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Slam the door on scammers

In our last issue we looked at some of the techniques scammers use to harvest valuable information so they can hack your systems. Some of these scams use social engineering techniques to fool business owners and employees into revealing key business data. 

Just as people become alert to one technique, scammers develop another. They rely on people being friendly, helpful or simply naïve. Make sure your team are alert to scams and develop strategies to block them. 

 

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FYI… Pretexting 

Pretexting is a scam where the scammer pretends to be a genuine contact to obtain sensitive data in order to hack the system: 

  • A caller says they're from the business' IT consultant and asks for login details because they're doing 'routine maintenance' on an issue and need remote access to the system 
  • An official-looking announcement appears on the bulletin board saying the number for the help desk has changed. When employees call for help, a call centre asks for their passwords and IDs, gaining access to the company's private information 
  • A contact might come through social media, establishing trust as a prospect interested in what the business offers, lulling you into revealing sensitive information 
  • The friendly new reps for one of your suppliers turn up at reception with morning tea for the team and cheerful questions about your business operations and assets 

With all these approaches, take a minute. Think. Who do you call to verify the contact is genuine? Is it your in-house IT Manager, your IT consultant or your General Manager? Have procedures in place to safeguard what information is given out, when and to whom. 

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Putting some structure into your business

Your business and your team are growing, and you can't be everywhere at once. Sound familiar? It might be time to rethink your organisational structure. Small businesses do well with flat structures. At their best there's a friendly, informal, 'just get on with it' feel to them as the team deals directly with the owner. With growth, some degree of hierarchy becomes inevitable. It can have negative connotations for people. Businesses described as 'hierarchical' can sound like they're oppressive to the people who work in them and frustrating to customers. It doesn't have to be that way. 

Depending on your approach, it can improve morale, productivity and your overall business success. It can be a very pragmatic solution when a business is growing and suddenly the team (and you) can't keep everything in their heads any more. It's possible to create a structured environment, with individual roles and responsibilities and, at the same time, encourage employees to express ideas freely. Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us like a bit of structure. 

Aim for  Avoid   
A guideline for employees to understand where they sit within a business model and what needs to be achieved in order to ascend the ranks or be promoted.  An environment where employees feel a lack of power, leaving a sense of being devalued.   
Better communication flow; knowing the right person in each department or area to chat with regarding particular issues.    Stifling creativity when those at the bottom of the pecking order lack the confidence to come forward with new ideas and approaches.   

What should you do? 

Involve your team. Let them know why you want to change the current structure. Seek their views on what works and what doesn't. Whiteboard out the major processes to identify bottlenecks and where the business would benefit from better systems e.g. a ticketing system for repairs and complaints. Talk through options and how best to achieve the right outcomes. Hold regular meetings to support innovation amongst staff members and reiterate the company culture. 

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An Important Message

While every effort has been made to provide valuable, useful information in this publication, this firm and any related suppliers or associated companies accept no responsibility or any form of liability from reliance upon or use of its contents. Any suggestions should be considered carefully within your own particular circumstances, as they are intended as general information only.

 

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