Keep your business up to date with these new Teams features

Keep your business up to date with these new Teams features

Microsoft Teams is fast becoming the perfect tool for the hybrid workforce. Modes of work are changing, and Microsoft knows it. Updates are constant, and these are just the latest. How will they help your business? Let’s find out.

Search experience

Search is essential to Teams. Conversations and group chats can get repurposed for new topics and become quite long. Years-long. Thankfully Teams has redesigned its search to be more intuitive. This allows you to find your messages, people, and your responses faster. This change is driven by artificial intelligence that is based on the content services you interact with the most.

Workgroups management 

Organizing workgroups will be much easier with the new “Manage Users”. This tool will allow you to manage all the users you need in one place. It also includes settings for guests and external users.

Microsoft teams

Font: Microsoft teams website

Teams’ rooms for Surface Hub  

Microsoft is quickly adapting to the new workplaces of the world. Functions from desktop Teams and Teams rooms (MTR) are being added to Meeting Space. The meeting controls have been improved, such as scenes in “Together mode”, large gallery, live reactions, PowerPoint Live, Whiteboard, and chat bubbles. The Whiteboard tool has also been improved. Now it is much cleaner and, more spacious and with a more modern look.

Microsoft teams

Photo: Microsoft teams website

Teams Admin Centre 

Teams Admin Centre is a self-managed platform that Microsoft will launch at the end of the year. The platform will oversee remotely monitoring and managing the Teams Rooms experience.

Big news for Teams Phone 

To allow much more mobility, Teams has made several improvements to its mobile app. You can now transfer calls seamlessly between your devices, such as moving it from your desktop to your mobile and vice versa. The great thing about this is that the call will not suffer any interruption.

Teams have also incorporated a spam prevention feature. This uses some advanced techniques to identify spam calls.

Can you answer teams calls in the car?

One piece of great news is that you can now answer your business calls while on the road. Apple CarPlay is compatible with Teams so you can join calls and meetings using vehicle controls or hands-free with Siri. You can also transcribe and record calls with Teams Phone. Handy!

Teams phone

Smart cameras 

Soon you will be able to enjoy some more futuristic features from Teams. It’s being updated to support smart cameras. These cameras will be supplied by partners like Jabra, Neat, Poly, and Yealink. These cameras will monitor for active speakers, along with support for multiple video transmissions with facial recognition. This last feature includes tracking facial movements and gestures to detect who is speaking.

This under-the-hood advancement will make it that much easier to level up your businesses’ hybrid work model. The big goal is to have no difference between regular and online meetings.

It is proposed that in 2022 Teams will manage to control issues such as lighting. Using artificial intelligence, the goal is for the Platform to be able to make lighting corrections in real-time, while the meeting is taking place.

Smart cameras - teams

PowerPoint in Microsoft Teams  

This great collaboration means you can present without opening PowerPoint. You only need to open PowerPoint Live, simplifying the experience of presenting remotely. It also you to progress through the slides while viewers share their reactions to a presentation, such as applause and hearts.

How do I show a PowerPoint in Microsoft Teams?  

To use this new option, connect PowerPoint Live with Teams. It is as simple as pressing the “Present in Teams” button (in the top right). You’ll automatically have access to your meeting from within Teams.

Power Point for Teams

With all these updates, Microsoft Teams is looking to become the best tool to support your transition into hybrid work. What kind of need do you think Teams should cover to improve your daily work? Do you think the future of work will be hybrid?

Small Business IT Security and Windows 11

Small Business IT Security and Windows 11

Windows 11 again. There’s been quite a bit of talk about it, and you’re probably wondering if you should upgrade. We’re here to fill in the gaps you need to know about what it means for your IT Security and what you should be doing about it.

In a 2020 survey, the ACSC reported that 62% of small businesses were the victim of cybercrime, racking up costs of 300 million. It found business owners understood the risks but were confused as to how to protect their operations and data, and that they preferred a DIY approach and were generally underinvested.

Click the image to read the full report

Last month we wrote about some of the interesting features of Windows 11. Many of the new features are available to some PCs with Windows 10, but the entire security system in Windows 11 is much easier to manage, with everything on by default on supported PCs.

We’ve talked about the huge risk of cyber threats to small businesses before. And while Windows 10 took some big steps in the right direction with its own built-in real-time malware and virus protection, Windows Defender, small businesses have still been suffering the inordinate costs of lax threat protection.

VBS

VBS, or virtualization-based security, powers a number of security features relating to a processor’s ability to create a buffer between the system and the world. This virtualization is not only supported on newer chips but would also create a large performance impact on older chips. This is one of the reasons Windows 11 has such high system requirements.

Should I Upgrade to Windows 11?

When we talk about new technology, we’re always thinking about our customers and how they’ll benefit from it. We understand that investments into solving future problems are difficult to make when budgets are tight.

In the case of Windows 11, if your PC supports it, you’re safe to upgrade without thinking too much about it. To see if you’re supported, check your system compatibility with the PC Health Check tool provided by Microsoft. Don’t be disappointed if your computer doesn’t pass; the likelihood is that you’ll fail this test. All but the most recent PCs meet Microsoft’s stringent requirements, and many of our own trusted workhorses don’t make the cut.

If your PCs fail to make the grade, you may want to consider upgrading, especially if they are essential to operations, as Microsoft’s security resources will be gradually shifted to Windows 11. Microsoft will continue to support Windows 10 into 2025, however, it stands to reason that feature and security updates will be reduced as Microsoft continues to shift its attention towards its latest operating system.

Take a look at your upgrade schedule and see how far you are from an upgrade. If you’re more than halfway through your current devices’ lifespans, you may want to consider whether the additional security provided by Windows 11 is worth bringing the schedule forward. Give us a yell if you’re not yet sure.

Windows 11

What if you’re not upgrading?

It may be that your computers aren’t that old and you’re unable to justify upgrading them. We get it. But as per the ASCS recommendations, get some help!

We have extensive experience in protecting businesses like yours, partnering with Sophos for both on-site and on-device security. Sophos is an intelligent and evolving system that is constantly updated—and updates itself—to respond to new threats.

Grab a free trial to Sophos Endpoint today!

Love Local Business

Love Local Business

Small businesses like us play an important role in supporting our local communities. We love what we do and that makes our products and services as good as they can be, and we know that’s the same for many of you out there. Buying and consuming locally is investing in your own community, in originality, and in quality. 

Local businesses are doing it hard right now with COVID restrictions affecting bottom lines as well as forcing us to operate differently. We need to stand by each other more than ever! 

Why is consuming locally the best? 

Shopping locally supports your local economy because your money stays in the communityThat’s good for you, your business, and your family too. Here are some ways buying locally helps you out: 

1. Strengthen your local economy 

When a small business is strong there will be flow-on effects in the community. For every dollar spent at a local business, three are returned to the local economy. People are employed locally, more rates and taxes are received, and profits are spent locally. Much more money gets back into the community than if products were bought from larger companies.

2. Reduce environmental impacts

When you consume locally you are helping the environment in a few ways. Your products don’t get shipped, reducing emissions and pollutionLess packaging waste is also produced. Your food will be fresher, but it’s also an investment for the next generations. 

3. Personalized customer service 

We’ve really lost the personal touch over the last few decades. But as a small business owner, you’re one of the last champions of this better way to relate with customers. Buying locally will help spread this better way to live. Workers at smaller-sized businesses typically feel higher job satisfaction and are more ready to help customers in any way they can.

4. Support creativity and personalization 

Large corporations tend to follow trends and do things by numbers. Finding something unique and different is hard. Instead, when you set your sights locally, you’ll be able to find unique products with the integrity and soul that are often so missing from our lives.

There are lots of local producers who put imbue their products with their experience and creativity. Take time to visit a local market sometime and you’ll see how thriving the movement is. So many people are producing quality local products. It’ll make your day.

There might be an increase in price but think of this as an investment in your community, rather than an additional and unnecessary expense. Quality over quantity  

How we support local

At KeyTech we understand the struggles of small-scale businesses because we’ve dealt with them too. We’re always on the lookout for ways to support you – fellow members of our local small business ecosystem. 

We do this with the products we buy The coffees that we drink every morning (and afternoon) are from Red Cup Coffee in Darra, a local business that has various types of coffee as well as coffee machines. Thanks to All Purpose Workwear in Sumner, our uniforms are a customized design. Our office signage looks great thanks to EG.design’s, Caloundra, quality work. 

Introducing Love Local Brisbane 

But we want to do more to support our community, as well as our customers, so we’ve launched Love Local, a Linked In group. We hope you’ll join and tell us, and everyone, what services you provide. It’s time we stopped seeing this as self-promotion and started investing in each other.  

Small Business Focus: Eg.Design

Small Business Focus: Eg.Design

Starting in 2020 and finishing up this year, we embarked on a rebrand, turning Key Communications into KeyTech.

We had some help, with a few companies bringing our new name and logo into the real world. Here’s a little about eg.design, a Sunshine Coast design & print small business. They printed and installed our office signage, and did a good job of it too.

We’re hoping to feature more of the great business we work with, and our great customers, so we reached out to Nelly and asked her a bit about her and Clayton’s experience running Eg over the years.

(Photo: Ben, Ben and Clayton)

How long have you been in business

15 years?

What were you doing before that, and what prompted the change?

We were both in the motor industry, I was selling motorcycle accessories, studying spare parts interpretation and also studying graphic design. Clayton was selling cars.

What kind of growth have you seen over that time?

Particularly recently, we’ve seen a lot of businesses with a need to change tract and create new business models to keep their business working through Covid, which in turn has brought us work with re-branding & new business start up.

What have been the major challenges you’ve faced?

A major challenge in our industry is that most jobs are so different from one another.

There’s the graphic design side where the style that you need to create varies so much from business to business and where you need to be creative on demand.

It’s especially true with signage: the methods we use to create then install them just varies so much. So having a system in place, let alone set pricing, is mostly not possible. Every job needs to be individually carefully quoted which is very time consuming also. The amount of work we need to put in to even quote a job is huge.

Work flow is also tricky because it can’t be regulated. When it’s on its on!

What have been your major wins?

A major win for us is how we started this little business and it has grown to what it has by mainly word of mouth. We take a lot of pride in our work and are proud of what we’ve made it.

What, to you, is the best thing about running a business?

It Keeps us busy and we chose our own career path, it’s a very creative industry and we thoroughly enjoy it (95% of the time!!)! We do work full time but we still get to choose our own hours – did someone say ‘early Friday knock-off beers?’ haha!

 

9 Small Business Marketing Trends to Follow in 2022

9 Small Business Marketing Trends to Follow in 2022

At KeyTech we believe small businesses need real-world Marketing plans that push them towards their ultimate objectives. So we had a look at growing trends, checked some expert opinions, and came up with some best practices for a business with perhaps a limited marketing budget.

1. Virtual events

2020 changed our lives. The unusual online meetings stopped being unusual, becoming an everyday thing. In 2021, finding opportunities in the restrictions, marketers have taken those changes and created new ways for businesses to reach the world. In 2022 marketing will only continue to evolve to match the needs of restricted real-world business, and the opportunities of online business.

This year we have seen big brands such as Channel and Apple present their new collections and products with online-only events. These kinds of virtual events have exploded in the last year. Although many of us are feeling virtual exhaustion right now, there will still be a place for these types of events, even after we resume the events in person because they are hugely more accessible – for example, they are inclusive to people regardless of location or ability.

You’ve probably come across at least a few in the last year: a virtual event can be as simple as a live stream, a webinar, or as complex as a thousand user conference. The reason for the new umbrella term ‘virtual event’ is most likely the fact that these technologies are replacing real-world events. Whatever you call them, they’re here to stay and will undoubtedly grow in our collective consciousness.

Virtual Event

Are virtual events right for you?

For many businesses, especially those that relied on physical-events pre-covid, virtual events are a no-brainer. But there’s also a rising opportunity for other businesses to get into the event space, seeing as virtual events represent the knocking down of the huge barriers to entry. So It is a good time to ask yourself if your customers might appreciate or enjoy seeing more of you, and of each other. What could you teach them as a group, and what could they learn from each other, or help each other with? Getting into the middle of this exchange might help position you more as an essential business partner to your customers.

Let’s say you want to try. How might you go about it? Fortunately, it’s not too hard.

Teams live events

If you want to try a virtual event for your business, here we can help with Microsoft Teams Live.

The first thing to think about is what type of experience you want to provide. Microsoft Teams’ Live Events is a solid platform to hold any type of event. However, if what you are looking for are participation and interaction, then unfortunately Teams isn’t your best shot.

Events that run through Microsoft Teams tend to be very formal. Attendees cannot verbally communicate with other attendees or even presenters. The good thing is that this platform does offer a question-and-answer panel so that attendees can submit comments and/or questions during the live event.

If you expect a maximum of 10,000 attendees for your event, and if it does not last more than four hours, Live Events is the platform for you! It’s also worth noting that up to 15 concurrent events can run on a single Microsoft 365 tenancy.

2. Personalized artificial intelligence

Artificial intelligence has advanced over the years. Today it’s considered a great opportunity for businesses, companies, industries, and even nations.

AI ​ for marketing seeks to understand consumer behavior: search patterns and interactions. Examples of marketing AI are chatbots.

Mastercard created a Facebook Message bot that uses natural language processing software to decipher what the customer wants and respond as if it were a real person, automating the handling of even some complex queries.

Is a chatbot right for you?

If your business receives a lot of customer inquiries, you could start by expanding a simple FAQ page and. The next step would be integrating those questions into your messaging service, such as your Facebook page. A full-blown, AI-powered chatbot is understandably out of reach for many small businesses, but if you are constantly interacting with customers in predictable ways, it might be worth a look. These Australian companies can help create a fluid chatbot experience for your website.

3. Programmatic advertising

Do you spend a lot on advertising? The same kind of AI advances is helping people manage their ad spending.

One of the new things this year is using AI to automate ad buying so you can target more specific audiences. Real-time bidding, for example, is a type of programmatic ad buying. Automating through bots or specific programs will help you to be much more efficient and faster, which means higher conversions and lower customer acquisition costs.

4. Personalization

Although artificial intelligence and programming are a new Marketing trend going into 2022, the truth is that the personalization of a brand will always remain the key.

If you want to stand out in 2022, you need to personalize your marketing. This means personalized content, products, emails, and the rest.

Statistics show that 63% of consumers are very upset with generic advertising blasts. Customizing your content and offering a real experience will increase your sales.

An example of this super customization is EasyJet that launched a data-driven email campaign that uses customers’ travel history with the airline to create personalized stories, which then suggest where they would like to travel next. Approximately 12.5 million unique emails have been sent, which had a 25% higher click-through rate than non-personalized emails.

Another successful example is Starbucks, which uses a gamified mobile app that relies on data like purchase history and location to be as personal as possible. The app allows customers to personalize their drinks and encourages further use with its rewards system, which skyrocketed its revenue to $ 2.56 billion.

Starbucks

Starbucks, which uses a gamified mobile app

5. Video Marketing

Video marketing is still exponentially increasing going into 2022. Forecasts say it will be even more important in 5 or 10 years. Businesses report higher conversion rates with video marketing.

Video is a key factor in decision-making. 52% of consumers say that watching product videos gives them more confidence in making buying decisions online. Video is the simplest and clearest way for customers to obtain information about a product or service.

If your site includes video, it is 50 times more likely (50 times!) To generate organic search results compared to text. Not only do people find video content super attractive, but Google also supercharges the SEO of pages that include videos.

The great thing about video content is that it makes it easy for your content to be reformatted for other platforms. For example, information from a video can be transcribed and used as content for a blog. Adapt and share that video on other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram TV or even cut out small bites for Instagram Reels or TikTok. Another idea is to use the audio from that video to have an episode of a podcast.

Lsd statistics show that the opening rates of an email campaign are higher if you include the word video in the subject, so consumers are drawn to it.

Live video is particularly popular with many companies who use it for interviews, product/service demos, and behind-the-scenes glimpses of the brand, such as office life, how products are made, company events, etc.

But Should you bother with video in your own small business?

You might feel that it’s something only larger businesses would invest in. And you’re right, in a sense. But there are many ways to do video, and having a smaller marketing budget does not mean you have to miss out completely.

Have a look at your competitors, the ones you know are a similar size to you. If you see any video in their marketing, this is a big warning that you’ll need to start with video just to remain competitive. If they don’t have a video, great, this could be an opportunity for you.

Your first videos could be a topical discussion with an expert on your team, embedded in your blogs. You can do it with a phone – as long as you and your business look professional, consumers can forgive underproduced video as it’s becoming very normalized. In short, underproduced is better than no video.

They could be as simple as a walk-through of your premises, introducing yourselves and what you do. Especially for small businesses, whether b2b or b2c, customers appreciate realness and integrity.

This is unless part of what makes your business work is shine and polish, in which case you probably should invest in professional video production.

6. Influencer Marketing

Influencer marketing is not a trend. A Mediakix study predicts that the ad spends for influencer marketing could reach $ 10 billion by next year:

The reason for the success of influencer marketing is due to trust, naturalness, and personalization. Consumers trust the opinion of an influencer on a brand or product much more than they trust brands themselves. The trend is clear and 58% of people have bought a new product in the last six months due to the recommendation of an influencer.

Influencer marketing will also be affected by artificial intelligence. Every year AI makes it easier to find the right influencers to partner with by identifying those with better engagement, fewer fake followers, and a higher likelihood of generating a positive return on investment (ROI).

You might consider working with an influencer if your market is an active consumer of influencer content on social media. You’ll still need to propose a campaign, with a defined period of collaboration, and whether you want to bet on micro or macro-influencers.

7. Messages through apps

Social messaging apps are not just for sending emojis to your friends: look at these numbers:

Companies are increasingly using social networks to interact with their customers. On Facebook Messenger alone, an average of 10 billion messages is recorded between people and companies per month.

These statistics show the popularity of social messaging applications. It makes sense to market your company’s products and services where your potential customers are.

Social apps allow you to send messages to your clients directly and in a personalized way. It will also allow your clients to have direct and natural contact with you in a medium they are already comfortable with.

63% of customers return to the website of a company that has live chat. The idea of this type of strategy is to cultivate contacts, deliver information efficiently, increase sales, find your potential customers, and provide real and immediate support and assistance.

8. Smart Speakers & voice search

In 2020, 50% of all searches carried out were by voice and this trend is growing. 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines.

Smart speaker purchases almost tripled between the first quarter of 2018 and the second quarter of 2019, from 9.36 million units to 26.1 million units.

Voice search plays a growing role in providing all the relevant information that people need. Many brands are already including voice search in their digital marketing strategies. This especially focuses on content strategies and actions applied to SEO. It is therefore about thinking about the passages that people will speak instead of writing. Remember to write in a conversational tone, focus on getting featured snippets on Google, and think of keywords people will be talking about instead of typing.

9. Sale on Social Networks

The integration of e-Commerce into social platforms is another Digital Marketing trend for 2022. Platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest are working to make it possible to buy from the publishers via tags, so the transaction can happen without having to leave the app.

It’s definitely a new twist on Social Networking, making them not only a place to find leads but to convert them as well.

Does this mean anything to your business? If you know your market is active on social media, and you offer products that can be sold online, you should probably start looking at your options here, so you can potentially cut out the middle man (advertising).

Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

Cybersecurity Tips for Small Businesses

CYBERSECURITY FOR SMALL BUSINESSES 

The idea that only large companies or governments are attacked by hackers is a misconception. The latest studies show that 22% of small businesses were attacked cybernetically in 2020. Most hackers are opportunists. Large companies have a much larger budget more complicated to access. Small businesses on the other hand are the perfect target for hackers.

The positive part is that investing in cybersecurity protection strategies will help keep hackers away from your business.

Impacts of cyberattacks on small businesses:

A cyber-attack can have a great impact on a small business. In fact, 60% of the small businesses that suffered an attack closed their doors within 6 months after. Some consequences of a cyber-attack on your business might be:

  • Financial losses – because they have accessed your accounts.
  • Financial losses – because you must halt core business operations while addressing other impacts, and while fixing your security.
  • Upfront costs to security experts to help secure your IT infrastructure in the short term.
  • Losing your database/s.
  • Damage to your reputation by compromising your customer data, forcing you to disclaim your vulnerabilities and failings to protect their data.

Cyber Security Solutions for Small Businesses

Some solutions that can improve your security are:

Identify your vulnerabilities

Determine what your vulnerabilities are in order to know where to focus. Identify the most important data your company keeps. that might be your client database, your intellectual property, inventory, or financial information, etc.

Analyze your processes

Look at your workflows, including yours and that of your staff. Think about how you collect your information, where you store it, and how you delete that data. List all the points through which this data travels and each point where it could be leaked or stolen.

Analyze the consequences

Consider the results of a cybersecurity breach for you, your employees, your customers, and your partners. This is more to understand the risk.

Protect your equipment and devices

The second question is… Where do you store this data? The computers, mobiles, tablets, and other devices likely contain or access that important information. However, since these devices are connected to the Internet and a local network, they are vulnerable to attack.

Here are our guidelines to improve your security across the entire spectrum of your company’s IT systems.

Keep your software updated

A simple and safe way to keep your equipment safe is to regularly update the software of the systems you use.

Microsoft and other software companies are always looking for vulnerabilities in their software. When they find one, they release an update that fixes it for their users. Make sure you download these updates whenever they are released.

Protect yourself from viruses

Install anti-virus software on all computers in the office. Antivirus programs scan incoming email messages, as well as all files on your computer, and delete or quarantine any viruses that are found. Hackers are always creating new viruses, so you should update your antivirus frequently.

Accessing the Internet using a VPN is also a security enhancement. VPNs make tracking your computer or decrypting your data extremely difficult for hackers. A good VPN provider will also send you a security warning when you try to access suspicious URLs.

Set up a firewall

Most likely, your office devices are connected to a broadband Internet connection that is always active. Hackers are always probing these networks and looking for vulnerabilities to gain access to your computers.

Installing a firewall is the best way to avoid hackers. Firewalls allowing only authorized traffic into your network. A good firewall examines every packet of data that enters your network, makes sure it is legitimate, and filters out packets that it considers suspicious. Installing a firewall is a complicated process that should only be done by a qualified professional. This makes your job easier; all you need to do is talk to your system administrator and make sure your network is protected.

Precautions for laptops and mobiles

Laptops and mobiles are easy to access, as they are intended to be used outside the office. The risk information on these devices is high. Because you use these devices on public networks. We recommend a series of measures to protect your data; including using strong passwords and backing up data.

You must be prepared for a company mobile to be stolen or lost. If you use a cloud solution, look at the mobile device management features of your provider. The main cloud computing providers allow you to delete the account of a device that is lost.

Protect your data

No matter what type of business you run, your data is the core of the business. Without your customers’ contact information, your inventory, confidential information, and everything else, your business simply won’t be able to operate. Your data can be lost in a thousand ways: hardware can be damaged or broken, hackers can break into your system and take over, or you can suffer a natural disaster. Your objective, therefore, should be to insure yourself against a possible data loss by taking precautions against the worst consequences that it would have.

Online Payments

Recently we have begun the process of moving our customers into WisePay, a third party payment provider that will also give our customers historical easy access to their invoices and accounting with us, as well as plenty of payment options. Such a solution requires a bit of legwork to bring customers on board, but it’s certainly safer and potentially time-saving in the long run. Once up and running, it’ll take a load off the accounts team too.

Backups and backups

There are two types of backups. The first is a full backup of all the selected data, saved on another device or transferred to a different medium. The other is a gradual backup, which means adding new data to an existing backup.

The simplest and most efficient method is to combine the two. Perform a full backup periodically and a gradual backup every day in between. Another option is to do a full backup every night after business hours. It is crucial to check that your backups work and to understand how to restore the data.

There are many ways to back up your data. You can store them on a physical device such as a USB drive or secondary hard drive or store them in a shared folder on your network; you should also keep backups in a secure offsite location.

Unfortunately, storing your data in a specific physical location will not help you if a natural disaster or theft occurs there. The safest thing is to invest in a backup system in the cloud.  At KeyTech we have a SAS Backup Service that allowing cloud-based collaboration with total security.

Encrypt your information

Most small businesses store their information in a cloud. Some can be a platform like SAAS (Software as a Service) or in a Storage System like Dropbox. When choosing where to store your business information you must examine its security measures.

There are measures to ensure that your data is even more secure in a cloud. For example, encrypt your data. Several programs can help you do this.

Protect your passwords

The most common way to authenticate the identity of whoever accesses your network or your important data is through a password. Unlike other high-tech authentication systems like smart cards, fingerprint scanners, or iris recognition, passwords are useful because they cost nothing and are easy to use. However, they are always susceptible to brute force attacks.

Hackers have developed sophisticated automated tools that allow them to crack simple passwords in a matter of minutes. Another way to access your passwords is to use fraudulent methods like phishing. Pishing is a method in which hackers pose as an official entity (for example Google or Amazon) to trick people into giving them their passwords. It is important that you keep updating your passwords, that you do not keep them in sight, and that you try to create a strong password that is not easily accessible. Creating a stronger password is not that difficult. Use a password tool like this one, which tells you how secure your password is and how long it would take a hacker to crack it.

Set access levels and permissions

You must take steps to restrict access to your System. For example, determine access levels and only give people access to what they need, such as installing software – the top level being your systems administrator.

If you’re using Windows, you can assign different permission levels to users based on their roles within the company, and if a staff member is absent for a long period or has left the company, remove their access and permissions as soon as possible.

Be careful when browsing the Internet

When you and your staff surf the Internet, activities are tracked in various subtle and unnoticeable ways. The activity is usually recorded by third parties without any consent. Your employees could browse dangerous web pages that steal your company information. Your personal or business information could be compromised if it is entered on web pages through an unencrypted connection. Set a web use policy that restricts web browsing for personal purposes. Using a good firewall will also help reduce this risk.

Protect confidential information created by remote workers

Many small businesses work with freelancers who work remotely. Remote workers can pose a risk to your cybersecurity. You must know that the networks they use for their work are secure. For example, they can log into your office network and work from there, using remote tools such as Windows’ remote desktop connection feature.

Employee training

Employees can leave your business vulnerable to an attack. Research shows that 43 percent of data loss stems from internal employees who either maliciously or carelessly give cybercriminals access to your networks.

Many scenarios could result in employee-initiated attacks. These can be an employee losing a work tablet or giving away login credentials. They can also include opening fraudulent emails, which deploys viruses on the network.

To protect against threats from within, invest in cybersecurity training for your employees. Educate them what they should do if they get for example a suspicious email.

It is important to encourage a culture of cybersecurity within your company since a single breach could cost your company millions. It should also be a priority for all departments within your organization, not just IT, although your IT experts must be given responsibility and authority to identify and minimize risk. When everyone takes cybersecurity seriously together, you’ll have a much higher chance of success.

Investing in Cyberseciruty

Cybersecurity is a preventative strategy: The fact is, all small businesses face a relatively high risk of being attacked. But even with a modest investment in defenses, you should be able to avoid and/or minimize most attacks in 2021 and keep your business moving on up as it should be.