Building Awareness about Cyber Security

Cyber security has been at the forefront of recent discussions. The latest ransomware attack, WannaCry, highlights the critical importance of creating a cyber strategy for your business. Do you know the root causes of most data breaches? Almost half the result of criminal or malicious attacks, however, human error accounts for roughly one-fourth of the breaches.

According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology, small businesses are especially vulnerable since they are viewed as soft targets by cyber criminals.  Even though hackers may not realize immediate financial gains through system penetration, small businesses may provide entry points to other systems with significant advantages. For instance, let’s say a smaller business does contract work for a larger company. If the small business has to log-on for any automated or computer-related activities and their system is compromised, the hacker could use the log-on credentials from the small business to penetrate the larger companies system. Once access is gained, the hacker can launch malware, ransomware, or infect the system with a virus. They could also take the exact same steps towards penetrating another system if  it was felt that an even greater reward was at stake.

An important item to remember is that a breach is not always immediate. Sometimes a system has been penetrated weeks or months before the malicious attack actually begins.

One way to manage your business’ risk is to identify what information your business Cyber frameworkuses and stores. Create a list with each of type of information and ask yourself, ‘what would happen to my business if … ‘. Once you have written down various answers, add a numeric value to each item from most to least important.  Next, identify who has access and control to your business’ information. No matter how small your company is, individual accounts should be set-up for each employee. That helps ensure accountability if something should happen. Remember, identification is the first step in creating a cybersecurity framework to safeguard your business from potential hacks. Additional posts will reflect the other key areas highlighted in the adjacent graphic.

 

Women Entrepreneurs

If you know of a woman entrepreneur, please share this information with her. Ernst & Young is hosting a competition looking for high-potential women entrepreneurs. Their program  is looking for scalable businesses that they can help nurture and grow.

According to the website, the Entrepreneurial Winning Women executive leadership program helps with the following areas:

  • Expand entrepreneurial knowledge with the latest information, research and executive dialogues about business strategies and practices
  • Identify potential partners, strategic alliances, customers and suppliers as well as prospective sources of private capital
  • Provide access to informal, one-to-one guidance and support
  • Strengthen their executive leadership and business skills and identify opportunities to grow through meetings with senior advisors and seasoned entrepreneurs
  • Increase national and regional visibility for themselves and their companies among corporate executives, investors and the media

Don’t procrastinate! The deadline for applications or nominations is June 9, 2017. Here is a link to the website for more information: https://go.ey.com/2r9MH2I. Good luck!

Good Example of Marketing

Here is another great example of effective marketing. Many companies are trying to align themselves with social movements but have been unsuccessful at their attempts (ahem … the Pepsi commercial with Kendall Jenner that caused such an uproar). A stumbling block for businesses is that their message is not considered authentic nor does it resonate with the intended audience. There have already been numerous critiques of the Pepsi ad – and that is not the point of this post. We want to emphasize how to effectively communicate with audiences in meaningful ways. Here is a great example by Heineken. Notice, that they do not highlight their product until the end of the video.

Marketing Tactics

Small businesses often ask about creating marketing messages that have an impact. Here is a good example of how a brand was able to embrace an upcoming event with relevancy to most consumers – Mother’s Day. Notice the subtle hints that kids are bound to make messes and hopefully one has a strong paper towel nearby to clean up that mess! Although in one instance a mom uses her sweater to wipe something off her child. Another reason for this being a powerful marketing message is that it transcends nationalities/ethnicity, languages, and socio-economic statuses. That’s tough to do!

Anyways, here’s to all of the moms out there. We wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!