Security planning for 2019 part 2
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This episode is the second part of a three-part series based on a study I conducted about how the security levels of your business depend on your business cycle stage.
No matter which stage your business is currently in I would recommend listening to all the episodes of this series as each one is building on the previous one thus, in case you haven’t listened the previous episode go back and listen to the episodes in order to get full benefits from this series.
So, let’s get back to the ten stages of the life cycle of business I was taught during the Business Mastery Course I took with the Giant Tony Robbins. In the previous episode we analyzed the first two stages.
Stage 3: Toddler
You get to see your baby growing. Let’s face it. You basically had a one man show so far. Now, it is time for the management team to kick-in. Your business starts forming but even though everyone does their thing they still depend on you for the major decisions. Any mistakes they make have a huge impact on your business’ reputation and let’s be honest; you do not have the greatest experience at selecting the right people yet. So, if in the previous stages you were crying about fraud service providers now you cry about the wrong selection of people.
Revenue is still a problem as you need to pay your management team and there is still no distinction between revenue and profit.
But let’s talk security for this stage. With no experience in selecting the people around you the major concern is your reputation. You definitely do not have a large-scale reputation yet but at your very first impressions with clients you do not want to be misrepresented or losing deadlines for which your business is held responsible.
- So, make sure that you have a great project management software
- You check and approve any marketing material before going online
- Prepare templates for emails/communications and deliverables that go out to clients
- You set up KPIs (key performance indicators) and ways to measure progress for each of your team members
- constantly checking and controlling their performance and alignment with your vision for this company
- run an awareness security training
- teach them security basics to avoid reputation problems which can rise from a mistake or a cyber attack your team can enable
- to the least apply the measures discussed in stage 2 for each member of your team
I know what you are thinking. Is this security advice? It is advice for protecting your most valuable asset, your business and even though it is surprising we have to keep it real. At this stage you do not need an intelligence tool to stop zero-day attacks which you most probably have no idea what I am talking about when your employees share passwords on a cloud provider like Dropbox because it is more convenient for them to do so.
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Stage 4: Teenager
By now you learned from your mistakes and you start stabilizing your professional management team. Surprisingly there is cashflow and your confidence is boosting creating some recklessness with a high possibility of destroying all you have been struggling to create. Sales are effortless, and you remain the main authority.
At this stage to protect your business do the following:
- start putting in place systems and procedures for everything including your security policies and procedures
- implement GDPR compliance because your business is at high stake if you don’t
- keep participating in meetings with your team like you did in the past
- ask for the down-side for every decision you are about to make and approach risks with more consciousness by taking some decision-making courses if necessary. You can start by stoicism and I have a related episode here if you wish to study it
- keep your expenses low and take your accounting more seriously by separating revenue from profit and by knowing exactly how much percentage of each product or service you sell is needed to cover expenses
- most importantly go through the supply chain of your processes and check for problems and issues. Due to your lack of experience you will not be able to anticipate for all problems which will arise but to the very least make sure that problems are addressed in a timely manner when they occur.
Stage 5: Young adult
If you managed to reach this stage, you have possessed a certain level of business wisdom. You have a stable management team and individual decision makers. You have mastered evaluation and measurement for everything and you start focusing on
- redefining your identity based on who you have become and re-enforcing your culture. Your business stability depends on your insiders and culture is what keeps them together. Every business owner I interact with has one major issue which is trust, especially with security and so much at stake. I do not want to reveal much because I have been working on a trust model for a while but through my research, I have discovered that a defining factor is the company’s culture and how much success it will have depends on how much it is able to nurture the personnel and the world.
- It is now the time to perform your risk assessment evaluation in order to start customizing your security levels based on the threats and risks your business is potentially at risk of dealing with at this stage.
- Create a clear budget of your expenses including a fair amount of 3% to 5% on an average for your business protection.
- Start evaluating your personal footprint and protection since you are really close to becoming a vulnerability for your business survival if you don’t.
- Start automating as much as you can to minimize time, cost and resources for your security and the other major important areas of focus for your business growth and expansion.
I would like to leave you with a tweetable:
That’s all for today. Stay tuned for the third and final episode of this series in which I will analyze the security levels you need to establish in order to correctly plan for 2019.
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