Dedicated to small business week –

My day started out at ~4am.  Yes, like most small business owners I get up early and work hard, but that’s not a humble brag and I didn’t set an alarm at 4.  Rather, my 7 month old needed a little attention.  In truth – my alarm was set for 530, and I didn’t start moving until closer to 6.

If I don’t keep up, I slow everyone else down

I started with a review of my schedule for the week, and schedule for the day.  My first real task was locking in a few meetings with folks in Europe to provide guidance on GDPR compliance, and then an hour going through testing on a new cybersecurity awareness training release so our development team has feedback as soon as they fire up their computers this morning – fingers crossed and we’ll have the new release out today.  One of the things I’ve learned in small business is that if I don’t keep up, I slow everyone else down. We’re already fighting an uphill battle, and I can’t I won’t be the bottleneck.

For similar reasons, my next task was preparing a sales plan for the upcoming sales meeting, and then disseminating that for the team – goals for the week, goals for the month, and how we’ll get there.  For many small business owners – this is the most important part of any week.  After sales I planned to write a quick blog post that was already structured out – I had 20 minutes budgeted, but that plan changed when my partner had an opening over lunch – I met with the CTO to discuss product, and my business partner for cash flow planning – yes, that’s the same guy – we have to wear many hats.

Filling Gaps with Advisory Roles

The rest of the afternoon will go on with more marketing, sales, product development, picking up the 7 month old, dinner, etc. etc. etc.  The point is – small business personnel are busy, and we wear many hats.  I read a book recently that talked about the importance of having advisory roles to fill your personal gaps in knowledge – that might mean people on your board, your external accountant (I call my CPA, Pat, weekly and highly recommend him if you need someone), your insurance agent (Hunter and the team at Loyalhanna Insurance are awesome), or someone else that can quickly and cheaply help you make a better decision than you’d make on your own (my wife is awesome for this, and usually doesn’t charge me anything).  While attending local chamber events recently, I’ve often found that cybersecurity is a personal gap for most small business owners, and that’s exactly why I’m writing this post – to give some easy cybersecurity advice for small business owners as I would any of my friends leveraging me as an adviser.

Here are three of the common gaps I see for small businesses, and how you can close them today.

1. Don’t overlook what’s around you

Information security isn’t just about watching what you click on in emails, or the security of your network.  A lot of it is right around you – so the first thing I recommend is not overlooking what’s around you.  Last week I recorded 2 minute video that shows what to look for around the office, and guarantees 3 things that you’ll find in the office today.  Most importantly, it provides free, actionable steps that you can take today to make your small business more secure.

I guarantee you’ll see these three things in your office today

2. Make Every Employee an Active Participant in Cybersecurity

You’ve probably heard that employees are the weakest link when it comes to security, but they can also be your most powerful resource.  Empower your employees with the knowledge to protect your business – one of our customers wrote an awesome article about how he’s making their employees active participants in cybersecurity.  

This is the focus of my company – empowering the employees of small businesses to make better decisions that protect the company, customer, and of course their personal information.  In celebration of small business week – we’ll provide 4 free seats of Wuvavi Employee Cybersecurity training and phishing to any small business that likes/shares this article, and reaches out to us at this link.

3. Monitoring

Monitoring solutions are widely available through your IT service provider, or we work with an awesome small business that can help as well.  They are typically low cost and help to maintain your IT systems.  From a security perspective, a good monitoring solution will increase your visibility and control of your system/network, which will help you detect and manage issues earlier.  If you need some guidance or recommends, just contact us and we’ll point you in the right direction.

 

Small Business Week

Cybersecurity is often the last thing on the mind of small business owners, but it is important.  The excuse of ‘being too small to be hacked’ is outdated – hackers don’t really care how small you are…they don’t really care who you are at all.  Small businesses are at risk when hackers automate an attack to thousands of organizations with the hope of just landing a few.  Small businesses are also at risk because hackers see them as an entry point to their customers, especially their big customers.  Your big customer might have a multi-million dollar cyber budget that makes it difficult for a hacker to get in, but if they can access your systems and use you as a trojan horse into your big client, it puts both you and that big client at risk.  That’s why you’re seeing third party risk assessments from your customers asking questions like, ‘Do you train your employees annually on cybersecurity?’