Data breaches are costing enterprises an average of $1,23 million a year and SMEs $120 000 per cyber incident on average. The unfortunate reality is that these figures increase annually as we embrace the digital world and become increasingly connected.
Despite this, many decision-makers think that data security is the exclusive domain of the IT department and they do not need to worry about it. And, if you are an SME, the approach might be that those freely available anti-virus and internet security tools will be enough to keep your data safe. Sadly, this could not be further from the truth.
Technology has infiltrated almost all aspects of business today. And with more companies embracing the cloud and other hosted solutions, there is a growing awareness of the benefits of being able to access data irrespective of physical location and device used. The ubiquity of mobile devices mean employees are no longer office-bound.
The Wild West
But for all the advantages that this mobile lifestyle offers, how many have taken the time to think about effectively safeguarding their data on these devices (both business and personal)? Think about it this way – every mobile or other connected device that can access corporate data, is a likely entry point for malicious users to either compromise it, steal it, or hold it to ransom.
Now, scroll through your phone and open your security application. Scarily, many South Africans do not even have a free cybersecurity solution installed on their mobile device. This is often the same device that accesses the company network and pulls mission-critical data from the system.
The days are long gone where viruses were just bouncing balls appearing on the computer screens slowing down a system. Today, malicious software (malware) has become big business. Hackers form collectives and target companies of all sizes, across industry sectors, and from any country. They are committed to getting access to what many have likened to the ‘oil’ of the digital world – data.
Data forms a core component of any business. Just imagine what would happen if you lost your data. Take a moment to reflect on how quickly you could recover from such a disaster and what the impact on your clients and your longevity would be.
Granted, these collectives do not quite have salaried hackers doing the dirty work, but it is fast approaching that stage. A few months ago, a well-known local insurer experienced a ransomware attack and went public with it. Think about all those companies that do not act as proactively to get ahead of the problem.
In this [digital] Wild West, it is only a matter of when your data gets compromised and not if. Are you ready for it?
Kaspersky Lab research is showing that people are starting to become more aware of the implications this could have for their businesses. In fact, 69% of respondents to our survey admit to feeling stressed out when hearing news of data breaches and the fact that companies often experience multiple breaches.
This is certainly a step in the right direction.
Sticking one’s head in the sand and hoping the problem will go away never helped any business. In theory, this awakening should lead to closely scrutinising existing security policies and systems. Given how increasingly sophisticated cyber attacks have become, such an internal audit is vital to get an understanding of the safeguards that currently exist and where improvements need to be made.
But while cybersecurity solutions are obviously important, it involves something more comprehensive than that. Protecting your data is not about installing a firewall or a piece of anti-virus software. It involves a comprehensive and considered approach that takes every point of contact into the business, reviews it, and protects it.
This is where employee education forms an integral step in keeping business data safe. Social engineering remains one of the biggest threats to organisational data. Those emails that come in asking for details to be verified or files to be opened – definitely a no-go area. And when it comes to real-world threats, workers need to be educated on what to look out for. The age-old example of a flash drive being left on a desk with a file called Salaries.xsl might be too big a temptation to resist for some. Even inserting an infected drive into a computer could be enough for the hackers to take care of the rest.
Local businesses must therefore embrace a new focus on cybersecurity. Not only does this make good corporate sense, but it is essential in complying with data regulation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) of the European Union and the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) in South Africa.
Being found in breach of this compliance not only means significant financial fines (that could be crippling in itself), but also reputational damage that stems from showing customers that the organisation is not committed to keeping their data safe.
So, protecting against data breaches necessitates a multi-pronged strategy that encompasses solutions (hardware and software), employee education, multi-touchpoint assessments, and ongoing evaluation to keep up to date with the latest trends.
However, no organisation can realistically be expected to manage all of this on its own. This is where trusted managed service providers in the cybersecurity environment fulfil a critical role. They can take care of all the security needs while the business can focus on meeting its strategic objectives.
It is a dangerous new digital world out there. No company is safe and even start-ups must do what is necessary to protect their data. To do any less, would be to risk the future of the organisation.
With Hundreds Of Franchise Options Out There, Choose The One You Can Trust
If you’re looking to invest in a business venture that offers you years of experience in the industry, the trust and loyalty of its customers, and franchise support from an expert team – then Hi-Q is the one for you.
What you’ll become a part of
Since opening their doors in 1999, Hi-Q has gone from strength to strength, growing a humble three store enterprise into an extensive 130-store franchise network with a unique multi-product and multi-services automotive offering.
Hi-Q’s approach to business is centred around being ‘the one you can trust’ to their customers, their suppliers and their franchisees.
“That has always been the key driver in everything we do,” says Sean Harrison, Hi-Q’s Managing Director. “For example, when it comes to our customers, they need to know they can rely on us to put their safety first.
That we’ll always strive to offer them expert, friendly service and top of the range products, while also keeping up-to-date with the latest technologies and advancements in our field.”
An acclaimed and awarded brand
Hi-Q has again and again proven themselves to be a leader in the industry.
They’ve been voted South Africa’s No.1 tyre retailer for eight consecutive years (2010 – 2017) by consumers in the Ask Africa Icon Brands Survey, the biggest of its kind in Africa – a clear indication that they are respected and trusted by their customers.
Hi-Q Franchisees all have the support of an expert and knowledgeable team with years of experience in the industry, who are available to guide them on their business venture. This includes areas of business such as marketing/promotional, commercial, organisational structure, tools and equipment, sales and more.
Franchisees also have access to various skills training opportunities for members of their team.
Hi-Q is invested in providing their network with the tools needed to thrive and grow in an ever-challenging market.
Relationship with Goodyear
Hi-Q has the support and backing of international tyre of multinational premium tyre manufacturer, Goodyear, and its full value proposition. This means access to incredible promotional and marketing opportunities in partnership with the brand.
Hi-Q has embarked on an extensive expansion plan and have identified areas of opportunity to extend their Franchise footprint growth countrywide.
You’ll find more information on our website www.hiq.co.za We’d like to invite those who are interested to become part of our team to contact 011 663 2431 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Get The Edge This Winter
Five short courses from WITS kicking off in July will give you the competitive edge.
From Gauteng’s most trusted provider of the best learning experiences, come five WITS-curated courses starting in July 2019. Use the longer, colder days to curl up with a “good book” and emerge from winter with a new edge.
There are three online short courses offered via the WITS Digital Campus, starting 15 July.
Managing Labour Relations
This 10 week course will equip you with sound knowledge of South Africa’s complex labour landscape and an understanding of your legal rights as an employee or employer.
You will also learn skills for navigating employer / employee relationships successfully, and get tools for managing disputes effectively. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Logistics and Supply Chain Management Practice
This 10 week course is packed with practical and theoretical information to help retail managers, supply chain supervisors, stock controllers and even CEOs drive efficiencies in the value chain.
It covers everything from improving exporting transportation, warehousing, order processing and procurement to financial management and managing waste. There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Applied Digital Marketing
We operate in an increasingly digital world and traditional marketing must include digital aspects and channels to be relevant.
This 10 week course will teach you to think digital, talk digital and deliver effective digital campaigns to elevate marketing and brand-building initiatives. You will learn to conceptualise and implement successful digital marketing strategies that drive customer acquisition, optimise your digital footprint and deliver business results.
There are eight modules, covered in online lectures over eight weeks, requiring a commitment of five to seven hours per week. The exam is in week 10.
Comprehensive onsite courses in July include:
Real Estate Investment Analysis
This intensive five day course is for people who have been introduced to the real estate discipline at NQF 4 and NQF 5 levels. It is designed to provide higher level, more focused training as well as tools for analysing different types of real estate investments at the individual asset level, and measuring investment performance.
The course will benefit property practitioners who do not have property degrees; past graduates of SAPOA programmes in different aspects of the real estate business and people from different disciplinary backgrounds considering entering the profession. The course takes place over five days from 1 to 5 July 2019.
Advanced Performance Management
Presented by the School of Accountancy together with Wits Enterprise, this course is designed to prepare students for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Professional level exams.
On completion of this course, you will be able to:
- Use strategic planning and control models to plan and monitor organisational performance
- Assess and identify key external influences on organisational performance
- Apply strategic performance measurement techniques in evaluating and improving organisational performance
- Advise on business performance evaluation as well as recognize vulnerability to corporate failure
The course will run from 15 July to 22 October 2019.
For more information on registering for any of these courses, criteria for registering, and costs, visit.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.
The Importance of Outsourcing Your Payroll
One of an organisation’s biggest overheads is that of salaries and wages. And yet, if these are not processed on time, it can negatively impact staff morale and create the impression that the company is not financially stable.
For a small business, payroll is normally the responsibility of an accountant or bookkeeper, but even administrators can sometimes be roped in to do the job, even though they have no expertise in the matter. This is where the value of outsourcing your payroll comes in.
When should you outsource?
- If you want to grow your business but are not aware of ongoing legislative changes that could pose a risk to your company, then it is better to get professionals to assist.
- Accountants and bookkeepers are not specialists and do not keep up with the compliance environment. If you outsource your payroll, you enable them to focus their core duties and not get bogged down by legislative complexities.
How to choose an outsourced service provider
Understandably, payroll is a sensitive subject dealing with highly confidential information.
This is often the last thing a small business owner wants to outsource. It is therefore vital that the company does its homework and researches the potential outsourcing partner thoroughly.
Instead of going with the first available service provider or the cheapest one, here are some questions to ask:
- Is the service provider a one-man band and, if so, what backup resources are available?
- Is the service provider a recognised payroll provider belonging to a professional body?
- Do they have the necessary training and skills on payroll?
- What does the service provider do to ensure it stays up to date with legislation?
- How secure is the payroll data and can the service provider take on historic data?
- How easy is it to recover your payroll data in the event of a disaster?
- What value-adds can the service provider offer? These can include anything from leave management and third-party payments, to employee self-service, time and attendance management, and any other related human resource service.
- Can they process salaries and/or wages hourly, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly?
- Can the service provider accommodate your growth requirements if you open new branches?
- Is the service provider able to assist with payrolls in other African countries, manage their currencies, and deal with their regulatory environments?
- What processes are in place to ensure the timeous processing of payrolls?
The advantages of outsourcing your payroll
One of the most obvious benefits of going the outsourcing route is freeing up your resources to focus on your core strategic objectives. This ensures you provide quality of service and control costs while an experienced partner takes care of your payroll.
Here are a few other benefits:
- Reduce operating costs.
- Statutory compliance and consistent service delivery.
- Access to the latest technology, as well as skilled and dedicated payroll resources.
- Access to a secure, risk-free and confidential payroll environment.
- Increased flexibility and responsiveness.
- Streamlined internal processes and procedures.
This article was originally posted on Entrepreneur.com/sa.