6 Essential Cybersecurity Best Practices Your Business Won’t Want To Miss

Network & Computer security artwork 2 dark

Cybersecurity continues to be a hot topic for small and medium-sized businesses (SMB). It’s not uncommon for smaller businesses to believe that because of their size, “there isn’t much to steal,” so cybercriminals will simply not target them. This assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. The 2017 State of Cybersecurity in Small & Medium-Sized Business Report conducted annually by the Ponemon Institute clearly debunks these ideas, showing that 61 percent of smaller businesses experienced a cyberattack and 54 percent reported data breaches involving sensitive information in 2017.

The reality of this situation is that cybersecurity criminals are very much aware of the flawed assumptions and the false sense of security residing within smaller businesses and actively seek to exploit them. It is easier for an attacker to compromise a smaller business that has limited budget and resources dedicated to cybersecurity than it is for the attacker to compromise a large enterprise with multiple layers of security effectively implemented and fully funded.

Smaller businesses obviously cannot match the spending on cybersecurity technologies or staff a full team of cybersecurity experts like their larger counterparts. Still, there are ways for smaller businesses to compensate for these budgetary and resource limitations to implement an effective comprehensive cybersecurity defense.

1. Do not tackle it solo.

Small businesses thrive by focusing on doing what they do best and when it comes to cybersecurity, this fact doesn’t change. Unless you’re a small business specifically focused on providing cybersecurity services it is recommended you seek out professional assistance.

2. Document your cybersecurity policies.

Most successful small businesses are extremely agile operating by word of mouth and intuitional knowledge, much of which is undocumented. Cybersecurity is one area where it is essential to document processes and policies and in many cases required by regulatory authorities to meet governance requirements.

The above is an excerpt. To read more cybersecurity practices, click HERE to read the full article in the Spring/Summer 2018 issue of Tools for Success magazine. You can also pick up a print copy of the magazine at a Progress Bank location near you. Click for a complete list of LOCATIONS.


Jeremy Conway is the Chief Technology Officer at MAD Security, a published author and renowned public speaker. With more than 16 years of experiences in the information security field, he is recognized as an industry expert and innovator and played a vital role in securing some of the largest networks in the world for customers such as NASA, the U.S. Army and the U.S. Department of Defense

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Social MediaTechnologyUncategorized

Develop a content marketing strategy with these 8 simple ideas.

content is king

As technology has changed the way consumers socialize, shop and interact, companies are finding that the marketing playbook has a few new and unfamiliar pages. When the marketplace changes, it only serves to reason that companies must begin to adjust the way they communicate marketing messages.

Today’s consumers have instant access to compare prices, research product reviews and, with the press of a button, can easily “skip” advertising messages. No longer can companies merely flood the market with their brand messages through traditional channels and see results. Even digital channels are now crowded with blinking banners and sidebar buttons all screaming for attention.

One marketing trend being integrated into the overall strategy is content marketing. In simple terms, content marketing is the focus on creating valuable and relevant content that speaks
to a clearly defined audience. It is putting aside the “salesy” messages in favor of resources and
information that educate the consumer. It is connecting rather than pitching. Engaging rather than selling.

In fact, this trend for using content marketing is on the rise. According to a recent study by
Boston-based software company Curata of more than 600 marketing organizations, 76% of those surveyed are planning to increase their investment in content marketing in the coming year.

Finding the right way to connect and engage with your target audience will depend on the type of business, resources available and determining the way in which your audience will be most receptive to receiving your messages.

Here are eight ways to start a content marketing strategy:
BLOGS – A great option for providing written resources, video feeds and images.
PUBLISHING – Whether it be cookbooks, magazines or a buyer’s guide, publishing can establish your credibility as an expert while keeping your name in front of an audience in an entertaining and engaging way.
VIDEO – With the rise of YouTube, the power of a good video is undeniable. You could provide step-by-step how-to videos or create a commercial that has viral potential.
WEBSITE – Today’s websites are responsive and can be designed with content marketing in mind. Add features to engage your audience as well as integrate other elements of your overall strategy such as a blog or videos.
NEWSLETTERS – Whether you provide in print or by email, a newsletter can be a great way to keep brand awareness with your customers. Provide relevant and meaningful content to increase its value.
BLOGGER REVIEWS – Connect with bloggers who have an existing audience that includes your target audience. Offer them free products in exchange for reviews and exposure to their followers.
SOCIAL MEDIA – Even with limited character space, you can still establish yourself as an authority in the Twitterverse and beyond. Don’t just blast your specials, but take the opportunity to really connect with your fans and followers.
INFOGRAPHICS – Clever graphics that tell a story or provide information have great viral potential. Provide information in this easy-to-absorb format and increase your exposure through shareable content.

Your content marketing strategy is only limited by your imagination. Ask yourself what your customers really want or need to know and then create the resource to provide that information in an entertaining way.

In simple terms, content marketing is the focus on creating valuable and relevant content that speaks to a clearly defined audience.

*Published in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of Tools for Success Magazine.

Author: Bethany Meadows is the owner of Vertical Solutions Media Inc, a full service marketing agencies that specializes in helping small businesses build strong brands and increase revenues.

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Human ResourcesTechnology

5 Steps to Keep Business Information Confidential


Keeping your business information confidential is an important part of your overall security. Is your company doing enough in this area? Below are five steps to help you keep your company’s business information confidential and out of the hands of your competitors.

  1. Designate Information as Confidential. While this seems kind of obvious, this simple action will help categorize information important to your company’s security.
  2. Develop a Policy Statement. A Policy Statement in your employee handbook will make employees aware of the confidential nature of information to which they have access, and how it should be handled.
  3. Restrict Access. Sensitive information should be segregated from non-sensitive information.
  4. Have Contractual Protections. Three types of contract provisions are common—non-competition agreements, non-solicitation agreements, and non-disclosure agreements. You should consult with your human resource and/or legal professionals to help you determine which agreements fit your particular needs.
  5. Protect Electronic Data. Internet, E-mail, databases and other electronic communication methods are common in most workplaces, and for some, have replaced traditional paper communication and files. In order to protect confidential information and trade secrets, many of the same concepts discussed above should apply to electronic media as well.


Author: Charles Wilkinson, SPHR, is CEO of Human Resource Management, Inc., a management consultancy and outsourced administrative services organization. Learn more at our Contributors tab.

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