The Top 5 Business Continuity Threats Facing Small Businesses Today

The Top 5 Business Continuity Threats Facing Small Businesses Today

In today’s business world, the ability to bounce back from an unexpected event is more important than ever before. Having a plan in place to ensure your business can continue to operate in the event of an interruption is critical to your success.

But what are the biggest threats to business continuity for small businesses today?

Here are the top 5:

  1. Natural Disasters
  2. Cyber Attacks
  3. Employee Error
  4. Supply Chain Disruptions
  5. Pandemics

Natural Disasters

From hurricanes and earthquakes to wildfires and floods, natural disasters can strike at any time and often with little warning. And while you can’t control Mother Nature, you can control how prepared you are for her wrath.

Creating a comprehensive business continuity plan that takes into account the specific risks associated with natural disasters in your area is critical to ensuring your business can weather the storm.

Cyber Attacks

In today’s digital age, businesses of all sizes are increasingly vulnerable to cyber attacks. From ransomware and malware to phishing scams and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks, the threat landscape is constantly evolving.

As hackers become more sophisticated, so too must your defense mechanisms.

By investing in robust cybersecurity protection and training your employees on best practices, you can help defend your business against a potential cyber attack.

Employee Error

Believe it or not, one of the most common threats to business continuity is employee error. From accidentally deleting important files to losing laptop computers containing sensitive data, mistakes happen.

And while you can’t prevent them from happening altogether, you can minimize their impact by implementing proper security protocols and procedures – like data backup and disaster recovery – and by providing employees with adequate training on how to use them effectively.

Supply Chain Disruptions

In today’s global economy, supply chains are often complex and far-reaching – which means they’re also susceptible to disruptions.

Whether it’s a hurricane wreaking havoc on shipping operations or a supplier going out of business unexpectedly, supply chain disruptions can have a serious impact on your business continuity plan – not to mention your bottom line.

That’s why it’s important to have a plan in place for how you’ll maintain operations in the event of a disruption. This might include things like sourcing alternative suppliers or rerouting shipments through different channels.

Pandemics

In recent years, we’ve seen firsthand the devastating effect a pandemic can have on businesses of all sizes – from mom-and-pop shops forced to shutter their doors permanently to multinational corporations laying off thousands of employees worldwide.

While there’s no way to fully prepare for something like a pandemic, having a plan in place for how your business will continue to operate in the event of one can help reduce its impact on your bottom line.

This might include things like instituting remote work policies or cross-training employees so that essential functions can still be carried out even if key personnel are unavailable.

Let’s Build a Recovery Plan Together

Our solutions mean a quick return to “business as usual” after a crisis. Disaster recovery typically involves backing up data and processes to an off-site facility or cloud-based storage, ensuring business continuity as operations transfer to a second site or technology environment.

Prevention is the most important key to recovery; nonetheless, there is no such thing as perfect prevention. Anything can happen, be it accidental file deletion, security breaches, or even weather disasters.

We help identify and address potential technology risks, then build recovery plans that include considerations such as optimal backup solutions and climate-controlled facilities.

We’ll help you build these systems and tailor them to your industry’s and business’s specific needs.

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

National Cybersecurity Awareness Month

October isn’t just for pumpkin spice, it also means we are officially in National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. Yes! This is a real thing. It’s like Christmas for those of us in the industry. Okay, that might be a stretch, but it is a great time to share our passion for online security.

Created in 2004 by a partnership between Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA, a division of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security) and the National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), the month is intended to encourage both public and private sectors to demonstrate and educate the importance of staying safe online.

Of course, SorceTek is dedicated to promoting safe online use all year round.

Online threats and data breaches are only becoming more commonplace, making it vital for all internet users to, at the very least, have a solid baseline of security tools in place. This is true whether you work in cybersecurity or just use the internet for entertainment. 

In fact, this year’s theme is “See Yourself in Cyber” which is meant to encourage all internet users to up their game when it comes to online safety. Here are four simple ways to do just that:

Update Your Software:

If you see a software update notification, act immediately Turning on automatic updates is an even better, and very convenient, solution.

Use Strong Passwords:

Use passwords that are long, unique to each account and randomly generated. Password managers are able to generate and remember different, complex passwords for each of your accounts.

Password managers can even  encrypt passwords, securing them for you.

Think Before You Click: Recognize and Report Phishing:

Do not click on suspicious looking links. It could be an attempt to get sensitive information or install malware.

Enable Multi-Factor Authentication:

To protect your online accounts, having more than just a password is important. Enabling MFA makes getting hacked far less likely. 

Upgrade Your Cybersecurity With Us

In today’s digital world, cybersecurity is of particular importance for small business owners. To protect your company, clients, employees and your reputation, make sure to consistently encourage and uphold basic security strategies all year long.

Of course, attacks are becoming more sophisticated and continue to evolve.

Fortunately, SorceTek stays informed of how to protect small businesses from the latest threats. From risk management to disaster recovery, and everything in between, SorceTek has your back all year round. Personally, we’d take sound cybersecurity over a pumpkin spice latte any day.

3 Secrets to Effectively Outsourcing Your IT Services

3 Secrets to Effectively Outsourcing Your IT Services

Outsourcing your company’s IT can come with numerous benefits. Improved scalability, more robust security, better control over IT costs and increased time to focus on your company’s core mission, just to name a few.

Of course, finding the right technology group with the skill and expertise to oversee your IT is of the utmost importance, along with hiring a company that deserves your trust.

Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when you are ready to outsource your IT services, and want to do so effectively.

1. Hire Smart, Not Fast

Entering into a partnership with another entity is a big decision. Doing some research ahead of time, conducting interviews, checking references, similar to how you would hire a new employee, are important steps.

While this means the process could take longer, it will pay off in the end. Putting in the extra legwork means you are more likely to find the best IT partner with the right expertise for your industry and organization

2. Communicate Goals and Scope

Be clear about what you want out of the partnership, including your expectations and the extent to which you are looking for assistance.

Think about what IT services your organization can handle on its own, and what type of help you need from an expert provider. Do you want someone who can improve your overall network design? Do you require basic support services for daily troubleshooting? Make your goals and expectations clear.

A good service provider will also ask you a lot of questions regarding your potential needs. Finally, the goals and scope must be detailed in your final contract to keep everyone on the same page.

3. Culture and Values Fit

This is an ongoing partnership. Technology evolves, and the needs of your company change over time. Additionally, you are entering into a long-term relationship with a team that has access to your organization’s sensitive data and information.

Finding a group you work well with and can trust, and that you know will be loyal to making sure your business thrives is imperative. Finally, make sure your values align with one another. If your company values taking ownership, integrity and commitment, find an IT company who feels the same.

Effective outsourced IT services means having experts on your side who lessen your workload, improve efficiency and relieve stress. Finding the right partnership might take extra time, but your organization will ultimately benefit.

See Why SorceTek Should Be Your IT Partner

We believe every business is different and deserves a custom IT solution. Your IT stack should work for you and your business to increase productivity, protect vital data, and ultimately help you serve your customers.

Before we start, we’ll sit down together and discuss your unique pain points. After we have a clear understanding of your needs, we’ll make recommendations, and implement solutions. 

Entering into a partnership with an organization that shares your values, with clear goals and expectations in place is vital. If you’re interested in outsourcing some or all of your IT services, reach out to SorceTek to learn more about our partnered approach, we’d love to talk.

Top 5 Cyber Security Risks for Law Firms

Top 5 Cyber Security Risks for Law Firms

Confidentiality is the foundation of the attorney-client relationship. As both an ethical obligation and common-law duty, law firms are trusted guardians of some of the most private and sensitive information.

Additionally, there are usually contractual and regulatory requirements at play. With so much information and correspondence digitized, and the ever-evolving strategies of cyber crime, new and continuous approaches to securing the privileged information law firms are privy to is vital.

The American Bar Association reports that in 2021, twenty-five percent of law firms were victims of a data breach. Further, survey results also show that too many law firms, particularly smaller firms, are behind the curve when it comes to establishing basic security measures.

To understand what law firms are up against when it comes to cyber crime, let’s take a look at a few of the top security risks law firms face.

1. Ransomware Attacks

Cyber criminals know that law firms possess large amounts of financial information, private data and intellectual property, making them a tempting ransomware target. Ransomware is usually downloaded onto a computer via a malicious link or file that appears innocent to the victim. Once downloaded, attackers are enabled to access and then encrypt sensitive data and information. Utilizing threats and scare tactics the information is held hostage, until you pay up. This tactic often works against law firms because the release of confidential information can result in even further financial damage, loss of reputation and malpractice suits from clients. To avoid the potential loss of critical files due to ransomware, it is imperative that law firms invest in disaster recovery that includes backing up all crucial information through an external hard drive or at a secure out of network location.

2. Phishing Scams

Phishing scams are one of the most common attacks on law firms. Criminals use social engineering tactics to try to gain access to sensitive data and/or obtain monetary benefit. Often this is done through a fraudulent email that appears to come from a legitimate source such as a colleague, client or superior. The email tricks the target into sharing financial or personal information, or clicking on a link that installs malware.

3. Malware

A malware attack is when malicious code is used to infiltrate networks and databases in order to steal or destroy sensitive data. Often this is done through viruses or trojans that are accidentally downloaded through spam emails, malicious links or from an infected computer in the same network. These attacks are only increasing due to so much work being done by employees remotely on a variety of devices. To ward off malware, it is important that all employees take advantage of software updates in a timely manner as they often include security upgrades and patches.

4. Access Control & Authentication

Relying on weak and easily guessed passwords is an issue with many users, and law firms are no exception. This means making sure employees are creating passwords that appropriately protect the network. Additionally, too often too many users have access to more than necessary on a network, so it’s important to control which users have access to what data along with tracking logins to ensure credentials are being used appropriately. Tools like password manager and multi-factor authentication can prevent bad actors from getting into your network.

5. Lack of Training

Most data breaches involve some sort of human error, and attorneys are experts of the law, not cyber security. Therefore, it’s important to make sure the technology users at your firm are familiar with at least the basics of cyber security. Educating all users about phishing, social engineering, the importance of strong passwords, necessity of updating software and overall remaining vigilant is imperative. This gives users more confidence, and clients a greater sense of trust.

Improve Your Cybersecurity Today

Law firms are well-known stewards of private and sensitive information, making them frequent targets of cyber attacks. Small firms too often fall victim since many have not invested in the defenses and procedures necessary to head off a breach.

Fortunately, the financial stability and reputation of a firm can be protected with some simple security measures to ward off the above top risks. To ensure that the cornerstone of confidentiality between you and your clients is protected, don’t allow a lack of basic cyber security to wreak havoc on your firm.

5 Ways to Beef Up Your Team’s Cybersecurity Game

5 Ways to Beef Up Your Team’s Cybersecurity Game

Staying ahead of cyber criminals through sound cybersecurity measures is imperative for today’s small business owners.

If you’re operating without proper safeguards on your technology systems, you may as well just leave your company’s door wide open and yell, “Come and get it!” You would never leave your physical assets so vulnerable to attack, nor should you do so with your digital assets.

Your applications and digitized files contain vast amounts of sensitive information and must be protected from the wrong people gaining access. Cyber attacks are usually motivated by financial gain, but so much more is at stake.

Data loss, work disruption, compromised private information, compliance issues and your reputation are all on the line. Furthermore, cyber criminals love targeting small businesses.

Experience has shown them to expect small businesses to lack the time, money and resources when it comes to cybersecurity. In fact, 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, and only 14% are prepared to defend themselves

Be Unexpected

Be part of the 14%.

Fortunately, there are many simple and effective tactics that you and your employees can utilize, from actions you can take on your own, to measures that can be applied by professionals.

Here Are a Few Cybersecurity Tips To Consider:

  1. Keep software up-to-date, as updates often include security upgrades
  2. Use two or multi-factor authentication whenever you and your employees access applications
  3. Avoid public Wi-Fi, and consider a portable 4G hotspot
  4. Invest in a risk assessment to evaluate and analyze your company’s vulnerabilities in order to put in the best preventative measures
  5. Employ detection and retaliation through active threat response

Beef Up Your Cybersecurity Game Today

To learn more ways to protect your small business, download our Fifteen-Point Cybersecurity Checklist for Texas Small Businesses. Implementing even the most basic measures can be the difference between saving and losing the business you’ve worked so hard to build.

Security matters for everyone – and your data can be compromised at any time. Can your business bounce back?

Reach out today for a complimentary cyber security analysis. Our team will identify weak spots and make recommendations to protect your business.