Why Your Business Is The PERFECT Target For Hackers ...And What You Need To Do NOW To Protect Yourself

Everybody gets hacked, but not everything makes the evening news. We hear about big companies like Target, Home Depot, Capital One, and Facebook getting hacked. What we rarely hear about are the little guys – the small businesses that make up 99.7% of employers in the United States, according to the Small Business Administration. It’s these guys who are the biggest targets of cyber-criminals. Basically, if you run a business, that business is a potential target. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, what you sell or how popular you are. Cyber-criminals go after everybody. In 2018, a cyber security survey by the Ponemon Institute found that 67% of small and midsize businesses in the US and UK were hit by a cyber-attack. For the cyber-criminal, casting a wide net makes the most sense because it gets results. It puts them in a position where they are able to extort money, steal sensitive information and ultimately profit off of destroying the property, prosperity and reputation of others. Why do cyber-criminals love to target small businesses? There are a handful of reasons why small businesses make sense to attack. 1. Small Businesses Are The Most Vulnerable. Business owners, entrepreneurs and executives aren’t always up-to-date on network security, current cyber threats or best practices in IT. They have a business to run and that’s usually where their focus is. Unfortunately, that means cyber security can take a back seat to other things, like marketing or customer support. This also means they might not be investing in good network security or any IT security at all. It’s just not top-of-mind or they may feel that because it’s never happened to them, it never will (which is a dangerous way of thinking). 2. Small Businesses Don’t Take IT Security Seriously. Coming off that last point, it’s true that many businesses don’t properly secure their network because they feel that they aren’t vulnerable. They have the mindset of “It hasn’t happened to me, so it won’t.” Along those same lines, they might not even take password security seriously. According to research conducted by Trace Security, upward of 80% of ALL breaches come down to one vulnerability: weak passwords! Even in 2020, people are still using passwords like “12345” and “password” to protect sensitive data, such as banking information and customer records. Secure passwords that are changed regularly can protect your business! 3. Small Businesses Don’t Have The Resources They Need. Generally speaking, medium to large companies have more resources to put into IT security. While this isn’t always true (even big companies skimp on cyber security, as the headlines remind us), hackers spend less time focused on big targets because they assume it will take more of their own resources (time and effort) to get what they want (money and sensitive data). Many small businesses lack the resources like capital and personnel to put toward IT security, so hackers are more confident in attacking these businesses. Just because you haven’t had any major problems for years – or at all – is a bad excuse for not maintaining your computer systems. Threats are growing in number by the day. While many small businesses might think, “I don’t have the time or resources for good security,” that’s not true! You don’t need to hire IT staff to take care of your security needs. You don’t need to spend an arm and a leg securing your network. IT security has come a LONG way in just the last five years alone. You can now rely on IT security firms to handle all the heavy lifting. They can monitor your network 24/7. They can provide you with IT support 24/7. And if they are like Vermont Systems they will PREVENT problems from happening. That’s the great thing about technology today – while many hackers are doing everything they can to use technology against us, you can use it against them too. Work with a dedicated and experienced IT security firm. Tell them your business’s network security needs and they’ll go to work fighting the good fight against the bad guys.

Free Cyber Security Audit Will Reveal Where Your Computer Network is Exposed and How To Protect Your Company Now

At no cost or obligation, our highly skilled team of IT pros will come to your office and conduct a comprehensive cyber security audit to uncover loopholes in your company’s IT security.

After the audit is done, we’ll prepare a customised “Report Of Findings” that will reveal specific vulnerabilities and provide a Prioritized Action Plan for getting these security problems addressed fast. This report and action plan should be a real eye-opener for you, since almost all of the businesses we’ve done this for discover they are completely exposed to various threats in a number of areas.

To get started and claim your free assessment now, call 02380 983405, ask for Oliver

SHINY NEW GADGET OF THE MONTH: Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub

Grilling can feel like guesswork. You throw the food on the grill and keep a close eye on it, hoping for the best. Say goodbye to guesswork and overcooked steaks with the Weber Connect Smart Grilling Hub. The Weber Connect takes the thermometer and timer into the WiFi era. It monitors your food and sendsupdates to your smartphone. It lets you know when to flip the burgers or steaks – and then notifies you again when it’s time to take them off the grill. You can even have the Weber Connect tell you when your meat of choice has reached your ideal level of 'doneness'. It’s great for those who are new to grilling or don’t grill often, and it works with every grill! See more at bit.ly/3eTL69Y!

Make An Impact

Why did you decide to start your own company? When I ask business owners and entrepreneurs this question, they most often answer, “I wanted to make a positive impact in the world.” The same is true for me. Yes, sure, I wanted to be my own boss, do work that brings me joy, create my own systems, have financial freedom … but the endgame was that I wanted to make things better through my business. I wanted (and still want) to eradicate entrepreneurial poverty. To make the world a better place for me, my family and my community. I know – with the current state of things, you may be feeling as though your dreams are too lofty and need to take a back seat. Your business has a crisis to survive, after all. But you can accomplish both surviving (heck, thriving) and making an impact – even during a pandemic. You are closer to your dreams than you may feel right now. They don’t have to fall by the wayside. The biggest impact you can make right now is through HOW you serve your clients and community in the face of one of the biggest challenges in our lifetime. But you can’t do that if you don’t have a solid foundation in your business. So let’s recap what I have been posting about: The Business Hierarchy Of Needs (mikemichalowicz.com/the-businesshierarchy-of-needs) is the key to your business’s success right now. The needs of your customers and clients have likely changed over the last few months and you may feel stuck in, say, the sales level of the Hierarchy. This is why I created the Recession Response (mikemichalowicz.com/recessionresponse), which addresses the HOW – how to take steps to ensure your first three levels of The Business Hierarchy Of Needs are in place, so you can go ahead and make your impact in the world. I invite you to visit the Recession Response for tips and tangible, actionable resources to help you maintain your SALES, PROFIT and ORDER levels of The Business Hierarchy Of Needs, because you can still achieve your dream and impact your community in a positive way. You were put on this earth to have an impact. And that impact is not achieved by sacrificing yourself, or your business. Nail the first three levels of sales, profit and order. Then you can give back to the world and make your impact. MIKE MICHALOWICZ (pronounced mi-KAL-o-wits) started his first business at the age of 24, moving his young family to the only safe place he could afford – a retirement building. With no experience, no contacts and no savings, he systematically bootstrapped a multimillion-dollar business. Then he did it again. And again. Now he is doing it for other entrepreneurs. Mike is the CEO of Provendus Group. He is also a former small-business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; MSNBC’s business makeover expert; a keynote speaker on entrepreneurship; and the author of the cult classic book The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur. His newest book, The Pumpkin Plan, has already been called “the next E-Myth!” For more information, visit MikeMichalowicz.com.

Who Else Wants To Win A £25 Gift Card?

You can be the Grand Prize Winner of this month’s Trivia Challenge Quiz! Just be the first person to correctly answer this month’s trivia question and receive a £25 gift card at John Lewis. Ready? Call us right now with your answer! This Month the question is: Who designed the ‘first’ small computer for home use? a) John Blankenbaker b) Steve Wozniak c) Chuck Peddle d) Steve Leininger
    Who-Else-Wants-To-Win-A-£25-Gift-Card-img 3 Technology Truths For Transforming Your Business 1. You have to keep up. Tech changes fast. By the end of this year, 5G will be more widely available – along with devices that can use it. More businesses will be relying on artificial intelligence to supplement productivity and customer interaction, putting them light-years ahead of the competition that lags behind. 2. You have to invest. Change comes with cost. If you aren’t willing to invest in new tech, then you will fall behind, and so will your support and security. If you run into any problems, then you could be in big trouble. 3. Don’t fall behind on cyber security. It’s easy to forget about cyber security when things are running smoothly and working as intended. But cyber-criminals never stop. They are always looking for a way in, and if you fall behind the times on your IT security, then you make it easier for them. Keep your data and your customers as secure as possible. Inc., July 30, 2019 Back To Basics A lot of time is spent staying protected from the newest type of scam or the newest cyber-crimes, but as is true with many things, remembering the basics is the entire foundation of making sure you, your company and your clients remain safe. 1. Everyone in the company or organisation should know basic security principles. Security principles and policies should be documented and part of every new employee training. Strong password requirements, Internet usage guidelines and only connecting remotely over VPN are examples of some common security policy items. Strict penalties for violating the security policies should be detailed. 2. It’s not a good habit to save files onto your computer if there is a location on the network or on your server where they can live. They’re much less likely to be backed up on your computer, whereas they’ll reliably and regularly be backed up if they are saved on the server. 3. If you use websites or software that do not require regular password changes, set a calendar reminder to change the password yourself every other month. As with other things, a little prevention goes a long way – remembering the security basics, and asking about them if you don’t know what they are, is the single best thing you can do to protect yourself and protect the company. 3 E-MAIL PRODUCTIVITY TRICKS YOU NEED TO KNOW Turn Off Notifications. Every time you get a ping that you have a new e-mail, it pulls your attention away from what you were doing. It’s a major distraction. Over the course of a day, you might get several pings, which can equal a lot of time wasted. Set aside a block of time for reading and responding to e-mails instead. Use Filters. Many e-mail programs can automatically sort incoming e-mails. You define the sources and keywords, and it does the rest. This helps prioritize which e-mails you need to respond to soonest and which are most relevant to you. Keep It Short. Most of us don’t like to read e-mails – and so we don’t. Or we quickly scan for relevant information. Your best bet is to just include the relevant information. Keep it concise and your recipients will appreciate it, and as a recipient, you’ll appreciate it as well. Small Business Trends, April 23, 2020

    At Vermont Systems, we are always looking for new partners to work with.

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    If so contact Oliver on 02380 983405

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Paul Moran

"Just to say that I really enjoy these emails and have shared a number around our organisation as a reminder to people to be aware."

Kind regards

Paul Moran
Director of IT & Communications
Fair Ways

Paul Rollison

We are in safe hands with people who genuinely care about our business

1 Community provide a range of support services to the Eastleigh community. We moved to Vermont because of their reputation for service, proactive Management, and client commitment. Our IT now really helps us deliver improved services – it’s good to feel that we are in safe hands with people who genuinely care about us and our business.

Paul Rollison
Senior Operations Manager
1 Community