What will 2018 hold for your business? What challenges are you facing? Most business start off the new year with a sense of renewed optimism and determination and we hope your business is no exception. Now that the holidays have passed, we can tackle some projects we have been meaning to undertake to improve our business. If you even a casual reader of our blog you have heard the phrase “If you are running your business the same way you were three or four years ago, you are not staying the same, you are falling behind”. Statistically speaking business that embrace technology solutions outpace their competitors that do not. Top employees are more likely to remain with businesses that have better technology. The trick, of course, is to implement the right technology, not just add technology for the sake of technology. Technology chosen or implemented poorly can actually add expense, not decrease it.
One area of improvement that is often overlooked is reducing risk. How well protected are your business assets? Is your business keeping up with the increased level of cyber threats that exist? Your company data and assets have value. Any compromise of that data or asset come with an associated cost. If you are concerned about that, this is another area where technology may be of help. The above saying about if you are running your business the same way, is also apt when thinking about cyber security and risk to your business. The threats are not the same as they were three or four years ago, so why are your defenses? Risk management is a business function. IT should not be driving the conversation, business leaders should be. Unfortunately, today, we see too many business leaders that are not taking the risks seriously enough which results in the statistics we see about business failures after a hack, businesses paying ransom to hackers to get their data back and other similar headlines we see in the news.
As a business leader, do you know what the risk level is to your business? If you do, then you are ahead of the curve. If you do not, then you likely do not have the appropriate awareness programs in place or allocated the proper time to this significant issue. Many business leaders underestimate the risks and consequences of a cyber attack to their business and therefore do not take enough precautionary steps to prevent them. That mistake can cost a business leader his job. (See Equifax among others) As Stephen Covey adeptly points out in his 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, we tend to focus on the urgent/non-important issues over important/non-urgent issues. This flaw in human nature causes us to put important events like planning on the back burner to tend to picking out the company Christmas cards because it has a deadline associated with it. Effective people do not do this. Effective business leaders are able to delegate non-important work and spend a majority of their time on important but perhaps not urgent work. (Covey calls that quadrant II in his time management matrix). Certainly, risk management falls into this category. It is important work.
The trouble comes when the cyber breach happens before the planning is done. Now we have a costly emergency, or a quadrant I activity in the Covey time management matrix. At this point the non-urgent planning to manage and mitigate risk is pushed to the forefront as response to an actual threat that requires an urgent response. Effective business leaders do not allow situations to get to that point because they have done the preparation in advance.
Would Stephen Covey say you are an effective business leader? Are you running your business the same way you were three or four years ago? Colden Company is here to help. Give the experts at Colden Company a call and let us help analyze the risk to your business. Call us at (888) 600-4560 or email us, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.