The #1 Mistake Your Employees Are Making Today That Lets Cybercriminals Into Your Network

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In the wake of unprecedented rates of digital crime, with the cost and frequency of data breaches constantly skyrocketing year after year, companies all over the world have been forced to scramble for solutions. There’s an arms race running behind the scenes of every piece of technology we use in business today, as cyber security companies shore up their clients’ defences against increasingly sophisticated digital threats. Billions of pounds are now poured into batting away would-be intruders from the most precious assets on global networks: most of the money directed toward the software that keeps everything afloat, just out of reach of the bad guys. But even as each day brings a new technological apex for security solutions, data breaches continue. Despite the fact that the tools hackers use to make money are more or less the same as they were three years ago, nobody seems to question why companies are still being hacked at record levels. It’s easy to imagine a crack team of infamous hackers hammering away at a keyboard into the late hours of the night, feverishly computing the one piece of code that will break them into a system.

This may be the process behind the high-profile breaches you read about in the news each week, but in reality, most cybercrime takes much less effort. The average hack succeeds not because of overt vulnerabilities in the structure of business networks, but because of a mistake made by an individual. According to IBM’s X-Force Threat Intelligence Index, more than two-thirds of breaches arise from what they call “inadvertent insiders,” members of staff who accidentally left the network vulnerable from one action or another without even realising it.

Most of the human error that becomes the root cause of catastrophe can be traced back to phishing. A criminal spends some time researching your organisation, maybe learning a bit about an employee or two, and decides to masquerade as someone worthy of trust either within your team or from a company you have dealings with, or just someone offering something pretty much everybody wants. They mock up a somewhat convincing e-mail and send it off to 10 people within your business. Somebody clicks the included link without thinking, and there you go – you’ve got ransomware. If you haven’t backed up your data, you’re looking at a hefty fee to get everything back, if they even give it back at all.

In other cases, your team may actively avoid your previously implemented security measures or dismiss the procedures you’ve put in place to keep the business safe. That can mean visiting unsavoury websites, ignoring a vital security patch or another minor transgression. But when every mistake spells a potentially massive vulnerability, you can’t afford people who aren’t conducting business to the highest standards in cyber security.

Regardless of how it happens, most hacks occur because employees just don’t know any better. Even in 2019, when cybercrime runs rampant and virtually everyone is constantly at risk on the Internet, most of us just aren’t well-versed in ways to protect ourselves, much less the companies we work for.

The good news is that this problem is pretty easy to prevent through education. To keep everyone abreast of the latest threats to their livelihood, it takes a thorough set of rules, guidelines and general savvy to steer them through the troubled waters of modern cyberspace.

Of course, this will take more than a 30-minute crash course in the breakout room one lunch break. It’ll take a concerted, on-going effort and dedicated resources. Luckily, we can help. With a trusted partner dedicated not only to keeping your organisation protected from the latest digital threats, but to keeping your employees alert and ready to spot anything ‘phishy’, you drastically decrease the chances of your business becoming another statistic in the war on cybercrime. Work with us and secure the future of your company for the long haul.
Vermont offer in-house, bespoke cyber crime prevention training or why not join us at our next cyber crime prevention lunch and learn event? Contact the education department for further details: enquiries@vermont.co.uk

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

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

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

To claim your free assessment now, call us on 023 8098 3405


SHINY NEW GADGET OF THE MONTH: Introducing The “HeatBuddy” The Heating Solution That Promises The World

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  • Attaches directly to the wall outlet - no cables
  • Temperature range from 16C to 32C
  • Heats up to 250 sq. ft.
  • Digital temperature display with speed and timer functions
  • 500 watts - uses less energy than conventional heaters

Spring is definitely on the way but be prepared for when the temperatures drop again - why not look at the ‘HeatBuddy’. With heating technology improving all the time you could reduce electricity costs while keeping your toes from freezing off.

Available from Amazon at £19.99, plus P & P, this portable, plug-and-go, space heater offers revolutionary business and company culture grow exponentially.


The Self-Made Myth: All Business Leaders Had Help Along The Way

By Andy Bailey, CEO Petra

I’m about to share an unpopular opinion: the self-made CEO is a myth. No successful entrepreneur is a self-made man or woman. Behind every success are countless contributions from family, friends, teachers, mentors and coaches.

The world’s most effective leaders know they didn’t get to where they are by themselves. They recognise that ideas can come from anywhere, and they actively seek out people who can help them on their journey. Here are three ways to harness that inspiration:

1. RELY ON YOUR TEAM AND SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION.

The most effective leaders are always the first to admit that they don’t have all the answers. They ask themselves tough questions to understand their own strengths and weaknesses, and they don’t let ego or pride get in the way of building their companies.

One of the biggest mistakes I see business leaders make is thinking they can’t learn anything from the people around them. It’s essential to recognise your limits, seek others’ help and opinion to patch holes in your expertise and give credit where credit is due.

2. RIP OFF AND DUPLICATE – THE OTHER R&D.

Some of the best ideas I’ve had for my businesses are ones I’ve borrowed (and modified) from others. In my experience as an entrepreneur and coach, I’ve seen first-hand how ideas that are considered standard practice in one industry can be innovative when applied to another. Of course, it’s about how you adapt those ideas to your business. Use the existing base of knowledge to provide a novel solution.

3. CROWDSOURCE IDEAS FROM FELLOW BUSINESS LEADERS.

Finding new solutions to business challenges is a never-ending and often exhausting task. One source that I’ve used to help me solve problems has been a business advisory group comprised of professionals in business operating in non-competitive markets. Peers can relate to the daily challenges you face running your company, managing teams and growing the business. Members can provide you with valuable insight into how they are running their own companies and how business solutions they’ve implemented may apply to your business.

Business is a team sport. No great company has ever been built solely atop the efforts of a single person. The entrepreneurial spirit will take you far, but eventually, you have to recognise that you need to rely on the ideas and contributions of others. When that happens, you’ll become a greater leader, and you’ll see your business and company culture grow exponentially.


3 Ways To Make Your Customers Love You

  1. Be available.

    Today, when customers expect products to be available 24/7 and on-the-go, businesses must do the same. Set up reliable resources to update and manage customer experience, for example, by setting up an automatic call back system. Instead of waiting on hold, callers get added to a list then receive the call when the service team is ready. Live chat, an informative online FAQ and other handy resources can go a long way toward avoiding frustration.

  2. Surprise customers by actually being convenient.

    We’ve all had interactions with customer service that made us want to pull our hair out. Avoid this by reducing friction wherever possible. Make sure the people in charge of customer experience, whether it’s a front-desk person or a team of dedicated service professionals, are friendly and transparent about the service process. Make any customer service interaction abundantly easy and pleasant, and you’ll see the benefits in no time.

  3. Put your money into the most important investment.

    We all know that acquiring new customers costs seven times more than keeping existing ones. That makes the numbers pretty clear: you need to invest in your existing customers or risk going under.

Inc.com, October 2018


CAN YOU AFFORD TO LOSE £80,000 A YEAR? IF NOT, READ THIS:

According to the Better Business Bureau’s 2017 State of Cybersecurity Among Small Businesses report, SMEs lost more than £79,000 to cybercriminals. Honestly, this shouldn’t surprise anyone; after all, as even the smallest businesses digitize more and more of their processes, the costs of breaking those systems will continue to skyrocket. If you’re a small business owner in 2019, you need to start making cyber security a priority – now. Make a list of clear goals and objectives and prepare your business for threats coming from all directions, rather than relying on a single defensive strategy that’s prone to fail when things get tough.

SmallBizTrends.com, December 2018


FREE Cyber Security Lunch and Learn Event

What are you doing on Friday 3rd May?

Hello,

If you haven’t attended previously, would you like to be our guest at an upcoming seminar we are hosting on Friday 3rd May?

Venue: Lakeside, North Harbour, Portsmouth, Hampshire
Time: 10.00 am – 1.30 pm
Catering: Tea, coffee, pastries and a buffet lunch
Guest Speaker: Nick Elton CMgr FCMI FIoD MBCS, Chief Inspector Digital Intelligence

"Free Cyber Crime Prevention event: If you think you're aware of Cyber Crimes happening now, you're about to be shocked at what you don't know."

This will be a very powerful lunch and learn event to give you straightforward answers to some of your most pressing security challenges. Learn how to avoid joining the growing list of local businesses that have lost £10,000s to cyber fraud. Discover:

  • Who is behind Cyber Crime.
  • Know your staff - what details are they leaking? How to vet potential new employees.
  • What future threats will we face?

To get the full story and to register visit:

www.vermont.co.uk/events/cyber-security-seminar-hampshire/

Yours sincerely,

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Chris Ward
Managing Director
Vermont Systems Ltd

Book early to avoid disappointment. Seating is limited, and the previous event held on 1st February was fully booked prior to registration closing.

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