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There’s no argument when it comes to business owners or leaders wanting to reduce and minimize the risks to their business…it’s one of the most important aspects of their job as a leader. But are you also including risks that can be caused by “outsiders” to your organization? This is an area sometimes overlooked when it comes to helping reduce your risks.

Your suppliers have enemies

Most suppliers have enemies…those who are trying to hack into their systems and cause disruption of their services or compromise their own customers. It’s just natural in a world economy to be the target and victim of people all over the world trying to get into your systems. And size doesn’t matter…more and more small companies are being hit with this today than ever before. In fact, smaller companies may be richer targets for these enemies because they might not have the systems and protection needed to thwart their attacks.

We hear of many stories in the news how a trusted organization was hacked or compromised by one of these enemies. If you are dealing with one of these in some way, you may have opened the door to the enemies getting into your organization as well. Once they get into one door, many more open up.

Third Parties may introduce disaster

Third party companies can be the culprit of a compromise in your own systems. When their systems get compromised, the likelihood yours will as well goes up dramatically. They are very good at pulling out the data from their records that would allow them access into your systems and records…especially if they think you have confidential and financial information in your system.

If someone feels your organization may have personal data stored in your systems, they are very interested in trying to get at this information as quickly as possible and pulling it out for their own devious uses. They can do this very quickly and be in and out before you know it.

You may never even know it…or you might

There are different strategies these outsiders use when attacking your organization. Some don’t want to be seen or heard, just sneak in and extract information they can use another time to attack your clients and others in your database. Other times, they want to money in return for not stealing your information. Such new tactics such as ransomware and other such extortion techniques are more and more popular so they can extract some revenue in exchange for not messing up or stealing your data.

Some simple but effective actions

While there are very extensive ways to help prevent these attacks from happening, there are a few simple, inexpensive, yet very effective ways to protect yourselves from third party attackers. Here are a few to consider right now that can go a long way to protecting you and your business…

  • Change Passwords regularly…sounds simple but is still one of the most effective ways to protect yourself and your company from attacks. And insist that your outside agencies or contractors change their passwords on your system frequently and consistently. Old passwords is a great way for someone to easily access your systems.
  • Test, test, and test some more…regular and consistent testing of your security is a great way to thwart any would be attackers. If you can get through, so can someone else. Test your systems to ensure that you have the protection you think you have in place. It’s easy but needs to be scheduled on a regular basis for it to work effectively.
  • Create multiple levels of authentication…the more levels someone has to go through to get access to your systems the more likely you are to be protected. Set up multiple levels that will keep bots and other machines from easily accessing your systems even if they have the first level of passwords. With multiple levels of authentication, you and much more protection to your systems.
  • Monitor regularly…as with anything, consistent and regular monitoring will ensure that you are staying current with your levels of protection. Do regular meetings, and have a regular schedule for when things get tested. When you monitor and measure this consistently, it gets done.

What to do next…

If you ever have any questions about this or any other aspect of your business, just ask and we’ll be happy to answer them. Or if you want to understand risk management in more detail and how you could access your own risk, I’d be happy to meet with you (complimentary of course) to discuss it further for your own particular situation. And if you found this helpful and are thinking of someone you know who could benefit from this post, please help them out as well and share this with them.

I hope you have found this helpful and given you a different way to look at your business. If it has, please share this with others inside your company and your colleagues who are running or leading other businesses. Our primary mission at Generations Law Group, LLP is to help everyone find productive ways to lower their business AND personal risk. This is just one way you can start to do this…but it will tell you a lot about you and what has happened over the past few years with regard to your business risk. Let’s make sure your risk is as low as it can be while you continue to grow.

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