After sabotaging large-scale enterprises, city IT infrastructure and even the busiest airports of the world, cyber criminals seem to have found a new sweet spot to target their malicious crimes. A vulnerable spot which is not only burgeoning in size but is also largely undermined as a cybercrime target.
Small businesses it is. Small businesses are usually run by entrepreneurs, either singly or with a handful of employees who are working rigorously to grow the business. Naturally, something like cyber security would rank at the bottom of their priorities.
Amidst all the hurry-burry of building the business, putting processes into place and winning customers, there is hardly anytime left to introspect about cyber security and its business impact. It is this negligence from the part of small businesses that is making cyber criminals point their crosshairs on them. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, 43% of cyber-attacks target small businesses.
“Hello friend! I have some bad news for you. Your files have been encrypted!” Thus, began the email that Joe received one fine morning when he opened his email. It was an email that signaled that his system was under a ransomware attack. Along with Joe several other colleagues got the mail implying that the whole company was under attack. Within a few minutes, their systems were locked down and a ransom payment in bitcoins was demanded through an on-screen message.
Countless small businesses around the world have been taken down by hackers asking a ransom in return. Can businesses protect themselves from this inevitable attack of cyber criminals?
Turns out there are some ways businesses — both big and small can put up their defenses to secure them from cyber security crimes. Some such ways are discussed as below:
1. End-point security
Endpoint security or Endpoint protection refers to the measures taken to protect devices that are remotely connected to a network. For example, laptops, tablets, mobile devices used by remote employees to connect to a corporate network are endpoints. Ensuring the physical and digital security of these devices’ forms part of endpoint security. If these endpoints are not properly secured, they can act as potential vulnerable points for hackers to sneak their way into the corporate network and steal data. End-point security can be ensured with the help of endpoint security software like antivirus software, malware detection systems, etc.
2. Fortify website security
In this mobile-first-age, websites happen to be the primary source through which customers contact businesses. Websites are used to find business information as well as conduct online transactions. This involves both eCommerce as well as other activities like sharing personal contact information like email or phone number for furthering business relationships.
Additionally, there are also financial transactions that are conducted online, like banking and insurance which are critical in nature. Even the slightest security mishap can result in personal identity or financial data theft. Businesses must take precautionary measures to ensure that customer data is not compromised in any way. SSL certificate is important for every website. It secures your users’ personal information and credit card details. If the business has multiple sub domains through which it serves customers, wildcard SSL certificate secure them all without breaking the bank balance severely.
3. Ensure GDPR compliance
GDPR stands for General Data Protection Regulation, a recent European Union regulation that was enacted to protect the personal data of users and also to govern the collection and processing of user data General Data Protection Regulation.
GDPR compliance is necessary for several reasons. First, it ensures that your business is on the right side of the law. As a result, you will be spared from the hefty fine of Up to €20 million, or 4% of annual global turnover – whichever is greater. Complying with GDPR requirements will also streamline your business processes thereby ensuring long-term cyber security of the business.
4. Regular data backups
Cyber security affect businesses in one unmistakable way. It deprives them of data that is necessary to keep the business running smoothly. Of course, there is the cloud where all data can be stored for remote access. But, when a cyber security incident happens, most probably your data in the cloud would also be compromised.
It is better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario than to be at a loss when the tragedy happens. Such preparation comes in the form of regular data backups. Like any other process that is carried out on a periodical basis, make sure you take regular data backups of your business data. Ensure that the backed-up data is stored in offline drives where they are far from the reach of cyber security criminals.
5. Background checks for IT vendors
As a growing and thriving business, your business will have to engage multiple IT vendors. These vendors could be engaged for supplying UT hardware, software development services or even for performing some of your core activities that are outsourced.
To ensure that your organizational data is not compromised and is protected at the end points, make it a practice to carry out background checks for IT vendors. Trace their physical business location, carry out independent vetting of their past operations and get signed documents from the vendors that they will follow stringent security measures while dealing with your business data.
Technology has helped businesses to grow without any restraints. The same technology has also created a web of vulnerabilities which can trap naive businesses. It is mandatory for businesses of all scales to take cyber security seriously. They must put in place the right measures to ensure that the business remains immune to cyber security attacks. These 5 security tips can help with that.
Samuel Leeds Buys Shares In Property Tribes; Says He Wants To Make It Better
People in UK property circles may be familiar with the very public dispute between former MTV presenter, property investor, and community manager of the company Property Tribes, Vanessa Warwick, & property investment trainer and owner of the company ‘Property Investors’, Samuel Leeds; as Leeds has accused Warwick of assisting with racism and discrimination against ethnic minority tenants. In recent news, Samuel Leeds was reported to have bought a 35% share of the company Property Tribes, making him officially now a person of significant control at Property Tribes.
Warwick established Property Tribes to accumulate wisdom from various property owners and landlords to create a place of guidance for people in the industry to do business better. According to the company,
“We wanted to create a free use, safe, and agenda-free place for landlords to get information from a “hive mind”, not a singularity, so that they could learn and grow their property business.”
However, in one of his recent videos, Samuel Leeds pointed out blatant support of racism in some of the advice coming from Warwick herself. As one of the landlords asks on the forum – if they would be implicated by the race discrimination laws in the UK for refusing tenancy to Bangladeshi families as the landlord is not fond of the smell of their staple food, curry; Vanessa Warwick herself is seen advising against mentioning the reason for said refusal, thus averting the legal repercussions altogether.
In the video, Leeds points out several more situations where Warwick has behaved in a racist manner. In fact, she has become a new advisor on the panel of the UK’s Property Redress Scheme and has been under criticism in their forum as well for supporting discrimination against ethnic minorities.
Warwick also expressed strong disapproval of Leeds as a property trainer citing the reason that his students came from the “vulnerable” demographic. Leeds called out the racist mindset in this reasoning, as in reality, his students predominantly come from ethnic minorities and don’t fall in the “vulnerable” category. He began drawing attention to the issue over his YouTube channel and his website, and ended up facing severe disparagement from Warwick and her followers. Leeds finally sued Warwick for defamation and she brought a counter lawsuit for six-figure damages.
In an attempt to put an end to the battle once and for all, Samuel Leeds reports to have bought a share, 35% to be exact, of the company, Property Tribes. Even though he is only a minority shareholder and will have limited control, Leeds believes he can make a difference in “cleaning up the company” and reduce racism in the forum.
He jokingly adds,
“Because they trolled me, I wanted to at least get paid… Like Michael Jackson did to Eminem.”
Leeds pledges that any money he makes off this transaction will be donated to charitable organisations that tackle racism and online bullying. In addition, Leeds will donate an extra £50,000 to organisations that fight hatred in the UK. With this move, he is determined to take a strong stand against all discriminations in the property sector or any other industry.
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