Letting an IT manager go, how do you do that?

One of the worst situations that you can be in is acrimonious separation of an IT person from an organisation.

A bad separation, just like a bad divorce can have significant impact.

Large organisations have systems, policies, procedures and processes in place that protect the organisation, when they are used of course.   If followed they protect the organisation well.

SME’s on the other hand have different problems.

We have come across smaller organisation that still have old staff members on the books with full administrator access to everything that is still being done in the organisation.

The problems this creates can be huge.

They have access to privileged accounts.   Accounts that can do anything on the organisations digital world.

Just a few ideas of what they can do!

  • They can steal your trade secrets and take them / sell them to your opposition.
  • They can steal your client list and use them for a number of bad things – competition, blackmail, sabotage.
  • They can cause software issues, lock outs and shut downs
  • They can lock legitimate users / all users out of the organisation.

Another problem!

In most cases the IT person is there because they know computers.   They were allocated the role when they joined and you may even have paid for some education and training packages to make them better.

This just puts them in the position of holding the keys to the kingdom.

If you are going to remove an IT person from your organisation, the best thing you can do is outsource your IT, for a short time or indefinately.   They have the expertice to protect your organisation and they are under contract to ensure your systems are safe.

Roger Smith is a highly respected expert in the fields of cybercrime and business security and is a Lecturer at ADFA (UNSW – Australian Centre of Cybersecurity) on Cybercime, Cybersecurity and the hacking techniques used by the digital criminal.   
He is an Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime with his best selling book, Cybercrime a clear and present danger, going to number one in 3 sections of Amazon.   
He is the primary presenter for the Business Security Intensive (BSI) and author of the Digital Security Toolbox which is given away for free at the BSI.   He is a speaker, author, teacher and educator on Cybercrime and an expert on how to protect yourself, your staff, your clients and your intellectual property from the digital world.

(Video) What is Business Continuity?

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework | Speaker | Consultant | Trainer discusses –  Business Continuity

[Beginning of transcript]

Hello! My name is Roger and I’d like to talk to you about what is Business Continuity.

Business Continuity, along with disaster recovery, are looking at critical compartments and functions of the organization and make sure that they will continue to run if there’s an interruption to your business.

So, it counteracts business interruptions to a level where you know that if something is going to happen or something has happened, you will be in a situation where it will be a better problem day forward.

So, with the business continuity plan, you have to have solutions to problems and business continuity does solutions have to have an understanding of how they are going to impact the business of the organizations.

There are two main components of Business Continuity:

Your Recovery Point Objectives –which ones do you want to get up and running again and how fast you need to do that is called a Recovery Time Objective.

And those two components are what you should be looking at in the business to find out what is going to be good for your business and how fast you need things up and running.

But with that Business Continuity, there’s a lot of things. You have to understand that if you have a disaster and you need the business continuity plan or the business continuity has to come in to it, you need to know that you have to spend money to get back to where you were and who has the purse strings and how people access that money is part of business continuity.

Also, you need to have a compliance component. The compliance component make sure that your business is up and running and protecting everything that it needs to protect your tasks.

Thank you very much.

[End of transcript]

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   Rapid Restart Appliance Creator.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and Educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world. 

(Video) What is Business Continuity Planning

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework | Speaker | Consultant | Trainer discusses –   what is Business Continuity Planning

[Beginning of transcript]

Hello. My name is Roger and today I’d like to talk you about Business Continuity Planning.

So, What is Business Continuity Planning? Well, that is making sure that if something happens to your business, that the business is going to continue as business as normal or if something has happened and it has a detrimental effect on you, how far or how long is it going to take before you get back to business-as-usual.

Today in business continuity plan, you have to have an impact analysis of what risks and mitigate those risks to make sure that you have the best in place of things if things go wrong that they could recover from.

So, you need to have your Recovery Time Objectives – what is critical to the business, how fast does it need to be backed-up? If something fouls and it is critical to the business, can it be done at all? And if it does go down, what are you going to do about it?

But also, you need to do a risk assessment and this is all about risk. You’re looking at the risks of the business and making sure that you are taking overly-expectant consideration in making decisions based on those facts. If you need email to work all the time, then that is a business continuity consideration. If you need your database to be accessible at all times for the website, then that is a business continuity assessment. And then you have to mitigate all those risks to put systems in place so that your business continues no matter what.

So if you have a on-site, website server and your internet goes down, then you lost a large component of your business. So how do you make sure that doesn’t happen? Well, you have to download systems or you move your server, you mover your website to a cloud or to a cloud-server or to a hosted system. But on top of that, you have to also keep monitoring and testing to make sure that if things are changing, how do we make sure that business continuity is changing with them. And if we add things or remove things, we have to change the plan to make sure that we are no longer consuming the old technology and we are now using the new technology.

Thank you very much.

[End of transcript]

Two attitudes to cybercrime that have to change!

There has been a large amount of discussion on why cybersecurity is important to all Organisations.    No matter your size or your focus we are all targets of cyber criminals.  The biggest and hardest thing to do is convince small and medium businesses and not for profit Organisations that cybercrime is in fact rampant in the digital world.

I often hear, we are too small to be a target, it will not happen to me and we have nothing worth stealing.   These are classic examples of the SME’s mentality when it comes to cybercrime.

Recently I came across two more reasons that SME’s are not embracing the dangers of cybercrime.

We make hammers

I was recently talking to a small hardware retailer at a networking function.   When I explained to him what we did – educate and protect Organisations against cybercrime to build business resilience – his comment was

“Why should I worry about that, all I do is sell hammers”.

This is a major flaw in the SME business world.  Organisations forget that no matter what you do, how you do it and how you make money we do it in the digital world.  Protecting your digital assets is just as important as using them for the business.

The digital world is cost effective and convenient.   We use it for everything – sales, marketing, communication, accounting.   Connecting to the digital world = target.

Being targeted because they are connected, does not seem to enter into most business minds.  We take enormous care to make sure that we cannot be robbed in the real world.   We are blazee about our digital assets.

We are all citizens of the digital world;

  • Using the digital world = target!
  • Connecting to the digital world = target!
  • Being a member of the digital world = target!

You may sell hammers, or build patios, or run electrical cable, or dig holes, we all still have systems in place that are connected to the digital world.

How do you communicate – email, social media!

How do you bill your clients – accounting package or cloud based system!

What other uses is your smart device used for – on line banking, looking for information.

Each one of those system, in today’s world – is a target.

Make sure you protect it!

Practice you recovery

If disaster struck, would you survive?

One of the largest problems as a managed services provider is that we can do everything that is required of us.   We can create disaster recovery plans, business continuity plans or install backup solutions.   We know that they will work and will protect the organisation.   But how do we prove that?

If the C level, board or management levels are not interested then it is a total waste of time.   There is an advert for a mattress company that goes “a 50% saving on a bed that is not right for you is a 100% waste of money”. The same is true of an untested disaster plan.

An untested DR plan, BC plan or backup are a total waste of time if;

  • It is not tested
  • The right systems are not included in the plans
  • No one knows what to do
  • No one is willing to invest time and money in the outcomes

Where you do not want to be.   The first and only test is when a disaster happens.   That will bring you a world of pain.

The only way to confirm that your plans are going to work is to see what happens if the systems are turned off.

Try it sometime.

It will definitely show you what you can expect in the aftermath of a cyberattack, a natural disaster or just a failed hard drive.

Managing the risk of a cyber-attack is very important to all SME’s.   If you have a digital component it is a risk to your business.   Make sure you mitigate that risk to a level that you are happy about.

Winging it and no plan are not alternatives.

There are so many stories about Organisations that did not have backup, did not have DR or BC plans, or thought that did not have to worry about digital security.

Most of them are now out of business.

Roger Smith is the CEO of R & I ICT Consulting Services, Amazon #1 selling author on Cybercrime, author of the Digital Security Toolbox and author of the SME Digital Security Framework.   He is a Speaker, Author, Teacher and educator on cybercrime and how to protect yourself from the digital world.

(Video) What sort of monitoring is needed by an SME.

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses system monitoring and why an SME needs it.

[Start of transcript]

Hi. My name is Roger. I’d like to talk to you today about what sort of monitoring is needed by a small and medium enterprise of a non-profit organization.

In today’s world, if something breaks it usually stops what you are doing pretty drastically. If your hard drive fails in your laptop or in your pc then naturally that becomes just a paper weight on your table, and you don’t that to happen. You don’t want to be in a situation where when it fails is the first time you realize you had a problem and this is where my team monitoring comes into it.

Most many services providers will have a managed component that is probably free or very inexpensive as part of their package. Because it’s really important to them to understand (a) that you’ve got a problem and (b) to fix the problem before you realize you have a problem, which makes them look really good. And that’s what it’s all about, making them look really good in your eyes.

So, instead of having the hard drive failure or having had the pc running for a long time and then come up and say, ‘well it’s running out of space’. You need to know that sort of thing. And this is where that sort of monitoring comes in.

When they install the monitoring system, they actually do it on all of the pcs, all of the laptops, all of the tablets and phones, and they create a baseline. That baseline is how it works now. So they can see what happens over the course of a couple of months and a couple years. And when you need to replace it, or when you need to upgrade it, if your processor is working overtime just because you’re doing graphic design then you need a better computer to do the job.

And as I said, the good thing about a managed service provider provides if they got a monitoring component is that they will look at the system and go, ‘that’s going to break, we better do something, here’s our hard drive, go and put it in and swap all the data out’. And that is why you need to have it.

Thank you very much.

[end of transcript]

(Video) Business Continuity for SMBs

Roger Smith, CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd and Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime discusses the need for small and medium business to have some level of business continuity plan

Hi. My name is Roger and today I would like to talk to you about business continuity for small business. What is business continuity? Well business continuity is making sure that if something does happen to your business then you have a good platform to be able to continue doing business.

And there’s a number of things that make business continuity, or BC as we call it, profitable for your business as well. Now, business continuity is based on things like what happens if we have another cyclone like the hurricane like Sandy? Or we have similar tropical storm like the one that wiped out the pacific area recently.

Now those are things that have a continuity component to make sure your business is capable if something happens. But what happens if the small thing happens? Your marketing manager wins a lottery and [Indiscernible 00:01:08] not playing anymore.

Okay so you just lost your marketing manager. How much of an impact is that going to have on your business? And that impact on your business is going to be pretty quickly.

So the first thing when it comes to business continuity is you need a plan. You need a plan that sets out the things that you consider are really important. Natural disaster – this is what we do. Marketing manager wins lottery – this is what we do. And by making sure that the business continuity from point of your business is secure and set up properly.

You know that if the marketing manager wins a lottery and moves out, the assistant marketing manager knows not only what he does, he knows how it’s done and why it’s done and who he’s talking to. That is part of your business continuity.

But a business continuity plan has to be written down. It has to be one page to 150 pages. It has to specify what you are going to do because if you don’t do that, a) you haven’t thought it through so you’re playing it badly on the wing at the time which is not a good place to be, and b) it needs to be written down so everybody knows what they have to do.

As I said, marketing manager walks out, assistant marketing manager knows the role. CIO walks out, IT manager takes over. That is part of the business continuity. But because you are doing that you are also increasing the resilience in your business.

The business resilience then becomes a very important component of how you are going to go forward. So business continuity for small business, very important. And it’s something that you’ll need to take to the next level by having a proper plan.

Thank you.

[End of transcript]