is leaving for them to exploit.
The thing about cyber security is that it’s a lot more complicated than most people are willing to admit. Today’s digital landscape is fraught with hazards, a thousand little mistakes to be made at every step, resulting in a million workarounds for cyber criminals to use. Even the most tech-savvy among us probably don’t know everything about cyber security. Very few have as much knowledge as the hackers on the other end of the equation. When you consider the uncertainty and potential miseducation of your employees, many of whom may know very little about cyber security, you might start to feel a little panicked.
The battle against digital threats can seem like an endless slog – a war that the good guys seem to be losing, but luckily, when it comes to the security of your business, there are ways to batten down the hatches without dropping a ton of cash. For instance, start with your biggest vulnerability: your team. When a new employee joins your organization, they should go through thorough cyber security training. The on-boarding should include comprehensive rules about security policies, from using strong passwords to how they should respond to potential phishing attempts. Deviating from these policies should come with serious consequences.
As for your existing employees, train them up! We can help you build a robust education program to get every single member of your organization up to speed on the most imminent cyber security threats. But even then, cyber security isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing; it requires constant vigilance, regular updates on the latest trends and a consistent overall commitment to protecting your livelihood. Without training and follow-up, even the most powerful of cyber security barriers are basically tissue paper, so put some thought into your team in addition to your protections, and you can drastically increase the safety of the business you’ve worked so hard to build.
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8 Tendencies Of Poor Decision Makers
By MIKE MICHALOWICZ
At one point in my career, after I’d started, grown and sold a couple of businesses, I thought I knew everything there was to know about making good decisions. After all, I was a success! But it took me a few years to realize that, in many respects, I still had a lot to learn about making the best decisions. Here are the lessons I learned the hard way, back then, about the tendencies and motivations of people who are making the worst business decisions of their lives.
BASING DECISIONS ON EGO
If you think you know it all and that your expertise in a narrow field will translate to every other field, you’re just wrong. Assemble a team of people whose experience rounds out your own.
RELYING ON THE MOMENTUM EFFECT
There’s certainly some truth to the belief that past events can predict future events. The problem with this thinking though, is that the world is constantly evolving.
Entrepreneurs have to be hungry and curious. Make sure you’re looking at the whole picture, and at both the negatives and positives.
If you’re putting off making a choice, you can end up limiting your options down the road.
GOING IT ALONE
You simply can’t understand all the options and complexities of a given situation on your own. Sometimes the best results come through compromise with a team you’ve assembled.
Making a decision is only 10% of the process. The other 90% is the actual execution of that decision
SEEING THE TREES RATHER THAN THE FOREST
Good decisions are made with the big picture in mind. If you’re focused on putting out fires you’re not going to be able to plan ahead.
NOT BALANCING YOUR SOURCES
Don’t fall into the trap of listening to sycophants who tell you only what you want to hear. By seeking out contrary opinions, you’ll avoid making decisions based on biased sources.
4 Top Business Apps To Help
Improve Your Productivity
In the light-speed world of modern business, workers need every bit of help they can get. Luckily, new apps are developed every day that make our lives easier. Here are four of the best:
Documents To Go allows users to open and edit Microsoft Office 2007 files from any smart device. While that may seem a simple task, if your company frequently uses the Office Suite, Documents To Go can make a big difference.
Evernote has been making waves for a few years now with its seamless approach to notetaking and file-keeping. It enables users to upload virtually everything they need to the cloud and is especially useful for those quick thoughts you jot down during key meetings.
Remember the Milk is one of the premiere apps for to-do listers everywhere, syncing complex lists across multiple platforms with little effort. Get things done, together. Share your lists and give tasks to others to get things done faster. - Need Bob to pick up the milk on his way home? Just set him a task!
You can’t forget Skype. Perhaps the best tool for cutting down on long-distance charges and communicating via chat, video and audio with farflung colleagues.
QUICK TIPS TO PROTECT YOUR BUSINESS
Cyber security is more important than ever, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Just follow these simple rules and you’ll be well ahead of the game:
- Only use secure networks.
- Encrypt your data – it’s easier than it sounds.
- Install a strong firewall.
- Install patches and updates as soon as they become available.
- Do your research on the most common cyberthreats.
- Develop a companywide cyber security policy.
- Make sure your business WiFi router is protected by the WPA2 standard.
- Install software that insulates you from malware.
- Get SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) Certificate Protection. Especially if you take payments online.
- Train your staff – Vermont offer in-house onsite training.
- Attend a Vermont Cyber Crime Prevention Seminar.
- Talk to us to discuss any concerns.
- Download any of our free reports.
At Vermont Systems we are passionate about helping local businesses to stay safe on-line.
Could you be this month’s WINNER of our Trivia Challenge Quiz?! Correctly answer this month’s trivia question and receive a mystery prize. (Don’t worry, it will be nice!) The term 'GUI' stands for:
A) Graphing Ultimate Interface
B) Graphics Unused Input
C) Graphical User Interface
Please email your answers to:
Closing date 24/08/18
Good luck – No Googling!
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