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Blog posts of '2020' 'June'

3 Critical Cyber Security Protections EVERY Business Must Have In Place NOW To Avoid Being Hacked

Five years ago, you might have had state-of-the-art security protecting your business and network. You had the latest malware protection, highly rated firewalls and a great data backup plan. Maybe you even had a handbook on how to address cyberthreats. You were set. But then you forgot to do one crucial thing: you didn’t stay up-to-date with your IT security policy.

This is a trap countless businesses fall into. They invest in great cyber security once. Five years ago, this was fantastic. The problem is that cyberthreats are constantly evolving. Methods used by hackers and cybercriminals have come a long way in the past five years. Criminals stay on top of what’s going on in the IT security industry. They are always looking for new ways to steal your data and make a quick buck at your expense.

What can you do to stay up-to-date in an ever-changing digital world? Here are three things every business must do to protect itself.

Understand The Threats
It’s easy to assume that hackers are trying to get into your network the “old-fashioned” way. You might picture them hacking your network trying to get your passwords and usernames or breaking through your firewall protection. While some hackers will do this (it’s easy for them if you use simple passwords), many of today’s cybercriminals rely on social engineering.

The most common form of social engineering is the phishing scam. The criminal sends you or your employees an e-mail, hoping someone will click a link or open an attached file. Cybercriminals have gotten VERY sophisticated. These e-mails can mimic the look of a legitimate e-mail from a legitimate business, such as the local bank you work with or another company you buy from (or that buys from you). Social engineering is all about tricking people.

This is why you need a cyber security handbook – one that is regularly updated. It’s something you can reference. Your team needs to know how to identify a phishing e-mail, and you need to have procedures in place for what to do if a questionable e-mail shows up. This helps keep your employees from becoming the weak link in your security setup.

Update, Update And Update
From software to hardware, you must stay updated. There is no such thing as “one-and-done” when it comes to network security. Something as simple as a wireless router can DESTROY your security if it’s not regularly updated. Hackers are always looking for vulnerabilities in both hardware and software, and when they find them, they WILL exploit them.

What happens when a piece of hardware (like a router) is no longer supported by the manufacturer? This occurs all the time, particularly as hardware ages. Manufacturers and developers drop support for their older technology so they can focus on their newer products. When they drop support for a product you use, this is a good indicator that you need to replace that piece of hardware. The same applies to software.

You might balk at the cost of buying new technology, but in the long run, the cost is well worth it. Think of the cost of buying a new router versus the cost of cleaning up after a data breach. Some small businesses never recover after a hack – it’s just too expensive. Keep your malware software updated, keep your firewall updated, keep your cloud backups updated and keep all your devices and software UPDATED!

Invest In Proactive Network Monitoring
When it comes to the security of your network and overall business, being proactive can make a huge difference. Proactive monitoring means your network is being watched 24/7. Every little ping or access to your network is watched and assessed. If a threat is found, then it can be stopped.

The great thing about proactive network monitoring is that you can customize it. Want to know about every threat? You can request a real-time report. Only want updates once a day or once a week? That can be done too! This approach means you have one less thing to think about. Someone is always keeping an eye on your network, making sure the bad guys stay out.

You might think, “How am I going to do all this?” You don’t have to go it alone – and you shouldn’t. Work with an IT services firm. Work together to find the best solutions for your business. When you work with IT specialists, you can rest assured your team will be updated on today’s threats. You’ll know your network – and everything connected to it – is updated. And you’ll know someone is watching over you. That’s the ultimate peace of mind.

 

Daniel FitzGerald
President & Owner
StormsEdge Technology

Do These 4 Things To Grow Your Business

1. Don’t Let Yourself Become Complacent
Success often leads to complacency. Businesses hit their stride, but that success isn’t going to stick if you aren’t constantly searching for new opportunities and adapting to change.

 2. Have A Sense Of Urgency
In the early days of your business, you may have had a sense of urgency. You need customers to thrive, but as you grow, that urgency can fade. It ties right back into complacency. You need strict metrics and constant goals. Always be pushing toward something new.

3. Watch The Economy — And Your Industry
The world is always changing, especially now. Things change globally, regionally and locally. You need to be ready to adapt. Businesses that aren’t ready to adapt to changes in the market or economy will be left behind.

 4. Embrace Discomfort
New ideas can take some time to get used to, especially if they’re gamechangers. However, if you brush aside ideas because they make you uncomfortable or disrupt the status quo, then you may miss the greater benefit of those ideas.
Inc., March 11, 2020

 

Daniel FitzGerald
President & Owner
StormsEdge Technology

Shiny New Gadget Of The Month

ScreenKlean

Welcome to the future of screen-cleaning.

Our lives are full of screens: phones, tablets, computers, TVs and even watches. These screens can be a pain to clean, especially if they are touchscreen. It seems like you look away for a second and they’re covered in dust and fingerprints. It gets aggravating.

ScreenKlean solves this problem. This device removes fingerprints, smudges, dust and other particles in seconds. ScreenKlean uses electrically charged carbon molecules to clean just about any screen you have. It even works on mirrors!

ScreenKlean doesn’t scratch or smudge, making it safe to use on your expensive devices. It’s nontoxic and chemical-free, as it only uses special carbon pads, which last for hundreds of uses. You don’t have to worry about dirty screens anymore! See GetScreenKlean.io for complete details!

 

Amber Baker
Marketing Admin
StormsEdge Technology

The Many Faces Of Corporate Leaders

Employees’ happiness at work is more important in the workforce than ever before, and that feeling of fulfillment and engagement often comes from the top. If you are aware of what type of leader you are and how your leadership affects employees and clients, you can mitigate your weaknesses and discover your strengths to ultimately lead more effectively. Let’s take a look at a few leadership personas I’ve witnessed while coaching and what works best for each.

In-The-Weeds Leaders
Leaders who are “in the weeds” tend to spend too much time in the day-to-day. They get bogged down with what’s in front of them and don’t think outside the box. Without innovation, the company runs the risk of coming to a grinding halt.

These leaders need to delegate current tasks to their team members. They can then focus on finding new ways to drive the business forward. In-the-weeds leaders may even need an outside party to hold them accountable for setting and reaching these new goals.

Frustrated Leaders
These leaders know their companies can be better, but they’re upset because they can’t scale at the rate they want. They bottle up their grievances and aren’t sure where the disconnect is with their teams.

These leaders could seek guidance from a third party, whether that’s a friend or colleague. An outside perspective can help identify problem areas. They also need to hear out their team members and get firsthand accounts on what’s not working. Both perspectives can help turn frustration into focus.

Mindful Leaders
These leaders recognize that rapid growth is positive as long as they scale appropriately with formal organization and efficient processes. They are careful to avoid pushing forward blindly and losing essential parts of their culture and values along the way. However, they may take too long to think things through and miss new opportunities that come along because they couldn’t act quickly enough.

These leaders should make sure they are sticking to the systems they have in place while remaining open to new opportunities and evaluating them in a timely manner. It’s important to constantly reevaluate and adapt as the company grows and changes shape.

Control Freaks
These leaders can’t seem to let go of the wheel. They micromanage and don’t trust their team to get the job done, which fosters an atmosphere of frustration and mistrust. In this atmosphere, they can no longer lead effectively.

They should work with their teams to identify why the company exists, what motivates team members and why their work is important. That will not only help the leader and the team establish a better dynamic, but it will also help them both understand where the company is now and where it’s going.

When evaluating your leadership style, be honest with yourself. If you can pinpoint where you are on the leadership spectrum, then you’ll better account for your challenges and capitalize on your assets. And that’s how you become more self-aware and, in turn, a much stronger leader.

 

Amber Baker
Marketing Admin
StormsEdge Technology

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