5 Cybersecurity Questions to Ask Your Team

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The more that technology advances, the more cyber attacks are committed against businesses of all sizes and in all fields of work. Your business is no exception. As you rely more on the internet and on machines to store data, information, and other sensitive material, you need to be aware of the cybersecurity threats that exist to your company.

While this threat may seem overwhelming and daunting, the risks to your company are indeed manageable ones. When talking to your IT team, whether they are workers your company hired or from outside IT firms, the following are 5 questions that you should be asking these professionals to understand your business’s risk and cybersecurity situation:

1. How is our company’s top leadership informed about cyber risks? 

Your IT department must communicate with the rest of the company about the risks of being the victim of a cyber attack. Understanding the current risks and what the IT department is doing to mitigate those risks is vital to keeping your company’s information safe. Ultimately, the CEO is the one responsible for any “risks” that are present for his or her company. They must be informed in order to make smart decisions about how the company’s information can be best protected.

2. What is the current business impact of cybersecurity risks on our company and how do we plan to address these risks? 

CEOs and other top company executives must understand the cybersecurity risks that their company faces. They should also be informed of what the IT professionals that work for the company are doing to mitigate these risks and keep the company information safe. Knowing this information and constantly communicating updates can keep anyone from making poor decisions. That is if panic ever does strike.

3. Does our cybersecurity program implement the best and latest practices that keep up with industry standards? 

CEOs and other top company executives should be kept up-to-date on industry standards in cybersecurity. Additionally, how their company’s practices stack up against those standards. If the company is not up-to-date on the industry standards, then they must know what the plan is from the IT department to get the company there. Being up-to-date on industry standards for cybersecurity is vital to keeping your company’s information as safe as possible from people who would do you harm if they got ahold of that information.

4. What cybersecurity threats does your IT department identify each week? 

CEOs and other top company officials should be kept up to date on the latest cybersecurity threats facing their company. Ideally, these updates are given on at least a weekly basis. Updates should include recent threats and what has been done to limit those threats. Additionally, what new threats have popped up (if any), and what is being done to handle those threats?

5. How far-reaching is our cyber incident response plan? How often do we test it?

Despite your IT department’s best attempts to keep your company’s information safe, if something such as a data breach were to happen, what would the response be? It’s important for the CEO and higher-ups to understand what will be done if such a security breach happens. First, the plan is explained to the higher-ups. Then, they should be informed of how often the plan is tested to ensure that it is thorough and effective.

These are 5 questions that you should be asking your IT company. Thus, ensure that your business is as safe from cybersecurity threats as possible. Actively having a plan in place to protect your company’s information is key. It will keep your business from being a target of any sort of cybersecurity threat. Moreover, having a plan in case your company is the target of an attack is also vital. Despite your best intentions, cybersecurity breaches can happen. How you react can help control the extent of how much more severe you make the problem. Performing rash actions in the event of a cyber attack is never a good idea.

For more information on questions you should be asking your IT team, please feel free to contact us at Blutwater Technologies for further assistance.

5 Ways to Step Up Your Company’s Cyber Security

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Cyber security is more important than ever in the world we live in today.

There are an increasing number of hackers who are eager to get into your company or small business’s information and use that information to do damage to either your company and/or your employees.

While no security system is completely foolproof, there are many measurable steps that your company can take to keep your information as safe as possible from those who would use it in a criminal manner.

Understand & Identify Cyber Security Threats & Evolving Defense

It’s no secret that there are more threats in the cyber world than ever before. That means that the “set and forget” mentality does not work now the way it did in the past. It is crucial that you instill good practices in your company ensuring that employees are aware of always updating security measures such as firewalls and antivirus software on your company computers and machines to keep your information as secure as possible.

You will also have to consider if employees work at an office location or work remotely as this will affect the types of safeguards that will serve each type of worker best.

The following are 5 great steps that you can take to start upgrading and increasing your company’s cyber security in an attempt to keep your company’s private and sensitive information as safe as possible:

1. Use the Power of the Cloud:

Many companies and businesses are finding out that the cloud is a very useful tool to use when it comes to protecting a company’s private information. Using the cloud allows the company or business to use app security services that help safeguard and protect their information better than they would be able to if they just stored it on (unprotected) electronic devices. It also allows you to only share sensitive information within your network of people who are authorized to access it. If you have security in place, you can investigate possible breaches early and catch these infractions so you can act on any threats to your security in a timely manner.

2. Create Cyber Security with a Unified Threat Management System:

Using a unified threat management system to help protect your company’s private information can help you avoid cyber security breaches. The main key to making this work is to have IT professionals who are specifically assigned and tasked with protecting the company’s information from such attacks. The best way most companies can do this is to outsource their IT work to an experienced company such as Bluwater Technologies. Using a third-party to help protect your information helps free up your employees to focus on other tasks and ensures that these employees at the IT firm have the proper knowledge, training, and certification to successfully implement this unified threat management system that they are using. This partnership can protect your information as closely as possible and help ensure that any breaches to your data are caught and handled immediately.

3. Invest in Quality IT Partners & Support:

There is a cost to hiring quality IT partners and support such as Bluwater Technologies to help manage your cyber security, however, that cost is a lot less than the cost of a severe cyber security breach would be. Allowing people who have the appropriate training and certifications to handle your business’s private information helps keep you safer than allowing employees to try to protect information on their own. Here at Bluwater Technologies, we are here to work with your business and protect your sensitive information to lower your risk of cyber security threats in the future!

4. Train Your Employees in Cyber Security:

In addition to outsourcing your unified threat management system through a partnership such as the one with Bluwater Technologies, train your own employees to spot cyber security threats on the devices they use each day. Having them report anything they may notice to IT specialists can help them catch any breaches that occur early or fix anything that may lead to a breach of information in the future. Emphasizing the protection of your company’s information and fostering good practices of protecting business information (i.e. Never leave unattended workstations unlocked, be sure to shred sensitive information, etc.) will help keep your information as safe as possible from cyber security threats and those who wish to use sensitive information to harm your company or business.

5. Create a Complete Business Training Program:

When you are creating a program to protect your company’s data, be proactive and include everyone from the top to the bottom of your company in the training. Ensuring that everyone knows proper practices to protect sensitive company information can help lead to less cyber security threats in the future.  This will include training employees in areas not specifically related to technology to spot threats as well. This would include employees in departments such as those that work with insurance or in human resources.

In the end, the best way to protect your company’s private information is to partner with a specialized IT company such as Bluwater Technologies whose job is to protect your company’s information from those who wish to use it to cause you harm.

Use Bluwater Technologies to Protect Your Business’s Information

Bluwater Technologies is a premier IT firm that has employees who are appropriately trained and have the credentials and knowledge as well as the experience to handle your company’s sensitive information and protect you from cyber security breaches. Our job is to protect your company and keep your information safe.

For more information on hiring Bluwater Technologies to protect your company’s private information, please feel free to contact us today.

How Can IT Support for Small Businesses Help You Improve Customer Service?

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Customer service is critical to your company’s success. Recent data reported at Small Business Trends shows that some form of poor customer service is responsible for over half the negative complaints small businesses receive.

One function of strong IT support for small businesses is to enhance customer service in a number of ways, including the following:

  • Minimizing downtime for the business website. Customers need consistent access to the site, for example to contact the business, buy products, leave comments and reviews, sign into their accounts, download forms, and look up important information.
  • Gathering and analyzing information about customers. Businesses can better serve their customers and respond effectively to concerns and complaints by having a clearer picture of who their customers are. They need to understand the customers both as individuals and as members of a larger group. IT support professionals can help your business implement powerful solutions for managing customer relationships, gathering, organizing, and analyzing data from customers. They can help you maintain databases of critical customer information.
  • Establishing reliable ways for customers to reach you (and for you to reach out to them). For example, IT support professionals can help you establish and maintain a reliable business email service and Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions.

If your business enjoys strong IT support, customers can also benefit. Your employees are able to work more productively and efficiently. Both customer and employee data are more secure and, thanks to reliable backup and recovery measures, are less vulnerable to permanent loss.

Don’t hesitate to contact us to further discuss how we can help you improve your customer service performance, along with strengthening your business operations in many other respects.

Computer Tip Of The Day: Using Two-Factor Authentication

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Two-factor authentication can provide your workplace with an extra foundation of security. It requires extra information beyond just a username and your password to access computer accounts.

Two-Factor Authentication for Emails

Two-step authentication will require a combination of a username and a password, in addition to an extra piece of information that includes a security code that will be sent to a mobile device. Adding an extra layer of security to an email account is one of the biggest improvements that can be made. 

Workplace Social Media Accounts

We are aware of how popular social media accounts are in the business world, especially due to their ability to attract customers from across the world. It is important that the proper steps are taken to secure social media sites. Two-step authentication can also be used to secure social media accounts.

It is very important to always be cyber aware, even if you find it to be an inconvenience. The extra steps you take to secure your account can be the difference between having a successful business and a business that fails because it was not properly secured in the online world.

If there are various online accounts that need to be managed, it is greatly important that you take the proper steps to secure online accounts, customer data, and other vital business information.

Two-factor authentication will generally include one or more of the following:

  • One of your physical characteristics, such as your fingerprint.
  • A one-time security code that can be sent to your mobile device or email address that you will enter after you have entered your username and password. The login process will not be completed until the security code has been entered. 
  • Another layer of security that can be used for identity verification is challenge questions. When choosing challenge questions, we encourage you to choose questions that may be difficult for others to answer. Avoid choosing simple challenge questions that hackers could find the answers to by searching online, especially on social media.

Two-factor authentication is becoming a popular choice for many account holders in all industries. Contact us today for more information on two-factor authentication and how you can become more cyber-aware.

Upgrading the Small Business

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Successful businesses usually start off as visions to be realized only through a duration of hard work. Regardless of whether the business is started in the home or in a more industrialized area, however, a successful business will generally grow and when that happens, in most cases, the computer technology needs of the business will change — computer equipment will need to be upgraded. Entrepreneurs, particularly those running relatively small businesses, typically start off with gear that’s being stored in a closet or already sitting on a desktop. If there’s strong speculation that profits will be coming in or that upgrading equipment will help generate more profit, it’s time to upgrade computer equipment. 

Coming to an understanding of what equipment is needed does not have to be a painstaking task. Neither does learning how to use it. Learning to use computer equipment could be considered a business expense at first, whether it’s time or money being spent. But once minimal knowledge is obtained, it will pay off in the long run. Consequently, saving costs on having to outsource technical support to computer-support firms. There is no exact science, however, on how or when the assistance of computer-support technicians may be used. Through self-study, one may learn what is needed only as it becomes necessary. Whatever the case, the internet is generally the best friend of the small business owner when starting the business. A plethora of information exists therein that can save on having to consult computer-help firms.

Managed Services

In many cases, entrepreneurs starting out don’t have time to research some of the money-saving bits of information that can be obtained from the internet to efficiently run the computer equipment they’re using. In some cases, self-managing computer equipment can also bring on damaging results. This is due to a general lack of insight as to how the technology works. Bluewater Technologies specializes in starting, building, and upgrading successful businesses. Please contact us if assistance is needed in the management of computer equipment.