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December 2018

January 2019

3 Deadly Sins That Make Financial Data Vulnerable to Hackers

One of the greatest threats to companies these days is their vulnerability to cyberattacks from hackers.  And it’s no longer exclusively large companies at risk. Even small and medium-sized companies are targets these days, with an average loss of $2.2 million.

IStock-467163236As devastating as these losses can be, they pale in comparison with the impact resulting from loss of clientele and reputation. Companies are legally mandated to disclose data breaches to each customer affected.  Research indicates up to 60% of small businesses that are breached shut down within 6 months.  

Several “deadly sins” can help make it far more likely hackers will succeed when launching cyberattacks on companies' financial data.  To sharply reduce those odds, avoid the following errors committed inside large and small companies.

  • Phishing attacks. Almost 7 in 10 IT directors report phishing and other malicious email attacks get past spam filters. More than a quarter of company officials have fallen for malicious emails. Lesson: train users in spotting and avoiding phishing and scam emails.
  • Unprotected smartphones. Mobile devices are lost all the time. Yet seven in 10 people fail to password protect their smartphones. And nine in 10 finders of lost smartphones look into the phones for sensitive data. Lesson: Password protect.
  • Beware the Wi-Fi. The number of Wi-Fi deployments across the country grows yearly, and many are subject to malware designed to ensnare travelers. Yet less than one in five (18 percent) take proper precautions when using public Wi-Fi. Lesson: Use VPN tools when accessing public Wi-Fi.

Small to medium-sized companies face extreme danger from cyberattacks, up to and including going out of business. Given that danger, doesn't it make sense to learn as much as possible about how to avoid deadly sins that lead to data breaches?

Ask about our complimentary 45-minute data breach seminar. You and your employees can gain valuable techniques to guard against costly data breaches.

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Keep Key Employees during a Merger/Acquisition

Many companies involved in mergers and acquisitions offer retention bonuses to key employees to ensure they stay put.  But consultancy McKinsey & Company has learned many would have stayed without bonuses. A better approach? Customizing packages of financial and non-monetary incentives to each crucial staffer’s goals. A European firm using this strategy slashed its former cash-based retention budget by 75 percent. IStock-695603474

It’s natural for key employees to feel fearful after a merger or acquisition. It’s also natural for them to consider taking their talents elsewhere. A study two years ago found just 45 percent of companies successfully retained employees through a transition. To help ensure your organization fares better, focus on the following strategies.

  • Don’t rush the process. Taking time to understand the corporate culture, values and talent base of the other company helps in retaining key employees. Why are the other company’s employees happy with their job situations? What makes the company successful? These are keys to creating a retention strategy.
  • Communicate clearly. Open lines of communication are critical to building trust among key employees in the conjoined team. Broadly conveying your company philosophy and goals represents one step, and meeting one on one to communicate on a personal level with important staff about their concerns is another.
  • Identify cultural similarities, differences. Where do the two companies find common ground? Where are the important differences that must be bridged? Knowing the similarities and differences can help you avoid key staff defections.
  • Invest in your employees. Career development initiatives reflective of the newly-constituted company’s goals impart a message to critical staff that the company cares about their professional growth and wants them to stay.

A cohesive, well-orchestrated blueprint for the transition, and full participation by the united HR team in making the transition work can help companies overcome talent defections following a merger or acquisition.

How has your company managed to keep employees during mergers and acquisitions?

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