How to reduce your organisation’s data security risks

Educate your employees on the importance of data security and how to stay safe online

It is important for businesses to educate their employees on the importance of data security. Employees need to be aware of the risks associated with using unsecured networks and sharing confidential information. They should also know how to stay safe online, including how to protect their passwords and avoid phishing scams.

In addition, measures should be taken by the management to prevent employees from downloading unauthorised software or visiting malicious websites. Businesses should also have a policy in place for dealing with data breaches so that employees know what to do if their information is compromised.

Use strong passwords and change them regularly

Passwords are an essential way in which businesses can protect their data, and it is, therefore, important to use strong passwords that are difficult to guess. Businesses should also change their passwords regularly to minimise the risk of them being compromised according to the best infrastructure solutions providers in Sri Lanka.

There are a number of ways to create strong passwords, including using a combination of letters, numbers and symbols, and avoiding common words or phrases. It is also important to keep passwords safe and confidential, and never share them with anyone else.

If a business experiences a data breach, one of the first things they will need to do is change all their passwords. This can be time-consuming but it is essential in order to prevent any further damage from being done. In any event, passwords should be changed on a regular basis so that they remain strong and secure.

Install antivirus software on all company devices

Businesses should also make sure that they have up-to-date antivirus software installed on all their devices, and that they are using the latest operating system updates and security patches. This will help to protect them from cyber-attacks and malware infections.

Antivirus software can also be used to protect against ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on the victim’s computer and then demands a ransom payment in order to decrypt them.

There are many very good antivirus software available for businesses these days, and many of them are free. Some of the most popular antivirus software programs include Avast, AVG, Bitdefender, and Kaspersky.

Make sure your firewall is turned on and updated regularly

A firewall is a must for any business and should be turned on as soon as the computer is booted up. Firewalls are software programs that act as a barrier between your computer and the internet. They can help to protect your computer from malware infections, and they can also help to prevent hackers from accessing your computer.

Most firewalls come with default settings that will provide a good level of protection for most businesses. However, it is important to make sure that these settings are updated regularly in order to keep up with the latest threats.

Many businesses choose to outsource their firewall management to a specialist security company or firewall providers in Sri Lanka. This can be a very cost-effective way of ensuring that your firewall is always up-to-date and performing at its best.

Back up your data frequently in case of a security breach

Businesses should also make sure that they have a data backup plan in place. If a computer or other device is infected with ransomware or another type of malware, they will be able to restore their files from the backup if they have one.

Backup plans can also be used to protect against data loss caused by accidents or natural disasters. It is a good idea for businesses to back up their data on a regular basis, preferably using two different methods (such as online backups and external hard drives). Usually, backups are never kept at the same location as the business’s primary data storage.

Restrict access to sensitive information only to those who need it

One of the best ways to ensure that your data is safe, is by restricting access to it only to those who need it. This can be done by creating user accounts with different levels of access, and assigning specific permissions to each account. You can also use firewalls and other security measures to help restrict access.

If you are using a cloud storage provider, make sure that their security measures meet your organisation’s requirements. Only choose providers who have a good reputation for data security, and read the fine print before signing up. It is also important to keep your software updated with the latest security patches. Hackers often take advantage of outdated software vulnerabilities to gain access to systems.

Prevent Presentation Bloopers

Once upon a time… A synthesis of real-life presentation bloopers.

There was a presenter who knew her subject cold − a true expert. Naturally, she was chosen to deliver a sales presentation to an important potential customer group of 50. The afternoon before the event, she loaded the standard charts and graphs on pricing onto her laptop for a PowerPoint presentation. Thinking the slides looked a bit dull, she colored the backgrounds red, yellow and green. For additional interest she made the slides replace each other by alternately fading, zooming left, right, up, down. She added twirling leaves in the borders, colored to contrast with the background. She was ready. This was going to be a piece of cake.

The audience is seated. She says “Good morning,” turns on the projector and sees a sea of faces bathed in psychedelic light, eyes squinting. She squints, too. She cannot quite make out the numbers on the lap top screen. Not wanting to turn her back completely to the audience in order to read from the large screen, she steps behind it and peeks her head out, neck craned. She starts reading and explaining the numbers. As the audience’s eyes begin to accustom to the light show, they try to keep up with the numbers the presenter is launching through. They scramble through their briefcases for paper to take notes.

They miss an entire screen. The presenter notices that no one is paying attention to what she is saying because they are all madly writing notes. She steps in front of the screen, still talking, everyone still intently copying numbers on their scraps of paper. How to capture their attention? She begins to wave her arms around to punctuate her points, she speaks faster and yells her words. This does distract them. As 50 pairs of eyes turn to hers, she gets nervous. She cannot think of the right word. She loses her entire train of thought. She decides to just keep talking until she finds it again.

Mercifully, somehow, she gets to the end of her presentation and asks for audience questions. “That was all pricing information. Your competitors charge less. What are the benefits if we invest?” “What are examples of how your product works for your other customers?” “How will you tailor your service to our unique needs?” “Why are you are better than your competitors?” “What would we lose if we go to your closest competitor?” With five minutes to answer these questions, unprepared, she wonders what she could have done differently.

Prepare!

PREPARE your Purpose
PREPARE your Persuasion Points
PREPARE your Presence
PREPARE by Practice

Preparation = Relaxed Presentation
Nervousness and lack of preparation are directly proportionate to each other!

My next ezine will detail my PREPARE Presentation System

Present Your Point More Compellingly – Tell a Story

Far from the bedtime stories of childhood or the pop culture of films, novels and television shows, a business presentation may not seem like the appropriate place for a story. After all, business presentations are where we talk about hard facts. Business presentations are where we let the data influence logical decision-making. Business presentations are no place for a story. Or are they?

Why Stories?

People love stories. They can’t help themselves. From the days of our ancestors sitting around the campfire to the modern day storytellers on screen, when we listen to a story, we want to know about the people in the story. We want to know what happens next. Think about it. We’ve all sat through an awful because we had to know how the story ended. Stories draw an audience into your presentation. Being drawn in helps the audience connect better with you and with your message.

Stories help make the abstract more concrete. In business, we often have to deal with concepts that are hard to visualize if we haven’t experienced with them ourselves. A story can help create that picture of what the idea looks like in real life. The more concrete we can make an idea and tie it to something our audience already knows, the more likely our audience is to understand and to remember our message.

3 Tips for Storytelling in Presentations

Make the stories personal. When telling stories, talk about things you’ve experienced or observed. That’s one way to make sure your audience hasn’t just read the story on the internet, in a book, etc. Plus because you’re the speaker, the audience wants to hear your insights. Telling personal stories gives the audience a glimpse into who you are and how you think. Stories helps them to learn about and like you.

Have a point. When telling a story, be sure to have a point. The story doesn’t have to directly relate to the subject you’re speaking on but it should have what presentation skills expert Max Dixon calls a transferable metaphor — the story needs to have a lesson that illustrates the bigger message you’re trying to deliver. The value of the story will be lost if you can’t tie the lesson of the story back to the information you provide. So tell the story and make your point.

Include emotions. When telling the story, include an emotional element that will connect with your audience. Business or not, we’re all human beings and emotions touch us as individuals. While logic may seem the dominate business theme, emotions tie into business decisions too. Adding an emotional element to your story will help strengthen the connection of your audience to your message. The emotion can range from humor to empathy depending on the subject and the point you’re trying to make. Regardless of the emotion, stories that touch your audience, whether with laughter or tears, will help make your message easier to understand and more memorable.

A business presentation will always contain the fact and figures that help decision makers make the right call. But using stories can cement the business presentation and make it personal. Use the value of stories to help you connect, communicate and contribute to your next business audience.