It’s Time For A Refresh!
4 Cyber Security Trainings To Do With All Employees

Students are returning to the classroom now that back-to-school season is officially underway. During the first few weeks, teachers will be reteaching their students the topics they learned in the previous school year to help them regain knowledge they may have forgotten during summer break. But students aren’t the only ones in need of a refresher every year.

Your employees also need to be refreshed on company policies, values and, most importantly, cyber security practices.

Did you know that human error accounts for 95% of all successful cyber-attacks? When a cybercriminal is planning an attack, they look for weak points within a company’s cyber security plan.

The easiest spot for hackers to exploit is a company’s employees.

New cyberthreats are created on a consistent basis, and it’s important that your employees know what to do when they encounter a potential threat. If your employees are not routinely participating in cyber security trainings, your business could be at risk, regardless of size.

Every single one of your employees should be familiar with your cyber security practices.

When they’re hired on, they should go through an initial training that lays out all of your practices, and they should also participate in refresher trainings throughout the year to ensure that the entire team is on the same page with cyber security.

At the very least, you should host at least one security training annually.
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If you’ve never put together a cyber security training, you may be wondering what topics you need to cover with your team. Below, you will find four of the most important topics to cover.

Responsibility For Company Data
This is your opportunity to explain to your employees why cyber security is so important. They need to understand why cybercriminals are interested in your company’s data and what they could potentially do with it. Everyone on your team has a legal and regulatory obligation to protect the privacy of your company’s information. When discussing this topic with your team, it’s imperative that they know the ramifications of falling victim to a cyber security threat.

Internet Usage
Does your company have restrictions on what websites your employees can use while at work? If not, that’s something you should look into. Every device that’s used by your employees should have safe browsing software downloaded onto it to prevent them from stumbling upon dangerous sites that could put your company’s data at risk. Your employees should know what sites are acceptable to use and that they should not be accessing their personal accounts while connected to your company’s network. They should never click on links that are sent from an anonymous source or are found on an unapproved website.

If your employees utilize e-mail while at work, it’s important that they know which e-mails are safe to open.

Employees should not respond to e-mails that are from people they aren’t familiar with, as that could be a cybercriminal attempting to gain access to your company’s data. Employees should only accept and open e-mails that they are expecting or that come from a familiar e-mail address.

Protecting Their Computers
If your employees have their own personal computers, they should be doing everything in their power to keep them protected.

Whenever they walk away from their computer, they should make sure it’s locked; they should also never leave their computer in an unsecure location. Also, ensure that your employees are backing up their data routinely and have downloaded necessary antivirus software. It’s of the utmost importance that your team has been fully trained in your cyber security practices. If they haven’t, they could open your business up to all sorts of cyber-attacks that will damage your company’s reputation from a customer perspective.

Your business will also no longer be compliant, and insurance companies may not cover your claims if your team is not participating in regular training. Ensuring that your team is aware of your cyber security practices and actively taking steps to strengthen your cyber security is the best way to stay compliant and prevent cyber-attacks.

If your team is not regularly going through cyber security training, you need to start. It will offer more protection to your business, which will make your customers more comfortable doing business with your company.
"Human error accounts for 95% of all successful cyber-attacks"
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3 Questions No Leader Should Ever Ask

Over the years, I have advised many board members and CEOs of large companies on their most important leadership issues.

In life, people like to think that there aren’t inherently right and wrong questions to ask, but I think that’s a misconception – especially in the world of business. "Right" questions are the ones that matter. They cut to the heart of the issue and produce an answer that a leader can act on.

The "right" questions help leaders get results. On the other hand, you have "wrong" questions. The mere act of asking these questions can lead you down the wrong path and prevent you from achieving your full potential in your career. Over the years, I’ve heard the "wrong" questions asked a multitude of times, and they can usually be grouped into three distinct categories.

Ethical Questions
The wisest, most successful leaders I have worked alongside all seem to lead according to this rule regarding ethical questions: "If you have to ask, then don’t." In other words, if there is something that makes you feel that it is in the gray area or that taking an action might even be misinterpreted as unethical, then just don’t do it.

I’ve never seen a leader regret having held back from taking an action when they had an ethical question. "How unethical would it be if…" is a question no leader should ever ask.

Questions Regarding Underperformance
There is a cycle of “facing reality” that my clients sometimes go through. They have a bold vision: a goal to achieve something great.

And when they realize that they don’t have the team to make it happen, they start to fantasize and think, "I wonder if Fred or Amy will rise to the occasion and suddenly display strengths or show a burst of energy we have not seen to achieve these results." Subordinates typically follow a very predictable pattern of performance.

Great leaders know who they can count on to do what. So you rarely see great leaders asking themselves, "I wonder if my subordinate will suddenly perform well in a role that does not appear to fit their talents and interests."

Questions About Trusting Your Boss
There is a saying that people don’t quit companies, they quit bad bosses. So if you find yourself wondering whether you can trust your boss or not, you likely can’t. Go find a boss you can trust, one who will hold your interests in high regard. Rarely do you see great leaders staying in roles where they ask themselves, "I wonder if I can trust my boss."

Dr. Geoff Smart is the chairman and founder of ghSMART, a leadership consulting firm that exists to help leaders amplify their positive impact on the world.

Dr. Smart and his firm have published multiple New York Times best sellers. He stays active in his community and has advised many government officials.


These Marketing Trends Didn’t Go Out Of Style

When people think about trends, they often imagine what’s in style at that current moment.

We like to imagine that trends come and go, but the opposite is sometimes true. In fact, the greatest trends become a part of our culture. At one time, people thought cellphones, texting and computers were just a phase, but decades later, they’re still here because they made our lives better! Trends in marketing are the same.

Sometimes a fresh marketing strategy will pop up, but if it works, it will become a mainstay. As you continue to plan your marketing strategy for the next few months and the upcoming year, you can look at previous statistics to ensure your methods are successful.

Using Influencers
People love to use their smartphones and social media. During the pandemic, many businesses started to advertise on Instagram and TikTok through the use of social media influencers.
A TopRank Marketing survey found most B2B marketers believe this strategy changes minds, improves the brand experience and yields better campaign results.

Advertising On Podcasts
There are podcasts available that discuss every topic imaginable, and over 30% of Americans listen to a podcast on a monthly basis.

That percentage rises when you look at younger demographics. Advertising on podcasts is a great way to reach a younger audience.

Leveraging AI
The importance of artificial intelligence (AI) for B2B marketing became crystal clear recently, when a Salesforce study reported that 80% of business buyers expect the companies they reach out to will talk to them “in real time,” regardless of the hour. This statistic highlights how important chatbots and other AI solutions are for customer conversion.

If you’ve seen success with certain marketing trends in the past, you don’t have to get rid of them when you develop a new marketing strategy.

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