How to Get Your Staff Up to Speed on Data Security

Cyber crooks are counting on your staff to be unsophisticated when it comes to data security. Here’s what you need to do to ensure your employees are properly trained to prevent a data breakin.

Having recently attended a roundtable sponsored by the FTC for small- to meduim-sized businesses on the topic of cyber security, one theme seemed to be constant. Small business owners expressed to the FTC that they do not have the time to train their employees when it comes to cyber and network security. They are simply too busy running their businesses and they do not have the depth of knowledge in the area of IT cyber security.

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    However, employee training might be the most important security defense business owners can implement. The FBI and others that track data breaches and cyber attacks state that 90% or more of data breaches are the result of employee actions and more than 70% of data breaches happen to companies with 100 or fewer employees. And today, email is the preferred tool cyber criminals use to break into a computer or network.

    Cyber criminals use social engineering in order to trick users into opening an email or attachment or click on an embedded link. They know employees are using company computers for personal activites and they exploit that fact. Couple that with the fact that most employees are not well trained in spotting suspect emails, links, attachments and websites, and the result is a high level of successful breaches.

    Training employees in cyber security not only raises the level of network security, but could produce a high ROI because data breaks are costly. Cyber criminals continue to refine their deception and therefore employee training should be an important component of network security. This training should not be a single event but rather an on-going process.

    Training best practices

    So, how does a business owner provide adequate training so employees can be part of the solution? At a minimum, they should do the following:

    • Bring in a company that understands and deals with network security and network operations. They must be able to adequately explain the nature of the threats, how to spot a threat and how to defend against the threat using real-world examples and tools that can be easily implemented in the business.
    • Provide on-going training so network security stays top-of-mind. There are cost effective services an employer can subscribe to, which will provide a constant drip of on-line training materials and keep employees educated regarding current threats.

    When it comes to overall threat protection, a business must deploy mutiple layers of defense. Strong and consistent employee training is one of the most important layers.

    Steve Giordano is president of TeamLogic ITLearn more about the company by clicking here.

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    Next up: How to Not Mess Up a Social Media Policy
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  • How to Not Mess Up a Social Media Policy

    Why should you have a social media policy in place for your employees? Small companies are prone to falling victim to social media pitfalls such as damaging the company’s brand or even dropping the company straight into a legal quagmire, Fresh Squeezed Mind’s Ted Moss says. Here are six things to consider when crafting your own workplace policy.

    Why should you have a social media policy in place for your employees? Small companies are prone to falling victim to social media pitfalls such as damaging the company’s brand or even dropping the company straight into a legal quagmire, Fresh Squeezed Mind’s Ted Moss says. Here are six things to consider when crafting your own workplace policy.

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    The Ground Rules

    You’re going to want your general social media guidelines to hit on a couple of areas, Moss says.

    • How employees are using their own personal accounts.
    • How they are using work-related accounts.

    Focus on whatever your highest priorities happen to be. For instance, you likely will want to define roles. Who is responsible for what, and what, exactly, are these responsibilities?

    “Be clear on what this entails,” Moss stresses. “Who’s approving these posts? What kind of tone are you trying to set? You’re also going to want to make sure whoever is designated to handle social media is aware of potential legal issues.”

    About Those Legal Issues …

    So, what legal issues should you be thinking about? For starters, Moss says you’ll want to ensure you are properly citing the work of others if you’re reposting content. Emphasize also that your employees aren’t playing too fast and loose with the company’s (or customer’s) confidential information.

    Dealing with Trolls

    Moss detailed earlier about how you should respond to social media and Internet criticism of your company. But what about trolls? We’re talking people who are being mean for mean’s sake. There are five ways to deal with these trolls, he suggests:

    • Ferret out if there is any fair criticism and correct any mistakes you might be making.
    • Respond calmly with facts.
    • Respond calmly, perhaps with a humorous touch.
    • Block or ban these social media users if you can.
    • Just plain ignore them.

    Your social media marketing activities should emphasize the more fun side of your business while raising awareness of your brand. Folding the above into your strategy will help you achieve those goals—and keep you out of any social media hot water.

    Aaron Rock is one of the creative minds at Fresh Squeezed Minds, a creative digital marketing agency in Cleveland. Want to get your business featured just like Fresh Squeezed Minds did? Contact our membership team to see how you can promote your business know-how on the COSE site and newsletter that is emailed out to thousands of business professionals each week.

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    Next up: How to Protect Yourself from a Ransomware Attack
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  • How to Protect Yourself from a Ransomware Attack

    A ransomware attack can be devastating to a small business. This is what you need to know to keep yourself protected.


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    Next up: How Twitter Reacted to the 2016 CIO Symposium
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  • How Twitter Reacted to the 2016 CIO Symposium

    Roughly 200 IT leaders from across Northeast Ohio gathered last week to discuss the major issues impacting the local tech scene as part of the 2016 CIO Symposium. Topics ranged from talent, to data science, to leadership lessons from a former astronaut.

    Roughly 200 IT leaders from across Northeast Ohio gathered last week to discuss the major issues impacting the local tech scene as part of the 2016 CIO Symposium. Topics ranged from talent, to data science, to leadership lessons from a former astronaut.

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    Attendees were quick to go to Twitter (this was a technology conference after all) to give their take on the symposium’s major themes. Below is a sampling of the Twitter reactions from the 2016 CIO Symposium.

     

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    Next up: How Videos are Changing the Way We do Business
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  • How Videos are Changing the Way We do Business

    In the old days, we took 16 mm or Super 8 mm movies and edited film deep into the night. We produced case studies and product demonstrations often without sound. We thought that was cool. That was the 1970’s.

    In the old days, we took 16 mm or Super 8 mm movies and edited film deep into the night. We produced case studies and product demonstrations often without sound. We thought that was cool. That was the 1970’s.

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    Today, every phone and SLR camera brings us as close to a Hollywood production as the common man might ever be. So, what we are observing in our businesses today has changed because video is everywhere.

    Following are 12 ways video is changing the way we do business.

    E-learning. Videos can be created to teach students of all ages those skills that are difficult to develop from printed pages or PDFs alone. When programming testing is possible, new software makes e-learning simple.

    White videos. So, you don’t have time to write a white paper? Talk to us through video. It works. It saves time. It may even be less expensive than other approaches.

    Reputation Management. Videos tell you what your body language says about you. That is part of your reputation. But why not find out from important publics what they think about you and your organization by getting them on video?

    Product Demonstration. Whether it’s a mommy blogger or an individual market influencer, a product demonstration remains as effective as they are. When it is difficult to demonstrate, videos are the next best thing.

    Facebook Live. The new thing in social media is Facebook Live. Your videos tell your followers what they need to know in real time. It is great for customer, patient and community testimonials.

    Crisis. Videos can capture wrongdoing by striking groups, clearing up misconceptions, set the record straight, tell key publics how you will be meeting—or exceeding expectations.  

    YouTube Channel. Your YouTube Channel can capture the kind of organization you are, what you stand for and why you deserve to be respected. Your best “TV commercials” should be on YouTube.

    Competitive Espionage. Your videos can tell a story about your customers, help you as a mystery shopper, capture focus group thinking on camera and discover why a new product is dominating at a trade show.

    Easily Updated. So, you think your current video is stale. For the most part, videos are easily updated. B-roll, photos and new point-of-view video makes the old new again.

    Upgrading your brand. When produced effectively, your brand can be elevated to a place you could have never achieved before. Using a high-powered talent can make the difference in terms of the way you or your organization are perceived.

    Virality. You want the world to know your organization. When Blendtec used their blender to “blend” cell phones and more, the world knew. Think of creative ways to market your product or business.

    Simplifying Instructions. Those teaching manuals are tough to follow. The more expensive new equipment is, the more important a video can be. It ensures you know what you are doing step by step.

    Are you convinced? Videos are changing the way we do business today. Send me your thoughts about the subject. I would love to hear from you. 

    Want more great insight like this? Check out COSE’s Expert Network for experts who can help you on a wide range of topics, including technology and strategic planning. 

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    Next up: Improve Your Lead Generation with Interactive Content Marketing
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  • Improve Your Lead Generation with Interactive Content Marketing

    Content marketing is all the rage these days, but many people are simply littering the Internet with text, infographics and lists that are either just skimmed over or completely ignored. Gone are the days where writing general, broad or vague material can impact an audience. The future is engaging users with immersive, interactive content. 

    Content marketing is all the rage these days, but many people are simply littering the Internet with text, infographics and lists that are either just skimmed over or completely ignored. Gone are the days where writing general, broad or vague material can impact an audience. The future is engaging users with immersive, interactive content.

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    Some examples of interactive tools are product configurators or calculators. A marketing budget calculator is a way for you to provide information or solutions to customers in highly personalized and engaging ways. Compare the experience of using this calculator to just reading a boring article about how to set a marketing budget. Most people just skim headlines anyways. An interactive tool gives them something to do. Learn how to go big and get better leads.


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