Basic Security Measures for Your Small Business

Security is not often the most pressing concern facing you as a business owner. As inflation rates continue to rise, many entrepreneurs and business owners have more on their plate than the relatively quotidian task of shoring up their office security – not to mention the possibility of budgetary difficulty. But as a potential depression looms, security could be the one thing that prevents your business from losing liquidity altogether. What are the most effective measures you could employ?

Cameras

The most commonly-considered form of commercial security measure is perhaps the CCTV camera, ingrained as it is in our cultural consciousness as an objectively useful monitoring tool. Security cameras certainly have their uses as part of a more comprehensive security system, but not quite in the way you might suspect.

The core function of security cameras is to monitor environments. Without a 24/7 security team on task on your premises, this core function will not necessarily prevent criminal activity. Rather, it will capture and record it. You may suffer financial losses or property damage, but the evidence is there to potentially identify the perpetrators and validate an insurance claim.

However, alongside other effective security measures (and in the absence of an active security detail),
there is an ancillary effect that security cameras can have: one of deterrence. If your security cameras are prominently displayed and obviously in operation, potential trespassers may be less likely to attempt their entry.

Alarm Systems

Deterrence is the essential purpose of alarm sirens as part of your office security system. Sirens attached to motion detectors or other forms of intrusion detection serve to draw attention to a given location or premises, supposedly increasing the likelihood of investigation by local law enforcement or even passers-by.

Whether or not someone would actually turn up and catch a would-be criminal in the act is unimportant; the result is a heightened level of trepidation on behalf of would-be criminals to attempt trespass. Of course, alarm systems can also be hooked up to automatically alert local police or a private security team.

Security Lighting

Another strong deterrent comes in the form of lighting. Just as alarm sirens can be tripped by motion or light detection, so too can high-powered security lights. These are particularly effective on the perimeter of your office premises, to illuminate the location of a would-be trespasser – exposing them both to passers-by and to your camera system for easier identification.

Keyless Entry

Not all criminal entries are done in the dead of night, though. Many criminals attempt entry in broad
daylight, through attempting to impersonate a member of workplace personnel or even a courier. Entry during office hours can be much harder to police – rendering unique entry systems incredibly effective at heightening your daytime security. With fob entry, only employees and visitors with the correct RFID tag
can enter.

Why IT Compliance Is Important For Your Business

Information technology (IT) compliance refers to the policies, procedures, and regulations that govern how you use technology in your business operations. These policies cover everything from information security to data privacy, which are critical components in ensuring your company can operate safely and efficiently.

Businesses must comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a set of rules and guidelines that protect customers’ data. For instance, companies must obtain informed consent before collecting personal information, and they’re not allowed to store it for longer than necessary. Similarly, they must ensure it’s secure and notify individuals if a breach occurs.

When you stay compliant with regulatory guidelines relating to IT, your business stands to gain the following advantages:

1. Ensures Data Protection

Without proper security measures, it’s easy for sensitive information like financial records or customer details to get lost or stolen. An IT compliance audit can help you determine whether your employees are using their work devices appropriately. If they aren’t following policies on personal use of company devices, this can lead to security breaches and even data loss.

Give yourself peace of mind that you won’t lose confidential data that might damage your business operations by initiating an IT compliance audit. Go for the best tech & it support in Orange county, as they have already gained reputation of helping companies identify vulnerabilities before they become a problem. 

2. Boosts Customer Confidence

A secure IT infrastructure reduces risks related to data breaches and other cyber threats, so it helps increase customer trust in your business. It also builds brand loyalty among existing customers by providing them with a safe online experience when interacting with your company through websites and apps.

For instance, compliance with the GDPR gives users confidence that their data are protected and prevents them from being bombarded by spam or scam emails. This helps build trust in your company’s products and services, ultimately leading to increased sales.

3. Protects Business Assets

If you have been in business for a while, then a substantial amount of information is stored in your database. This includes business assets like customer records, payroll data, and employee information. The problem with keeping this kind of information is that if someone gets their hands on it, they can use it to their advantage. They might even use it against your company if you are not careful.

Through IT compliance, your company can protect these assets by making sure that only authorized personnel have access to them. You can also guarantee that they are kept safe from cyber criminals and other bad actors who might want to steal them or change them without your knowledge.

4. Limits Liability Exposure

In today’s world, many laws govern how businesses should operate, covering everything from privacy to discrimination among others. Suppose your company does not comply with these laws or follow them correctly. You could be held liable for any violations and damages resulting from them. This can cost your company thousands of dollars, if not millions, so staying up-to-date on all of these rules is necessary.

For example, if hackers get their hands on your customer list, they could call all of your customers, asking them to give their credit card information over the phone. This could be devastating for your business if it happens enough times that people stop ordering from you because they think something is wrong with your company. But with data compliance, you can ensure that no one ever gets access to this information and prevent such problems in the future.

5. Prevents Fraud

IT compliance can help your business prevent fraudulent activity. For example, if a computer system has been hacked, it could lead to fraud or theft of personal information. To prevent this, you must conduct IT compliance audits to ensure that all devices and software are secure and that employees understand how to protect themselves online.

If the database has sensitive data like social security numbers, credit card information, or personal medical history, then it might be used by identity thieves to gain access to bank accounts and other financial services. Another concern is that this type of information could be used to blackmail employees or company officials into doing something they would not normally do. This can lead to violating privacy laws and lawsuits against your company if anyone gets hurt.

Key Takeaway

In the business and IT field, compliance is a process that must be understood, implemented, and followed by every company all the time. Companies must be compliant with data and cybersecurity regulations to control their data correctly and protect themselves from unscrupulous cyber-attacks. If they do so, they can gain these five benefits that would save them from costly regulatory fines and customer loss.

Technology Leaders Are Facing Unique Challenges – Only a Unique Approach to Leadership Will Solve Them

Businesswoman sharing new ideas in meeting

Putting expansion plans on pause and re-thinking hiring strategies will help tech companies overcome industry struggles

As spiralling inflation, interest rate hikes and the threat of recession drive up the cost of doing business, tech leaders must be agile, look to new methods of management and be open to rescheduling pre-existing plans. This is according to STX Next, Europe’s largest software development company that specialises in Python.

Alongside economic struggles, talent shortages are continuing to expose skills gaps in technical teams – 68% of tech companies say they are held back by a lack of qualified staff – while decision-makers are still struggling to fine-tune remote working models and implement new technologies in the workplace. However, Maciej Dziergwa, CEO of STX Next, believes that tech companies can survive and thrive by adapting practices to reflect the business landscape.

Dziergwa said: “It’s important that tech leaders recognise the current economic slowdown is halting the IT industry’s momentum, and react accordingly. For instance, they shouldn’t be afraid to rein in growth plans during the height of the crisis, allowing for flexibility if the climate suddenly worsens.

“Downsizing is a concerning trend in the tech industry – Amazon, Meta and Twitter are the latest high profile organisations to slash employee numbers – so it is vital that businesses grow sustainably to avoid turning to job cuts.

“Technology leaders should also prioritise the investment of time and funds into client acquisition and retention. This involves adopting a more client-focused approach, such as travelling to meet existing or potential partners face to face. Regular contact shows a business will be far more dependable during an economic slowdown than less visible competitors.”

To cope with the shortage of IT workers, Dziergwa believes that technology companies should seek to enhance the employee experience in order to set themselves apart from competitors.

He added: “With skills shortages putting a strain on recruitment strategies, it’s time for business decision-makers to be more proactive to attract new talent or retain incumbent employees.

“Flexibility is a priority for the bulk of today’s workforce, so appealing to candidates begins by ensuring that remote working models are watertight, and that staff are well-supported even if they are based at home.

“It’s important to remember that the offer of hybrid work is now a minimum requirement for prospective staff. The tech companies that differentiate themselves will go above and beyond to meet employee needs, providing financial, emotional and educational support to guide workers through the cost-of-living crisis.”

He concluded: “Times of economic slowdown are great opportunities to pinpoint areas for improvement and strengthen company culture. The pandemic came as a shock and stopped the world in its tracks – tech leaders must not let history repeat itself, regardless of what transpires in the coming months.”

Technology leaders can share their thoughts on how to weather the oncoming storm by completing the CTO Survey: https://www.thectosurvey.com

Just Moved To The Cloud? Best Practices For Effective Cloud Management

A cloud is a group of interconnected global servers that perform specific functions. The cloud is not a single tangible entity but a series of remote servers that exist worldwide and function as one ecosystem. In the early stages of its inception, the cloud was a tool that expressed empty space between its provider and user.

Cloud computing was popularised in the 1990s with the widespread use of virtual computer networks. Professor Ramnath Chellapa of Emory University stated in 1997 that cloud computing would be the new computing paradigm determined by economic rationale. True to the Professor’s words, Salesforce was the first company to adopt cloud computing in 1999 successfully.

As the 2000s rolled in, more companies adopted cloud computing in their daily business operations. Amazon joined the paradigm in 2002 by creating web-based retail services and became the first company to use 10% of its computing output capacity. The company developed Amazon Web Services in 2006.

Amazon Mechanical Turk was one of Amazon’s web services (AWS), the first infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) site offering cloud-based storage, computation, and human intelligence services. This marked the beginning of cloud management. Public clouds were familiar and accessible; however, there was a commercial demand for private clouds.

In 2008, Eucalyptus was the first to provide an AWS application programming interface-compliant platform for deploying private clouds. Enterprises could own and customise their cloud servers to suit their needs. Public and private servers were pitted against each other. However, the two serves complemented each other in the grand scheme.

The idea of direct cloud connectivity came from hybrid clouds that were first introduced in 2011. IBM SmartCloud and Apple iCloud were launched at the time and offered hybrid cloud services. A hybrid cloud management tool that assisted companies in building, deploying, and administering private and public clouds is credited to CloudBolt, founded in 2012.

The two decades of the evolution of cloud computing have made it the default infrastructure for data management in most businesses and organisations. Cloud platforms are faced with various challenges as they evolve. This article recommends the best practices for effective cloud management.

Setting Up A Cloud Center Of Excellence (CCoE)

Cloud migration has been made accessible in recent years. However, the cloud is still a complex entity requiring technical skills. Therefore, it is advisable to set up a cloud center of excellence (CCoE) dedicated to creating shared solutions, promoting best practices, and learning new skills that other teams within the organisation can incorporate.

A CCoE ideally constitutes a team with representatives from management, IT, core business functions, and end-users. The team’s combined experience will help develop cloud solutions to improve operation efficiency, ensure data security, minimise operation costs, shorten information response time, and improve the quality of cloud services.

Cloud Migration Strategy

Cloud migration will allow your company to simplify and keep track of data lineage. Furthermore, the company will make its data ecosystem operate efficiently. The migration strategy needs pre-planning to prioritise the data workloads and applications. Cataloguing the workload based on its importance is a good strategy for prioritisation.

A good strategy also involves picking the right tool and methods for migration. Ideally, the right tool will maximise minimal resources, ensure cost-effectiveness, be region-based, and deploy an efficient team to manage it. Migration methods could include:

  • Partial refactoring
  • Full refactoring
  • Incorporating software-as-a-service (Saas) or platform-as-a-service (PaaS)

These are examples of cloud migration strategies that one can apply in an organisation.

Centralised Cloud Governance

A collection of guidelines and regulations known as “cloud governance” is used by businesses to manage cloud-based services. Cloud governance’s objectives are enhancing data security, controlling risk, and facilitating the efficient functioning of cloud systems. Centralising cloud governance ensures that company goals are achieved on a timely basis.

Cloud Optimisation

Cloud infrastructure requires occasional maintenance and optimisation to eliminate resource wastage. The available infrastructure architecture in the current market is crucial in cloud optimisation. An organisation with access to the infrastructure can scale resources up or down depending on the company’s demands.

Identifying possible discounted prices, flagging under or overutilised resources, and comparing service price and efficiency on multiple cloud platforms are ways to maximise cloud optimisation. The IT operations department is tasked with cloud optimization since they have an insight into the application and workload features that draw customers’ attention.

Integration Of Cloud Platforms With Business

An organisation migrating to the cloud intends to integrate business operations with the cloud. Adding cloud integration to the organisation’s key performance indicators will help monitor cloud consumption in daily operations. Setting up feedback mechanisms for internal and external cloud users will help gauge user experience.

Conclusion

Cloud integration helps break down data silos and improves visibility and network connectivity. With this technology applied to any business organisation, you can expect improvement in internal communication, customer service and customer retention. Furthermore, if properly executed, your organisation can have a reduced operational cost and increase in revenue.

Lastly, effective cloud management can help the overall business operation to be efficient and flexible. Stakeholders and leaders can focus on making major decisions and expanding the market.

The Three Pillars to Stabilise Data Assets In An Era of Content Chaos

Data Assets

Digital Distinction will be central to the continued success of established financial institutions growing via acquisitions and competing against the new wave of digital native companies

While digital transformation projects are already underway in the financial services sector, many businesses are still being left with masses of legacy data. According to M-Files, a global leader in information management, unless serious steps are taken to handle legacy data, many will continue to suffer from content chaos.

Ville Somppi, Vice President of Industry Solutions at M-Files, stated: “This may sound counter intuitive but over the past few years digital transformation although essential, has left many organisations drowning in data instead of a cure all as promised. For many in financial services, the single most important way to attract new business will be through ‘digital distinction’, something that is upper mind for many in the industry.

“There has to be a better way for financial services organisations to stabilise their data, enabling them in turn to power efficiencies, smoothen potential M&A projects and create that digital distinction so many are looking for. We see three core pillars that any business needs to look at.”
 

1. Access

A typical issue facing many businesses and departments after a merge is that of legacy systems. Access to all systems might not be available to those in need and the institutional knowledge of how that data was organised is often a casualty of M&A, as staff are moved or leave the business.

The first step in taking control of that legacy data is to have universal access regardless of the repository. By using repository neutral federated access, legacy data can stay where it is while allowing for a smarter and more deliberate data migration effort.
 

2. Context

For years businesses have relied on static folder-based structures to solve and explain the classification and history of a document. But as data keeps piling up and businesses continue to evolve, this traditional and static way of managing information no longer serves the needs of the knowledge workers. When searching for information you should not need to know or remember where a document is stored but simply define what the document is about, what is it related to or who has last worked on it.

This metadata driven approach can be applied across repositories and legacy data, tagging content with more context, and dramatically reducing search times as you gain a full 360-degree view of your data. The same approach can be expanded to apply business rules and actions based on the metadata of the document, such as reviews, permissions, or retention schedules.
 

3. Automation

Having access to all your data and being able to organise it based on end-user role or business context, enables smart use of automation. AI and workflow automation can help minimise human error and mitigate risk in regulated industries such as financial services and in their compliance driven processes and protocols. This will have a profound impact, driving efficiencies through the entire business.

Streamlining business processes whilst alleviating the burden from staff and enabling them to focus on more skilled requirements will help companies ensure compliance and deliver not only improved staff satisfaction, but an enhanced customer experience.


“We believe that those businesses who use these simple pillars will enjoy efficiencies, deliver smooth M&A and, given they no longer live with content chaos, be able to make a truly distinctive impact on the market. Furthermore according to a commissioned study by Forrester Research, businesses adopting this approach can expect to see a 40% increase on productivity and a 270% return on investment.

“Put your data assets in context with the use of metadata, drive automation with help of AI and ensure easy access to all systems and legacy structures through repository neutrality. Businesses may be facing very choppy waters, so your data needs to work with you, to mitigate risk and empower your growth,” concluded Somppi.

An Enterprise’s Guide To Installing Commercial Security Systems

A burglary happens every day in many places around the world. And, if you’re considering keeping your company properties and employees safe from such incidents, you’ve probably thought about commercial security systems. These innovations help keep thieves and unauthorised people from accessing specific areas of your establishment since they provide real-time monitoring.  

Types Of Commercial Security Systems

There are various types of security systems. But, the most utilized in commercial buildings include:

1. Alarm System

This can alert you or your security service providers if someone tries to gain unauthorized entry to your business premises. You can use it to safeguard your company, especially at night or during non-working hours. You must also understand that some alarm security systems have features to help employees notify you if faced with a threatening situation.  

2. Closed Circuit Television Camera System

Another security system you can consider installing in your business premises is a closed-circuit television camera (CCTV). It’ll protect your properties against internal and external threats. For instance, while it helps secure your valuables from external thieves, it also helps monitor internal employees to ensure they don’t steal from you.  

3. Card Readers

Card readers are a security system you can install if you want only some of your employees to access specific areas. For instance, only a few staff members should access your cash office. And, to make that effective, you must consider investing in card readers.  

Apart from employees, card readers may help protect your business against thieves. That’s true, especially when installed at the main entrance.  

4. Fire Detections System

If you haven’t thought of a fire detection system, there are many good reasons to have one. For instance, it ensures early detection of fire. As such, you can communicate with firefighters on time, who may respond immediately to prevent fire from spreading and destroying all your properties.  

Apart from that, a fire detection system can help you save money on your business insurance. That’s true since most business insurance systems offer discounts to clients who’ve installed these systems.  

A fire detection system also gives you peace of mind, knowing that your business premises are constantly monitored.

Choosing The Right Security System For Your Company

There are steps you must take in order to select the right commercial security systems and before you contact service providers such as Locksmith Plus Inc. Portland Oregon. These include the following:

  • Review Your Current Security Systems

One of the first things you need to do is to conduct a security audit. This helps determine the vulnerabilities that exist in your company, helping you establish more effective security measures.  

You need to answer the following questions during the security review:

  • What do the existing security systems monitor?
  • Which areas of the business [remises need more protection?
  • What measures are in place to help deal with incidents like theft and trespassers?

Answering these questions enables you to make strategic decisions on the security systems you need for your business.  

  • Decide On The Features You Want

Another important consideration to make when searching for security systems for your business is the features you need, which would depend on the type of business you have. For instance, if you run a jewelry firm, you may need security systems with a feature like a glass break sensor. The goal is to decide on features that best protect your business premises and properties.  

  • Who Will Install The Systems

You may decide to install the systems on your own if you have the necessary skills. However, it’d be best to work with professional security system installers. For instance, these professionals are experts in the business security field. Therefore, they can help you identify security systems with the right features. Your selected service provider will also maintain your systems to ensure they function properly at all times.

Hiring The Best Security System Installation Service Provider

If you decide to entrust the task of installing the security systems to the hands of professionals instead of doing the work yourself, you must select the best partner. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice

  • Find A Service Provider With Proper Credentials

There are several security systems installation firms out there. However, some aren’t genuine and reliable, and if you aren’t careful, you may lose your money or even personal information. But, you can be on the safe side by checking your prospect’s credentials before you sign a deal with them.

For instance, you need to ask for their operating license, which is an official document issued by the state to certify that a particular firm has been legally established and allowed to provide specific products or services. Therefore, avoid partnering with a security systems installation company that doesn’t have an operating license.

  • Select An Experienced Service Provider

In addition to proper credentials, you must also ensure that the company you hire is experienced. This way, you can be guaranteed of high-quality security systems installation and maintenance services.  

The best way to know whether you’re dealing with an experienced firm is to check its incorporation date. Ensure you hire a company established several years or decades ago. Such a service provider is more experienced than those that only started recently.  

But, at the same time, you must ensure the selected company is experienced with the type of security system you want to install. For instance, if you want to invest in CCTV cameras, ensure your chosen service provider has assisted other business owners with similar systems.  

  • Look For Recommendations

If you’re unsure of where to start when finding a security systems installer, ask for recommendations. This involves seeking suggestions from other business owners.  

There are plenty of ways to ask for recommendations. For instance, you can post on social media and ask your networks or business partners if they’ve previously hired any excellent security systems installers. You can also physically visit other business owners in their offices. But, whichever is the case, ensure you identify the best installer for your security system’s needs.  

Takeaway

Installing security systems in your business premises can positively affect your bottom line. It ensures your properties and employees are always safe. But, make sure to invest in high-quality devices and work with reputable installers. 

Most Innovative Education IT Developer – Japan

Coolied CEO standing next to their logo

Education and technology are two fields that are closely entwined, even more so as the twenty-first century progresses. However, are we taking advantage of every possible piece of technology for the benefit of students and teachers? Coolied, Inc. is one company whose mission is to ensure the world is utilising top-quality technology to succeed. Starting in Japan, but with sights set on revolutionising education across the planet, its suite of tools and services are very much ‘next generation’.

Coolied, Inc. is an IT development company whose three core business developments are set to transform IT and education across Japan. From base IT services to education aids and content creation services, Coolied is a leap forward to future-proof technical services.

It provides correspondence courses for Japanese high school students and IT systems for educational institutions in the IT and education business. In addition, Coolied is responsible for multiple IT systems and content for Japan’s leading semiconductor manufacturers, office automation equipment manufacturers, and manufacturing companies.
Above all, Coolied strives to provide new and continual value to its customers by introducing technologies that are always one step ahead of the times. These include its innovations in school and education functions, such as schools within the metaverse, as well as grading and corrections performed via AI, all of which it offers to its IT and education partners.

To differentiate itself from its competitors, it adopts innovative technologies earlier and more assertively than its competitors, consistently executes the marketing process simultaneously – not just the technology – and makes it its primary goal to increase customer value.
It is executing these three.

To accomplish this, when Coolied begins a new job or project, it insists on starting with a clear definition of the problem it is solving before moving on how to succeed. Though this can sometimes take days or weeks, it takes this process very seriously. In particular, it ensures that how it solves the problem includes the value it can provide without its partners or consumers having to compromise. This has resulted in a portfolio of successes that it has been able to eagerly provide to its clients, content in the knowledge that what it is offering is precisely what they need.

Providing this value, and executing its goals, is a team of enthusiastic and resolute staff. Coolied’s team members, across all three of its sections, are initiative-taking – not needing instructions to provide the best possible solutions – and can both act and think on their feet.
When it hires fresh staff, it engages people who mesh with the rest of its exceptionally talented team, looking to maintain its responsiveness and efficiency.

In the future, its goal is to become an “SDGs venture company,” focusing on educational IT in Japan, the rest of Asia, and then the world. In this context, it believes it has taken a step forward in creating a new educational society in 2022 by releasing its two major product services: Metaverse School and its AI grading and correction service.

Coolied Inc. hopes its emerging services will be widely appealed to worldwide. It passionately believes that education usage in virtual spaces, like the Metaverse School, will increase in many countries and educational institutions. It will continue developing its newest endeavours and refining its current outputs to ensure the needs of its clients and future generations are met.

Overall, the organisation is one that is forward-thinking and it has done far more than just set the stage for progress. The laser focus on implementing top-level technology and leveraging the best of what is possible today has created learning environments where students can more easily prosper.

From using the Metaverse in the name of education, to using AI to lessen the burden on teachers, Coolied has more than earned its title of Most Innovative Education IT Developer in Japan. Its service to the students, teachers, and other stakeholders of the nation’s education is well worthy of praise. Coolied, Inc. has set the groundwork for a revolution in how technology is used going forward.

For business enquiries, contact Yasuki Onozaki from Coolied, Inc. on their website – https://coolied.co.jp/en/company

7 Best Practices of Data Security for Businesses in Tech

Data Security

By Tanhaz Kamaly – Partnership Executive, UK, Dialpad UK

As a tech business owner, you’re well aware of how critical data security is for the success and reputation of your company. But with all the different aspects of data security to keep track of, it can be challenging to know where to start.

Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of seven data security best practices for businesses in tech so you can ensure your company is as secure as possible.

Let’s get started.

 

What is Data Security?

Before we dive into the best practices, let’s take a step back and define data security. 

Data security is the practice of protecting electronic information from unauthorised access, cybercrime or theft. Data security includes physical security (like protecting data centres from intruders) and logical security (like ensuring only authorised users have access to sensitive data). 

Now that we know what data security is, let’s look at the best practices for keeping your company’s data safe.

 

1. Understand Your Data Architecture

The first step to any suitable data security plan is understanding your company’s data architecture. This means taking inventory of all the different types of data you collect and where it resides. This can be daunting, but it’s essential to know where your vulnerabilities lie and how best to protect your data.

Let’s say you own an IVR software company. Your data architecture might look something like this.

Once you know where all of your company’s data is located, you can start to create a plan for securing it. If your customers have any questions about their data, you can have the best help desk software on the market to help them with their query.

 

2. Implement Data Ingestion Security Measures

What is data ingestion? It’s the process of collecting and storing data from various sources. You may be wondering,then, what’s data ingestion security and how does it differ from data security? Data ingestion security is a subset of data security that focuses specifically on the process of collecting and storing data.

There are a few different ways to secure your data during the ingestion process:

  • Encrypting data at the source means encrypting data before it enters your systems. This can be done using tools like PGP or GPG.
  • Data filtering: Data filtering identifies and removes unneeded or unwanted data before it’s ingested into your system. This helps to reduce the overall amount of data you need to secure and makes it easier to identify unusual activity.
  • Data validation: Data validation is the process of verifying that data is accurate and complete before it’s ingested into your system. This helps to ensure that only quality data is stored in your system and reduces the risk of errors.

 

3. Secure Your Data Storage

Once you’ve collected and stored your data, it’s time to start thinking about how to secure it. Data storage security is protecting your data from unauthorised access or modification.

There are a few different ways you can secure your data storage:

  • Data rights management: Data rights management controls who has access to your data and what they can do with it. 
  • Data backup and disaster recovery: Data backup and disaster recovery are essential for ensuring that your data is always available in case of a system failure or data loss.

 

4. Implement Data Access Control Measures

Data access control is the process of controlling who has access to your data and what they can do with it. This helps to ensure that only authorised users have access to sensitive data and helps to prevent data breaches. 

There are a few different ways you can control access to your data:

  • User authentication: User authentication is the process of verifying that a user is who they say they are.
  • Data classification: Data classification is the process of categorising data so that you can control who has access to it. 
  • Access control lists: Access control lists are used to specify which users have access to which data. 

 

5. Adopt Privacy-Enhancing Technologies

Privacy-enhancing technologies are tools that help to protect your data from unauthorised access or disclosure, such as your debit or credit card details when purchasing prepaid cards for online shopping. These technologies can be used to control access to your data, encrypt your data, or anonymise your data.

Let’s say you’re collecting data about your customers so that you can target them with relevant advertising. You could use a privacy-enhancing technology like anonymisation to protect your customers’ privacy by ensuring that their personal information is not linked to their data. 

You could also take a data privacy survey to understand how better to protect your data.

 

6. Educate Your Employees About Data Security

Data security is only as strong as the weakest link. That’s why it’s important to educate your employees about data security and make sure they understand the importance of protecting your data.

There are a few different ways you can educate your employees about data security:

  • Train them on data security policies and procedures: Make sure your employees are familiar with your data security policies and procedures. This will help them to understand the importance of protecting your data and will ensure they know what to do in the event of a data security incident.
  • Conduct regular security awareness training: Security awareness training is designed to educate employees about cybersecurity threats and how to protect themselves from them. This type of training can be conducted regularly to ensure that your employees are always up-to-date on the latest data security threats.
  • Make data security a part of your company culture: Data security should be a part of your company culture. This means that you should make data security a priority for your organisation anywhere, even when you register domain in NZ, AU, or AI. This ensures that all employees are aware of its importance.

 

7. Audit Your Data Security Practices

Regularly auditing your data security practices is the best way to ensure that they’re effective. During an audit, you will review your data security policies and procedures to ensure they’re up-to-date and effective. 

You will also assess your data security risks and identify any areas where you can improve. Audits should be conducted regularly to ensure that your data security practices are always effective.

 

Final Thoughts

Data security is essential for any business that collects, stores, or processes data. By following these best practices, you can help to protect your data from unauthorised access or disclosure.

How To Get More Value Out Of Your Data In The Cloud

Cloud technology continued to provide effective data management platforms. You can use cloud computing to advance your business growth strategies. Harnessing the advantages of cloud computing can help you drive sales, improve customer relationships, and develop marketing plans.

Taking your data to the cloud reduces reliance on on-premise IT infrastructure through infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions. Thus, it can help lower some of your IT maintenance costs. 
Software-as-a-service (Saas) solutions can also improve communication within your team. Thus, every team member is constantly updated, thanks to its data storage and sharing over the internet. You don’t have to attach large files via email or wait till you’re on your desk to read the latest memo. You can continue here for this and other cloud solutions and configurations available for your business.

Getting More Value From Your Data In The Cloud

Putting your data in the cloud isn’t all rosy. You’ll still need to take various control measures to ensure you get the most from your cloud solutions. For instance, your cloud management fees can quickly surpass your budgeted costs without proper controls. Additionally, you’ll need to know how to leverage cloud technology’s scalability for optimum benefits. The below measures can help you get more value out of your data in the cloud.

1. Optimise Your Data Movements

Data performance in your business can largely depend on the locations in which you’re moving the data. For instance, data performance can be significantly better when using the on-premise infrastructure. This is because you’re moving the data within the same physical environment. Thus, you don’t need to rely on an external network’s availability for peak performance.

However, the amount of data you move to and from the cloud can affect its performance. Even with a reliable cloud solution, you may experience delays if you constantly move bulk data. Thus, you may experience high latency, which can easily create inefficiencies within your organisation. 

Therefore, moving data that you only need to would be best. This ensures you get low data latency, thus, higher performance. Furthermore, reducing unnecessary data movement can help lower your data management costs. You can also utilise data compression techniques to help reduce your cloud database size.

2. Continuously Monitor Your Monthly Cloud Data Costs

Cloud service providers apply various charges for using their different platforms. These charges can be based on speed, database size, and frequency of data movement. Additionally, your data egress charges can balloon due to failure to compress or resize your data.

Therefore, it’s vital to closely monitor your monthly costs and identify areas you need to adjust. Understanding your provider’s charging basis would also be best to determine the cost implication. This can help you know the corrective actions to manage your costs better and ensure more value from your data in the cloud.

3. Look Up The Cloud Solution Ladder

The various cloud solutions provide you with multiple choices on how you want your data in the cloud. For instance, IaaS reduces your need for physical infrastructure to host operating systems (OS) and other software. However, you can harness the platform-as-a-service (PaaS) advantage to reduce the time spent on operating systems’ maintenance and licenses.

Finding ways of integrating various cloud resources can ensure better database performance. Thus, your operations can run more smoothly. You can also use such resources as application programming interfaces (APIs) to help bridge gaps that can hinder data transmission. 

Backup-as-a-service (BaaS) can also be helpful for your data management. It can reduce data movement frequency and provide data compression. Overall, looking at all available solutions and resources in the cloud can help optimise your data management, cut cloud data costs, and improve your data performance.

4. Align Your Governance Strategies With Cloud Processes

Cloud resources often change, and developers roll out new features frequently. These features can sometimes be out weeks apart. In addition, OS vendors can also release their updates as often. This means that your business operates in an ever-changing environment. In some cases, these changes can significantly affect your transmission, storage, or backup.

Therefore, ensuring your policies and data management protocols can sufficiently accommodate these changes is essential. This is necessary to avoid data loss or costs due to delays.

Conclusion

Embracing various approaches can help better manage your cloud database. For instance, edge computing can be crucial to splitting your data between on-premise and cloud databases. Such techniques are vital to reducing business costs and improving performance. Therefore, looking at your cloud data management’s best practices would be best.

How COP26 has Impacted UK Businesses

Consumers in the UK are more interested in environmental ethics than ever before. Indeed, recent research shows that 76 per cent of UK adults are concerned about climate change in general, while 29 per cent of adults take environmental impact into account when buying food. COP 26 was one main event over the last few years that helped shaped this agenda and increase awareness of climate change amongst consumers and policymakers. Below, we explore how exactly it’s impacted UK businesses.

What was COP26?

COP26 was the 26th iteration of the United Nations Climate Change Conference and it was held in Glasgow around October 2021. The aim of this meeting was to make progress toward upholding the plans set out by the Paris Agreement. More specifically, the targets of COP26 were centered around securing global net zero by 2050 and restricting climate change to 1.5 degrees of warming.

New regulations and legislation

COP26 led to new regulations and legislation being implemented, and many of these changes affect UK businesses. 20 countries – including the UK – pledged to halt public financing of projects that involve fossil fuels, both domestically and overseas. On top of this, the same 20 countries also pledged to stop artificially lowering the costs of damaging resources such as coal, oil and gas. As a result, UK businesses will face increasing regulatory pressure as the years go by.

Implications for businesses

The sustainability policies of COP26 will be challenging for businesses to keep up with. In many cases, the operations of companies will have to change significantly. To make it easier to adapt to new regulations, the UK government has offered business rates relief for companies investing in green technology. The intention of this is to make it necessary for businesses to create a Carbon Reduction Plan. If you’re unsure how you can plan for your business to meet these changes, you can seek the advice of consultants to help you make that next step.

Net zero

The ultimate implication of COP26, though, is that businesses will have to pivot to meet net zero by at least 2050. As a result, businesses will need to adapt quickly and plan for the low-carbon economy. A failure to do so will result in a business being exposed in front of its customers. Plus, any new policies in the future will also see the business fall further behind its competition. As a result, you should plan for your business to adopt the changes put forward in COP26.

Businesses in the UK will need to pivot towards more sustainable operations soon. And by following the guide above, you should be well placed to understand these changes.

Mitsubishi Electric Launches New Environmental Plan

Build The Perfect Customer Database With CRM Systems

Building a Customer Database with CRM systems is not only essential but also very easy to do.

With the help of these systems, you can build a database that will serve as your company’s main source of customers and clients.

The importance of this database created using a reliable CRM system (customer relationship management software) cannot be overstated. The more information you have about your clients and customers, the better able you are to tailor your messaging and services accordingly.

Here’s everything you need to know about making a customer database with CRM systems:

Why You Should Build Your Customer Database with CRM Systems?

You should build your customer database with CRM systems because:

It`s easy to do. You can import all of your contacts into the system and then add any additional information that you want.

It saves time. Instead of having to spend hours manually entering information, you can spend it on something more productive.

It`s scalable. If you decide that you want to expand your database, all you have to do is buy more CRM software and let it handle the rest!

Customer Relationship Management systems are an invaluable tool for any business looking to build a strong customer database.


How Can You Use a CRM System to Build the Perfect Customer Database?

Create a list of customers.The first step to building a customer database is to create a list of your customers. This can be done by using a CRM system, which allows you to quickly create lists of contacts for different purposes.

Fill the information in the database.Once you have created your customer database, you need to fill it with information about your customers. This means creating a detailed profile for each customer and filling in any missing details about them.

Decide how to use data in the database.Next, you must decide how to use the data in your database. Some companies just keep it as-is; others like to segment it into different categories or segments based on certain criteria.

For example, if you sell products that are sold in bulk, you might want to segment your database into groups based on their purchase frequency or product type.


The Three Parts of the Perfect Customer Database

The three important parts of the perfect customer database include:

Customer Data: This is the information that you have on your customers, including contact information, account information, and more.

Contact Information: These are the people you have in your database who can help with customer service questions or issues.

Accounts: These are the accounts that you want to sell to other businesses, and those businesses\’ employees control them.


Conclusion

You\’re missing out on big opportunities if you don`t have a customer database. You can\’t grow your company without a strong foundation of information about who is buying from you, what they`re buying, and what they want next.

Building this foundation starts with creating an effective customer database using a CRM system for tracking customer interactions.

Apparel Industry Update: Ecommerce Sales Boom While Fraud Rings Adapt

Credit card security. Online Shopping security

The apparel industry is highly susceptible to major world events. In order to thrive, it needs to continuously adapt to market changes. The COVID-19 pandemic meant that brick-and-mortar stores suffered a decrease in visits and sales, while ecommerce sales flourished and even doubled. Every day was a holiday for fashion ecommerce entrepreneurs.

But as innovation was brimming in the world of fashion commerce, fraudsters were also thinking of ways to penetrate the ever-changing market. Their tactics morphed to be better able to penetrate more rigid fraud protection solutions.

Ecommerce sales boomed and fraud rings evolved during the pandemic. We take a look at Signifyd’s ecommerce data report to chart the way your business can adapt to the new era of ecommerce fraud.

 

Every day is a holiday: ecommerce sales skyrocket during the pandemic

While brick-and-mortar stores declined during the COVID-19 pandemic, ecommerce sales flourished. Some businesses even made a full move to the virtual space to find themselves in the heyday of their operations.

The ecommerce ambience resembled a never-ending holiday season with a continuous flock of ecommerce orders. At the start of the pandemic, ecommerce retail sales doubled, hitting 33% of all retail sales. Across Europe, there was a 31% increase in ecommerce sales during 2020’s pandemic months in comparison to the same period in the previous year.

According to Jennifer Ryan, marketing director at Astound Commerce, “What were once considered benefits of purchasing digitally are now habitual practices that will prevail in holiday retail indefinitely”. These include online browsing for brands, products, and experiences, easily accessible reviews, and a multitude of payment, delivery, and pick-up options. The customer journey will start online and will be followed by the physical retail experience, thus creating a hybrid shopping approach for the holidays and beyond.

The fashion industry is flourishing. According to the International Trade Administration, during pre-COVID-19 times, the worldwide ecommerce revenue in the apparel sector amounted to $658 billion. Post-pandemic, this number is forecasted to rise to $752 billion, which is a predicted increase of 14.3%.

In Great Britain, textile, clothing, and footwear stores have seen their proportion of online sales more than double during the pandemic. In-store sales, on the other hand, went down four-fifths at the peak of the pandemic and still remain over a quarter below pre-COVID-19 levels. Since clothing stores are still affected by social distancing measures, the customer journey is being negatively impacted which drives people away from brick-and-mortar stores, say retailers. Instead, online sales continue to rise.

 

Innovative fraud rings penetrate the apparel industry

Major events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, have tremendous effects on both SMEs and large enterprises. Some businesses adapt while others struggle. The same applies to fraudsters and their morphing tactics disguised behind the face of ecommerce fake accounts.

With the apparel industry being one of the largest, fraudsters had to find innovative ways to pierce through the walls of two-step authentication and account abuse protection amongst the pool of fraud protection methods businesses deploy.

Andrew Cregan, head of financial policy at the British Retail Consortium, commented: “The modes of operation that criminals have used and sharpened throughout the pandemic are likely to continue until we have a higher level of awareness around these types of scams among businesses and the public.”

Consumer abuse, such as false item-not-received (INR) claims and claims that a perfectly good item arrived damaged or not as described, increased by more than 100% in the first half of 2021 compared to 2020. Unfortunately, INR scams stretch beyond professional fraudsters, with such claims made by the typical consumer also on the rise during the pandemic. According to a recent Signifyd consumer survey, 30% of UK respondents said they had made false INR claims in lieu of securing a refund and keeping the product.

Moreover, certain couriers ceased requesting signatures upon delivery to comply with social distancing measures. Many customers abused that process by claiming that a package was missing in transit because there was no evidence of arrival. This especially affected high-end fashion retailers who were selling more expensive goods.

Fraudulent rings also expanded into ‘friendly fraud’ during the pandemic through unauthorised reselling. One fraudster, for example, failed to mask his fraudulent attempts. He bought €17,000 worth of Air Jordan sneakers and filed a number of chargebacks one by one, claiming that he didn’t make the purchase. His aim was to stock his business using these sneakers. However, he made the mistake of posting on Instagram about the big buy and showcasing the delivery on the reseller’s website.

Other types of fraud that emerged during the pandemic and are still present within the apparel industry include return fraud, mule fraud, and card testing.

 

Beyond Christmas and into 2022: how the apparel industry can prepare for fraud

As you can see, fraudulent actions didn’t calm down as restrictions eased down. In fact, the opposite is true; fraudsters are constantly reinventing themselves and finding ways to emerge to the surface.

Fraud attempts especially rose during the 2021 holiday season. Businesses that were manually reviewing orders through call verification, for example, couldn’t manage the workload. This led to delayed orders and made it difficult to separate a fraudulent from a genuine order. This was especially impactful in the apparel industry where the holiday season increases the demand for party attire and gifts.

To prevent fraud, machine learning and automated order review can be extremely helpful. A good commerce protection platform will be able to easily distinguish legitimate orders from fraudulent ones, thus optimizing business revenue.

A recent major implementation has also caused some disturbance amongst ecommerce businesses. Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) was included by the European Commission in its update of the Payment Services Directive in 2018 in response to fraud pressure across Europe.

SCA stands for a two-step authentication that aims to reduce fraud and protect both consumers and retailers. However, the implementation has a significant downside: it creates friction in the customer journey and reduces conversions in the relevant countries.

According to the global payments consultancy CMSPI, in August 2021, the estimated European failure rate of transactions was 26% due to SCA. But the failure rate varies across countries. For example, the transaction failure rate in Belgium was 41%, while in Germany it was 32%, and 30% in Italy. The report also showed that over a 12-month period, an estimated €82 billion of sales are at risk.

As 39% of fashion consumers in the UK browse several websites before buying online, the competition for consumers’ attention span is high, especially in the highly saturated apparel industry. This means that an extensive two-step verification process can deter consumers from finalising the purchase.

In order to combat the friction in the customer journey, technological innovation comes into play yet again in the face of payment optimization solutions and a robust fraud prevention strategy.

As lockdown restrictions ease, we’re seeing some changes in ecommerce from the pandemic transform to better suit the new environment. The pandemic has had a massive impact on the apparel industry, both positive and negative. With the right awareness and tools, fashion businesses can continuously adapt to new ecommerce fraud rings and bring their businesses to the forefront.