Secure Data Solutions: Prepare Your Small Business for a Data Breach

It seems as if no business is safe from falling victim to a data breach anymore. Target, Apple and a host of others have found themselves at the arms of hackers looking to steal, sell and compromise confidential information and data.  And it isn’t just big companies either, in a recent study, it is reported that 55% of local businesses in the United States have experienced some form of security breach. Unfortunately, this is happening because businesses are not taking the proper security precautions to prevent unauthorized access to information.

So how do you take precautions in case a data breach occurs at your company? Consider these tips:

Preparation #1: Evaluate Your Insurance Coverage

Taking a look at your insurance policies may uncover a highly beneficial coverage commonly referred to as cyber liability. You will want to know and understand the level of coverage you currently have and what it will cover in the event of a breach. If you don’t have this coverage within your business insurance, call your carrier to add it.

Preparation #2: Create a Data Breach Response Plan

After an attack, the organization may need to respond to a massive amount of inquiries, questions and phone calls from customers and impacted users, you must have a documented plan in place to address this as quickly as possible following the breach. Additionally, you may have to address the media, so create a response plan that outlines who will be authorized to speak on behalf of the company as well as what type of response is appropriate.

Preparation #3: Develop a Restitution Plan

After an attack, many companies are now providing credit monitoring services to those who were impacted by the breach. Additionally, you may want to familiarize yourself with an outside firm with experience in helping companies rebuild after a security breach.

Preparation #4: Conduct Security Trainings

If possible, hold special training sessions designed to help your employees understand proper policies and procedures that are being put in place that help to safeguard the business. Teach the importance of proper password protection, cloud security processes, mobile policies and any other security-related items they should be honoring on a daily basis.

In today’s technical landscape, it is important for all business, both large and small, to acknowledge and prepare for the possibility of a data breach. Without the proper precautions in place, a business can suffer tremendous financial losses. Additionally, the overall credibility of your business may come into question. And although taking these precautions doesn’t safeguard you from an attack, they will help you to react quickly and appropriately if you experience one.


Fostering Communications Between IT and Non-Tech Employees

Across all job titles, regions, and industries, the communication happening between IT and their non-IT coworkers is often described as insufficient. And according to a recent Executive Council benchmark survey, only four out of 100 IT leaders believe they are effectively communicating with their non-IT coworkers.

The reason for this issue is due to an absence of effective communication, trust and a cohesive vision within the organization. Reports show that many IT departments are unsatisfied with executive leadership decisions regarding the company’s digital strategies and innovation processes.

Clearly there is a major communication problem within business information technology, but what exactly can companies do to fix it? Some communication tips to battle the problem include:

#1: Train them on the ENTIRE business

Don’t let IT leaders become isolated “techies” within the organization. They should have a true understanding of the perspective of all roles and parts of the business. Having a cohesive understanding helps them to gain an understanding of why certain business decisions are made so they can effectively implement the changes needed. Allow IT professionals to job shadow in the various departments of the business, and if needed, rearrange the teams or floor plans to establish convergence.

#2: Educate About Stakeholders

IT decisions made during projects are often the result of the needs of the stakeholders rather than some leadership positions or other departments. If you educate your IT leaders on who these people are as well as why their decisions are important or needed, they will likely respond more effectively to why certain changes are happening.

#3 Encourage Normal Language

IT professionals seem to unintentionally create their own language that’s cluttered with technical jargon and acronyms that other departments simply don’t understand. IT leaders need to make a continuous effort to simplify their conversations and eliminate the use of confusing acronyms.

#4 Insert Metrics into Discussions

IT leaders love metrics, so it’s a great tool to use to drive a conversation with someone with a more technical brain. During the right time, this can be a powerful tool to help make conversations easier and more effective.

#5 Outsource When Needed

If communication issues are holding your IT department back, don’t be afraid to look for some help from an expert. Outsourcing the help of an IT Communications Director can implement processes and tools to enhance the business information technology communication. Using an expert can also help to identify the nuances that are hindering your specific organization’s communication process and provide realistic suggestions on how to improve on it.

IT leaders of today simply must be willing to work through and discuss the complexities of the digital world with effective communication. Doing so helps the organization solidify strategies, expand abilities and ultimately, encourages growth.  Additionally, improving the communication between IT and the rest of the business helps the entire organization understand their digital processes, growth goals and the future plans of the business, which is beneficial for all.