How To Make Cyber Security An Ingrained
Part Of Your Company Culture

Your employees are your first line of defense when it comes to protecting your business from cyberthreats. Human error is one of the single biggest culprits behind cyber-attacks.

It comes down to someone falling for a phishing scam, clicking an unknown link or downloading a file without realizing that it’s malicious.

Because your team is so critical to protecting your business from cyber threats, it’s just as critical to keep your team informed and on top of today’s dangers. One way to do that is to weave cyber security into your existing company culture.

How Do You Do That?

For many employees, cyber security is rarely an engaging topic.

In truth, it can be dry at times, especially for people outside of the cyber security industry, but it can boil down to presentation. That isn’t to say you need to make cyber
security "fun," but make it interesting or engaging. It should be accessible and a normal part of the workday.

Bring It Home For Your Team. One of the reasons why people are often disconnected from topics related to cyber security is simply because they don’t have firsthand experience with it.

This is also one reason why many small businesses don’t invest in cyber security in the first place – it hasn’t happened to them, so they don’t think it will. Following that logic, why invest in it at all?

The thing is that it will eventually happen. It’s never a question of if, but when. Cyberthreats are more common than ever. Of course, this also means it’s easier to find examples you can share with your team.

Many major companies have been attacked. Millions of people have had their personal data stolen. Look for examples that employees can relate to, names they are familiar with, and
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If possible, bring in personal examples. Maybe you or someone you know has been the victim of a cyber-attack, such as ransomware or a data breach. The closer you can bring it home to your employees, the more they can relate, which means they’re listening.

Collaborate With Your Employees. Ask what your team needs from you in terms of cyber security. Maybe they have zero knowledge about data security and they could benefit from training. Or maybe they need access to better tools and resources. Make it a regular conversation with employees and respond to their concerns.

Part of that can include transparency with employees. If Julie in accounting received a phishing e-mail, talk about it. Bring it up in the next weekly huddle or all-company meeting. Talk about what was in the e-mail and point out its identifying features. Do this every time phishing e-mails reach your employees.

Or, maybe Jared received a mysterious e-mail and made the mistake of clicking the link within that e-mail. Talk about that with everyone, as well. It’s not about calling out Jared. It’s about having a conversation and not placing blame. The focus should be on educating and filling in the gaps.

Keep the conversation going and make it a normal part of your company’s routine. The more you talk about it and the more open you are, the more it becomes a part of the company culture.

Keep Things Positive. Coming from that last point, you want employees to feel safe in bringing their concerns to their supervisors or managers. While there are many cyberthreats that can do serious damage to your business (and this should be stressed to employees), you want to create an environment where employees are willing to ask for help and are encouraged to learn more about these issues.

Basically, employees should know they won’t get into trouble if something happens. Now, if an employee is blatantly not following your company’s IT rules, that’s a different matter. But for the day-to-day activities, creating a positive, educational, collaborative environment is the best way to make cyber security a normal part of your company culture.

Plus, taking this approach builds trust, and when you and your team have that trust, it becomes easier to tackle issues of data and network security – and to have necessary conversations.

Need help creating a cyber security company culture that’s positive? Don’t hesitate to reach out to your managed services provider or IT partner! They can help you lay the foundation for educating your team and ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to today’s constant cyberthreats.
"For the day-to-day activities, creating a positive, educational, collaborative environment is the best way to make cyber security a normal part of your company culture."

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Lead Like Your Life Depends On It

Great leaders are like drug addicts. Here’s what I mean by that: in my journey from being a homeless drug addict with no college degree to becoming a successful leader, I have learned that the leaders who are supposedly great, today and of the past, look like addicts in active addiction – they are fixing, managing and controlling perception to get what they want.

I look at the great leaders emerging today, and those who will surface tomorrow, and I see people who will lead in a fundamentally different way – they will look like addicts in recovery. But there’s more to it than that. Consider the following questions:

• In the last 30 days, have you said yes to something you could say no to?
• In the last 30 days, have you hit a weakness?
• In the last 30 days, have you avoided a difficult conversation?
• In the last 30 days, have you held back your unique perspective?

As leaders, we perform these "actions" all the time. I call them our “masks” because we’re hiding our true selves behind our actions. Leaders teach others that they need to hide their vulnerabilities, imperfections or weaknesses in order to be successful. To put on a mask. I want to talk about taking off the mask (pandemic aside!), but this isn’t about any physical mask. It starts by identifying what mask is holding you back.

These are the four masks:
1. Saying Yes When You Could Say No
2. Hiding A Weakness
3. Avoiding Difficult Conversations
4. Holding Back Your Unique Perspective (You Don’t Speak Up When You Could/Should)

You can learn more about the mask that’s holding you back at This is a free, five-minute assessment that will give you a clearer picture about which mask is holding you back. But more than that, it also gives you an authenticity rating – to help you determine how authentic you are. What does authenticity have to do with masks? When you’re wearing a mask, you are not being authentic – your true self. This rating tells you how close you are to being your true self.

So, how do you remove the mask? How do you become more authentic? Mask recovery comes down to three principles:

1. Practice Rigorous Authenticity — Be true to yourself all the time, no matter the cost.
2. Surrender The Outcome — Leaders are taught to obsess over outcomes; focus on what you can control.
3. Do Uncomfortable Work — With this emotional work, we need to take action that is good for us (saying no, having difficult conversations).

When you focus on these three principles, you become more authentic. You are able to grow and become the leader for the future – like an addict in recovery.

Michael Brody-Waite is a recovered drug addict who has since become a three-time CEO and TEDx speaker (with over 1.5 million views).

He’s held a leadership role at a Fortune 50 company, he’s the founder of an Inc. 500 company, he’s led a nonprofit and he’s the author of Lead Like Your Life Depends On It: Why In A Pandemic Great Leaders Lead Like Drug Addicts.


How To Know It's Time To Start Scaling Your Business

Creating a business that is scalable isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if you intend to grow – and grow some more. There are three simple ways to tell if you’ve created a business that is scalable.

You Have Positive Cash Flow Figured Out. You’ve successfully built a reliable month-to-month revenue stream. It’s money that you can use to invest further into your business – whether it’s to pay for additional employees, technology, systems and processes or all of the above.

Everything Has Been Delegated. Delegating is hard for many entrepreneurs. You want to have a hand in everything. But when your team keeps everything running – and everything runs even when you’re not there – you’re in a great place to scale up.

You Have More Control Over The People You Get To Work With. Basically, you can start to shape your client base. If there is someone you want to say no to (say you don’t have the full resources to fulfill their needs or they’re just not a great fit), you can move on guilt-free.
If you have these three things in place, you have the foundation to scale up safely and to create the business you’ve always wanted. Forbes, Feb. 11, 2021

How To Build A Forward-Thinking Customer Culture In Your Small Business

How well do you know your customers and clients? If you want to deliver a stellar customer experience and have a forward-thinking customer culture within your organization, you need to know your customers. What makes them tick? What do they love? Why do they make the decisions they make?

More than that, you need to go after the customers who make the most sense to your business. As you grow, you have more opportunity to be picky, so be picky! Develop the customer base you really want. That makes it easier to market to them, because you’re all on the same page.

Finally, when you know who you want to target, stay consistent in your messaging. The entire customer experience – from online marketing to your storefront – should all be uniform. Consistency helps build your brand and anchors customers to the overall experience. Forbes, Feb. 15, 2021

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