3 IT Investments You Should NEVER Skimp On
What is standing between your business’s data and hackers a world away? What’s your plan when your on-site server fails?
When you skimp on technology and IT solutions for your business, the answers to these two questions are simple: 1) There is nothing standing between your business’s sensitive data and people who want to take advantage of that data; and 2) There is no plan.
It happens way too often. Businesses economise on certain aspects of their technology to save a few pounds up-front. You may even know someone who has done just this. They jump at the chance to upgrade their office with a huge monitor and a PC with top specs (even though they don’t need it) and then they decide that IT security isn’t a priority. They aren’t willing to pull out the credit card for a security solution because they don’t want to deal with a monthly or yearly cost.
But skimping on security can cost them dearly in time, money, resources and clients. When it comes to investing in IT, here are three things you never want to scrimp on.
Security. Far too many businesses – from small to large – underinvest in IT security. We mention this topic a lot because we see it a lot. These are business owners and managers who fall into the mindset of “It won’t happen to me.” This is a very dangerous line of thinking, that many people do take.
For small businesses, a data breach can be devastating. Not only is data compromised and potentially copied or stolen, but your clients will also immediately question whether or not they should trust you. There’s a good chance they end up taking their business elsewhere – and they may even take legal action. There may also be repercussions under the revised GDPR legislation.
When IT security isn’t a priority and you invest in the cheapest option, it’s like asking hackers to let themselves in. One study by the security firm Imperva found that over 50% of all Internet traffic is made by bots. Many of these bots are looking for security holes. They test websites and networks, looking for a way in. If they find their way in, they can do some serious damage.
Investing in solid IT security – with an experienced team of IT specialists behind that security – can prevent that damage from ever happening in the first place. It’s not only about protecting your business assets but also protecting your clients and giving them another reason why they should trust you.
Backups. You keep all of your data on-site with no backups. It’s all stored in one central location and that’s it. This is a recipe for disaster if you get hacked, but it can be an even bigger disaster if a hard disk or server fails. Suddenly, you find yourself unable to access client information, invoices, phone numbers – you name it. Having a backup on-site or in the cloud means everything you do has an extra layer of protection. A backup gives you the ability to restore your data should the worst-case scenario occur.
It’s even better to go a step further and have a backup for the backup. Have one on-site solution and one cloud-based solution. Even if the backup to the backup is as simple as a 4TB hard drive from Amazon, it has the potential to save your business should anything go wrong.
Updates. How old is your technology? Think about the hardware you’re running – and the software on that hardware. Letting your technology fall behind the times can spell trouble. Not only are you opening yourself up to security vulnerabilities, but you may also be operating on technology that’s no longer supported by the developers. Not to mention Windows 7 being unsupported after January 2020. If the developers are no longer publishing updates or supporting the software, this is a huge security red flag that you need to update.
The potential headaches don’t end there. If you’re running unsupported software on shiny, new hardware, you may be voiding the warranty of that hardware. Alternatively, if you’re trying to run brand-new software on old hardware, chances are you’re going to run into compatibility issues.
It’s not always fun to invest in good IT security, cloud backup storage or new hardware, but when you cut corners, you will end up paying for it later, one way or another. When that invoice comes, it’s going to be a lot bigger than if you had committed to those IT investments in the first place.
FREE Report: What Every Small-Business Owner Must Know About Protecting And Preserving Their Company’s Critical Data And Computer Systems
This report will outline in plain, nontechnical English the common mistakes that many small-business owners make with their computer networks that cost them thousands in lost sales, productivity and computer repair bills. We will provide a proven way to reduce or completely eliminate the financial expense and frustration caused by these oversights.
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SHINY NEW GADGET OF THE MONTH: DRONE X PRO
Some people are constantly looking for ways to express themselves, document their daily lives, share adventures with their loved ones, and immortalise their precious memories.
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4 Reasons CEOs Should Plan For Failure And Encourage Risk-Taking
Every successful company leader will tell you that failure is a part of business, but far fewer will admit they plan for failure. Growing a business requires taking risks, and failure is a frequent outcome on the journey to achieving success. Here’s how you do it:
- Plan For Failure By Knowing The Risks When taking a risk, make sure it’s a calculated one. Evaluate the upsides and downsides and what they mean to your business. Have answers to key questions like: does the undertaking align with your company’s vision and mission? Do the activities and tasks support company goals and priorities? Did we plan for failure, and do we know how to respond if things go sideways? Remember, a failure that is aligned with your business’s goals is still a step in the right direction.
- Learn From Your Mistakes Every failure experienced will provide important lessons that can be applied to your business. Were your expectations incorrect? Did you misjudge market demand? Was your strategy not on target? Be brutally honest, but don’t dwell on it or point fingers. Get your team together to determine the necessary changes and move forward.
- Celebrate Failure Failure is part and parcel of running a business, so don’t feel ashamed when things don’t go as expected. Failure means you’re taking action to grow your business. Celebrate each failure by publicly applauding team members who had the courage to take a chance and accept the consequences.
- Encourage Open Discussion About Failure All business leaders have failed at some point during their careers. To foster a culture of smart risk-taking, encourage team members to share their highs and lows about projects where they took a chance. Make it acceptable to talk about mistakes so that team members are encouraged to share their experiences and ideas. It will create a more open and creative environment and help build healthier teams.
In today’s world where business seems to move at the speed of sound, the biggest risk is not taking any risk at all. Few, if any, business leaders have succeeded by sticking to their original idea.
Do You Have These 3 Things Every Business Needs To Be Successful?
You have a solid team. People are everything in business. That includes your employees. You strive to employ the best team - who match your core values and company culture and who bring excellent skills to the table. You train them well, they understand your systems and processes. On top of that, they’re happy! We know that happy employees are productive, loyal, enthusiastic and a great influence.
You have purpose behind what you do. We all need purpose to not only be happy but also to thrive. When your team knows what they’re working towards and understand the value of their contribution, that gives them purpose. You’ve clearly laid out the objectives and everyone is on the same page. When your employees know why they do what they do, they’re happier and more productive for it.
You are passionate. You don’t just love what you do, you love the people you work with and you love the difference your business makes in the community, other businesses or individuals maybe even the world. When you have passion, it’s infectious. It inspires people around you. When your team is inspired, they’ll go the extra mile and your business will find success likes it’s never found before.
What On Earth Is An AUP ... And Why Do You Want It?
With so many access points, from mobile phones to laptops and home computers, how can anyone hope to keep their network safe from hackers, viruses and other unintentional security breaches? The answer is not “one thing” but a series of things you have to implement and constantly be vigilant about, such as installing and constantly updating your firewall, antivirus, spam-filtering software and backups. This is one of the many reasons why customers outsource to Vermont. It’s a full-time job for someone with specific expertise (which we have!).
Once that basic foundation is in place, the next most important thing you can do is create an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and train your employees on how to use company devices while in or out of the office; and other security protocols, such as never accessing company e-mail, data or applications with unprotected home PCs in a coffee shop or other devices. Also, how to create good passwords, how to recognise a phishing e-mail, what websites to never access. The list is endless and constantly changing. NEVER assume your employees know everything they need to know about IT security. Threats are ever evolving, and attacks are getting more sophisticated and cleverer by the minute.
If you’d like our help in creating an AUP for your company, based on best practices, contact us. You’ll be glad you did.
See You At The Top By Zig Ziglar
Even after 45 years, Zig Ziglar’s masterpiece, ‘See You At The Top’, is as relevant as ever. First published in 1974, it explored the idea that you were capable of getting the most out of life. It served as a guide to personal and professional success.
Ziglar reintroduced a revised version of the book in 2000. It reiterates that honesty, loyalty, and strong personal character are keys to success and when you dedicate yourself to helping others, you’ll find you get so much more in return.
The book digs into the importance of setting goals and how you can best set those goals — and then go after them. Available from Amazon £21.99
Free Cyber Crime Prevention Event
Join Vermont Systems and Hampshire Constabulary at this stunning venue in Basingstoke, Hampshire
Friday 27th September, 09.45 am - 12.15 pm
Book early to avoid disappointment
Cyber security is a hugely important area for anyone in busi-ness. I particularly enjoyed the presentations’ entertaining style coupled with knowledge and enthusiasm kept us all concentrating during what could potentially be a very dry subject. The subject matter was clear and concise, there was much that was relevant to my business. Over the following days I made several changes to our protocols and systems off the back of the seminar. I now know that we now have a robust system in place to safeguard our business data. Thanks
Peter Willy, BDS, MFDS RCPS, Dip Imp Dent (UCL), FFGDP(UK) RCS(Eng) Hoburne Dental Practice
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