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Top Tips for Small Business Owners to Implement Technology

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Top Tips for Small Business Owners to Implement Technology


In the past, setting up your business only required you to find a product or service that was profitable.

However, today, if you do not rely sufficiently on technology, you won’t be able to grow your organization. There are several ways you can improve your company’s prospects using technology.

Focus on Fleet Management

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Using fleet tracking software can increase efficiency. A GPS tracking system can help you verify time cards of employees. They let you monitor and track your vehicles and drivers in real-time, and you can see when they start and stop vehicles. It is also possible to set up automatic reporting to make sure everyone is paid for the hours they have worked.

Implement the Right Tools for Workers

Time is a critical commodity of all companies, and you don’t want to waste it. However, it can be hard to keep track of activity so you stay as productive as possible. Luckily, there are many software tools that will help you track time, which can help you be more productive. These tools will help you focus on critical growth-building activities. Project management tools are also helpful in meeting client deadlines. These tools help you break down a larger project into smaller tasks that can then be assigned deadlines. These tools allow you to assign each task to a worker and keep an eye on overall progress.

Managing Finances

Staying on budget can become challenging if you are not proactive, so using a tool to create a budget keeps you from having to spend weeks creating your budget. There are free and paid tools out there, so you can figure out which one will be best for you. Accounting software can help you keep track of how much you are bringing in and how much you are spending. It can be less expensive than bringing on a full-time accountant. 

There are many tutorials on how to get these types of tools set up. Learning more about this kind of software lets you learn more about handling your business accounts. Another way you can implement technology into your operations is by using online invoicing services. If you have to have your customers send money to you directly, you may end up paying a lot in fees. Using online invoicing services allows you to create a safe way for your company to be paid.

Using Technology to Improve the Customer Experience

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Business owners get emails throughout the day, and you want to make sure you respond to each one in a timely fashion. If you are not keeping in contact with prospects, and anticipating what customers need, you won’t grow in the industry. There are lots of programs designed to help make email management a breeze. It is not hard to get it set up, and it can drastically improve customer support. Another way to improve the customer experience is by using social media. Using social media can help you answer questions and bring in more leads. Focusing on social media can solve many issues, so take some time to strengthen these channels.



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TECHNOLOGY

On email security in the era of hybrid working

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Cloud Computing News


With remote working the future for so many global workforces – or at least some kind of hybrid arrangement – is there an impact on email security we are all missing? Oliver Paterson, director of product management at VIPRE Security, believes so.

“The timeframe that people expect now for you to reply to things is shortened massively,” says Paterson. “This puts additional stress and pressure on individuals, which can then also lead to further mistakes. [Employees] are not as aware if they get an email with a link coming in – and they’re actually more susceptible to clicking on it.”

The cybercriminal’s greatest friend is human error, and distraction makes for a perfect bedfellow. The remote working calendar means that meetings are now held in virtual rooms, instead of face-to-face. A great opportunity for a quick catch up on a few emails during a spot of downtime, perhaps? It’s also a great opportunity for an attacker to make you fall for a phishing attack.

“It’s really about putting in the forefront there that email is the major first factor when we talk about data breaches, and anything around cyberattacks and ransomware being deployed on people’s machines,” Paterson says around education. “We just need to be very aware that even though we think these things are changing, [you] need to add a lot more security, methods and the tactics that people are using to get into your business is still very similar.

“The attacks may be more sophisticated, but the actual attack vector is the same as it was 10-15 years ago.”

This bears true in the statistics. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) found in its Phishing Activity Trends Report (pdf) in February that attacks hit an all-time high in 2021. Attacks had tripled since early 2020 – in other words, since the pandemic began. 

VIPRE has many solutions to this age-old problem, and the email security product side of the business comes primarily under Paterson’s remit. One such product is VIPRE SafeSend, which focuses on misaddressed emails and prevents data leakage. “Everyone’s sent an email to the wrong person at some point in their life,” says Paterson. “It just depends how serious that’s been.”

Paterson notes one large FMCG brand, where a very senior C-level executive had the same name as someone else in the business much lower down. Naturally, plenty of emails went to the wrong place. “You try and get people to be uber-careful, but we’ve got technology solutions to help with those elements as well now,” says Paterson. “It’s making sure that businesses are aware of that, then also having it in one place.”

Another part of the product portfolio is with EDR (endpoint detection and response). The goal for VIPRE is to ‘take the complexities out of EDR management for small to medium-sized businesses and IT teams.’ Part of this is understanding what organisations really want. 

The basic knowledge is there, as many organisational surveys will show. Take a study from the Enterprise Security Group (ESG) released in October in terms of ransomware preparedness. Respondents cited network security (43%), backup infrastructure security (40%), endpoint (39%), email (36%) and data encryption (36%) as key prevention areas. Many security vendors offer this and much more – but how difficult is it to filter out the noise?

“People understand they need an endpoint solution, and an email security solution. There’s a lot of competitors out there and they’re all shouting about different things,” says Paterson. “So it’s really getting down to the nitty gritty of what they actually need as a business. That’s where we at VIPRE try to make it as easy as possible for clients. 

“A lot of companies do EDR at the moment, but what we’ve tried to do is get it down to the raw elements that every business will need, and maybe not all the bells and whistles that probably 99% of organisations aren’t going to need,” Paterson adds.

“We’re very much a company that puts a lot of emphasis on our clients and partners, where we treat everyone as an individual business. We get a lot of comments [from customers] that some of the biggest vendors in there just treat them as a number.”

Paterson is speaking at the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo Global, in London on December 1-2 around the rising threat of ransomware, and how the security industry evolves alongside this threat. Having a multi-layered approach will be a cornerstone of Paterson’s message, and his advice to businesses is sound.

“Take a closer look at those areas, those threat vectors, the way that they are coming into the business, and make sure that you are putting those industry-level systems in place,” he says. “A lot of businesses can get complacent and just continue renewing the same thing over and over again, without realising there are new features and additions. Misdelivery of email is a massive one – I would say the majority of businesses don’t have anything in place for it.

“Ask ‘where are the risk areas for your business?’ and understand those more, and then make sure to put those protection layers in place to help with things like ransomware attacks and other elements.”

(Photo by Cytonn Photography on Unsplash)

Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.



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