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Could Business Owners Be Doing More to Protect Themselves from Cyber Crime, New Survey Says “Yes”

In September 2017, The Alternative Board conducted a survey of hundreds of entrepreneurs to find out how cyber security is affecting small businesses in the 21st century. The survey asked questions about the business owner’s past experiences with cyber security, their fears, and the precautionary measures they’re taking against cybercriminals.

According to the results, business owners do express considerable concern regarding the security of their business against cyber attacks. In fact, 62% of the business owners surveyed agree “cybersecurity breaches can cripple any business.”

Despite this concern, it seems business owners aren’t taking enough precautionary measures. According to the results, nearly half of all CEOs have faced some form of cyber crime, yet less than half feel 100% prepared against them.

Today’s blog post seeks to reveal where business owners are falling short in terms of cybersecurity and how they can remedy those gaps.

  1. Business owners are spending on average $8,933 a year on cyber protection.

    According to a 2016 study from Small Business Trends, 60% of small businesses that faced a security breach went out of business within six months. Even more frightening, the aftermath of such attacks amounted to approximately $879,582 worth of damages.

    Needless to say, $8,933 seems like a very small investment when compared to nearly $900,000. Considering 31% of the entrepreneurs surveyed are committing a minimum of $10,000 to cybersecurity – it’s important to ask yourself, “Is your small business spending enough?”

    To answer your question, Techvera offers up the following strategy: “Overall, businesses seem to spend between 4-6% of their revenue on IT, and this range is recommended by CIO Magazine.”

    Take a look at your IT spending and see if it’s hitting or missing the mark. Considering 24% of business owners don’t feel any less vulnerable to cyber attacks than other business owners, this can at least provide the assurance that you’re on the same page.

  2. Business owners are using time as an excuse to avoid securing their businesses.

    When asked how safe they consider their business from cyber-threats and cyber-attacks, only 5% of the entrepreneurs surveyed said 100%. Yet, 40% still do not have a cybersecurity response plan in place. Why?

    The majority of business owners agree the number one obstacle in the way of fully committing to cybersecurity best practices is time (43%), followed by resources (32%), expertise (30%), and capital (29%).

    Time should never be an excuse for getting done what needs to get done for your business. As a business owner, if you are not able to prioritize the items you consider important for your profitability and long term success, there’s a good chance you’re getting yourself too involved in day-to-day operations and not properly outsourcing.

    In fact, 39% of the business owners surveyed believe that they are responsible for cyber security for their business, when that could easily be outsourced to an IT firm or consultant. “Although information security is a stressful matter, consulting with a professional IT services firm instead of trying to handle things in house is a smart move,” says security expert Danielle Valliere.

  3. Only 23% of Entrepreneurs consider themselves likely to purchase cybersecurity insurance in the next year.

    75% of business owners agree a cyber attack would affect the profitability of their business for some period of time, but less than a quarter are investing in insurance against it.

    According to QuickBooks Resource Center, “In truth, anyone that hosts a website that interacts with the public at large is a candidate for cyber liability insurance. This includes commercial businesses and website publishers. If you conduct even a portion of your business online or ask customers to trust you or a third-party vendor with their information, you should seriously consider purchasing cyber insurance.”

If you count yourself among the 95% of business owners who don’t feel 100% satisfied with your current cybersecurity protection plan, than you may want to consider increasing your budget, outsourcing relevant tasks, and investing in insurance. Developing a cyber security protection and response plan is one of the many topics you can discuss with a board of fellow business owners through The Alternative Board.

Get in touch with a local TAB franchise if you are interested in discussing cyber security or any other business topics with an advisory board, comprised of business owners just like you.

 

Recruiting through Social Media: A Quick Guide

recruiting on social media

Increasingly, businesses in search of talented job candidates are turning to social media as part of their overall recruitment strategy. “Social recruiting” seeks to leverage the power of various social media platforms to strengthen an employer brand, attract interest among qualified job-seekers, and build a pipeline of talent to tap into for future growth.

If your business already has an active social media profile, it’s no great leap to expand into social recruiting. If not, you may be losing out in the “talent wars” to other, more nimble competitors.

Here’s a quick primer on essentials related to social recruiting for your business:

Promote your brand on all platforms. Everything you post on your company’s website and social media platforms—from blog posts to company news, images and videos—should be filtered through the lens of brand awareness and company culture. Always gauge the potential impact of your content through the eyes of prospective employees. Is what you’re posting likely to attract them or turn them off? Are you portraying your business as a place where people would like to work or are you discouraging further interest?

Seek out and establish relationships with influencers. Just as it’s important to engage in influencer marketing, so you can boost your recruitment efforts by building ties with influencers in the realm of social recruiting. Seek out industry influencers with sizable networks, share their content and offer content of your own. As the relationships grow, you can begin touting job opportunities in your company—reaching a far greater audience than might otherwise be possible.

Get active on millennial-focused platforms. Sure, it’s important to be active on Facebook and Twitter, but you won’t necessarily generate a lot of interest there among millennials. Take time to explore Snapchat, Instagram and other sites where millennials “hang out.” Building your presence on these sites can result in greater brand awareness among the job-seekers you most wish to attract.

Encourage your current workforce to generate leads. Employee referrals are always a promising source for potentially qualified job candidates. Take this a step further by encouraging employees to promote open job opportunities via their own social media networks.

“Simply talking casually about enjoying a company vacation, feeling supported at work, or being glad about something that the employer is doing for them can make an impression on their followers,” notes Business.com. “But you want it to be genuine.”

Look to the future. Social recruiting bears only a cursory resemblance to recruiting employees “back in the day.” In today’s era, cultivating relationships is just as important as lining up applicants for your latest job opening. Whether you expend your efforts on LinkedIn, Facebook or other sites, the key is nurturing a pipeline of qualified candidates—individuals who show an interest in your company by following you on social media, commenting on your posts, sharing content with others—and then reaching out to those candidates when the time is right.

In many ways, social media has dramatically altered the way business gets done. It’s also an increasingly useful resource for attracting the right people from the emerging talent pool and putting those talents to use in your company.

Want more advice on recruiting and retaining great employees? Find out if a TAB Board is right for you!