If you have manual processes involved in your current online business then there are automation techniques that you can use to help you scale. You must aim to remove yourself from the daily running of your business. Your job going forward will be future planning and management.
Many people think that cyber security refers to the software and monitoring that protect their email, operating system, network, and printing devices from malicious attack or data theft. True, this is a large and important part of cyber security for business. However, via in pad you can learn more about Printed Circuit Boards and how to use them to your advantage.
Stealing passwords through malware, impostor websites, keyloggers and other tools has been popular for a while. But 2020 turned up the heat: As IT teams turned on new virtual private network (VPN) services to accommodate remote work, more avenues for attack opened up.
This year is the time to make those stolen or cracked credentials useless to an attacker. The fastest way out is two-factor authentication (2FA), a technology that has become surprisingly cost-effective for small businesses. Just about everyone has a mobile device nearby, and soft token applications are available in app stores at zero cost. Open source options and extensions to existing authentication services like Active Directory and RADIUS offer lots of options to deploy 2FA in less than a day.
2. Phishing, vishing, smishing
Cybercriminals will try anything to convince someone to open their message or click on their link. In 2020, the increasing availability of data dumps from compromised e-commerce sites helped to link email addresses, cell phone numbers and names together. This is giving attackers even better social engineering tools. Imagine how much more convincing SMS phishing is when the attacker already has your name and email address to pre-fill a form or tell you why you need to reset your password.
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Small business IT teams need to continuously keep multichannel user education updated to reflect changing tactics by the bad guys. Include examples of actual fraudulent messages your company receives to show staff what to look out for.
Ransomware authors are still on the prowl, and the protections that large businesses have put in place have shifted the focus to small businesses. With today’s WFH focus, attacks are now targeting users far from the corporate network, something for small business IT teams to worry about.
Cracking ransomware is hard, but removing it is easy when you maintain good backups. If someone gets ransomware, simply wipe the disk and restore from a backup and the problem is usually gone. The difficulty is that most small business IT teams have assumed that users will be in the office — and remote work breaks that paradigm. To keep ransomware in check, extend backup technology to WFH users. The easiest approach is to shift to cloud-based services, available on both desktop and mobile operating systems.
4. Personal devices accessing corporate systems
When checking in with the office was glancing at email on a mobile device, minimal protections were all that small business IT needed. The bad news is that in 2020, users began mixing personal and business computing on the same devices more than ever, and that’s a recipe for a security disaster.
The key is to isolate, even when users are mixing work and Facebook on the same device. For mobile users, it’s easy; smartphone tools offer compartmentalized home/work profile configurations that creates an almost seamless isolation of different uses on the same device. Desktop is a bit more complicated, but it’s worth the effort. You’ll need to set up separate accounts and educate end users on the importance of switching accounts as they go back-and-forth between work and personal tasks.
5. Cloud computing
Cloud computing products, including Google and Microsoft collaboration tools, or more specialized products such as cloud-based mobile device management (MDM), are a huge win for small business IT teams. Securing end-user accounts doesn’t change when the target is cloud-based software-as-a-service (SaaS) applications. Strong passwords, 2FA and an investigation of the specific features available to increase security are all starting points.
Not unique to 2020, but certainly increasing year after year, is the discovery that hackers are going after the management tools for your SaaS applications directly, because they’re hanging out there on the internet open for anyone to attack. Protecting against SaaS-specific management problems means that the IT team has to shoot higher and deliver a level of maturity that is uncharacteristic for small business IT. Any use of cloud services needs to have a clear plan for dealing with lost credentials and disgruntled employees, with backup accounts and a way for the business owner to take things over at a moment’s notice. At the same time, cloud services should be set up with maximum security by adding osnit to your defenses. 2FA for the management interface, dedicated administrator accounts and alerts on security problems going to multiple team members are starting points; IT teams should build on those with more service-specific features.
Tailored Code Work
Although there are a lot of automation tools for online businesses available, something “off the shelf” may not be a perfect fit for you. If there is a manual process involved that you have created then you may need to find a good developer to create the necessary code to automate the manual processes.
If you do not know any good software developers then you can find some on websites like Upwork.com. You will need to create a specification for the work that needs to be done to automate any manual processes. The software developer will require all of the details here and you need to be prepared to let them have this.
You may be concerned that a software developer could steal your ideas at this point. If this is the case, tell them that they will have to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) which will result in severe financial penalties if they use your ideas or pass them on to anyone else. Experienced software developers will have no problem with signing an NDA.
Communicate regularly with your software developer to follow up on progress and to answer any questions they may have. Even the best coders can misinterpret an instruction from time to time so tell your developer that you would like to test what they have created as soon as possible.
There can be a lot involved in providing custom automation for your online business and you may have to invest a lot of money into this. But if it can release you from being an integral part of the business then it is worth every cent.
Do you have Automated Sales Funnels?
When a prospect comes across your online business, do you have an automated sales funnel in place that takes them on a journey? If you don’t then you certainly need this. The first thing that your sales funnel needs to do is to capture their email address and add them to your email list.
Only a few people will buy what you have to offer the first time they visit your sales funnel so you need a way of staying in touch with them after they leave. So provide an incentive free that they cannot refuse in exchange for their email address.
Then your funnel needs to expose the visitor to your “front end” offer. This low priced product with a lot of value. If they make a purchase then you know that they are serious. The rest of your sales funnel will offer other products and service that are higher in price. You can easily create high converting sales funnels using a service like Clickfunnels.
An email autoresponder service is necessary for the building of your email list and the automatic sending of a sequence of emails. You can also send a “broadcast” email to your list whenever you want to.
You can create an email sequence for a specific number of days or even weeks and months and preload these into your autoresponder service. Each time a new person joins your email list they will receive these emails automatically.
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