We are always talking about technology transforming at a fast pace that is hard to keep up with but what businesses needs to know and understand is what new technology can transform their business in a positive and productive way forward.

In the last year I have seen AI (Artificial Intelligence) come into it own in the business space such as “Siri, lock the door. “Cortana, whats my schedule for tomorrow?” These virtual assistants are the norm, now. 

There is a big focus on analytics of data and is driving changes in many areas of focus such as manufacturing, healthcare, smart cities and much more. You need to ask yourself how the data your business collates can benefit your company.

The adoption of the latest hardware and software can transform your business in leaps and bounds but the technology must be taken on by your employees or your company will find it challenging to bring your staff onboard with the new technology.

Staying connected with your IT business partner will keep your business moving forward with the latest technology by implementing new systems gradually so the new technology will engage and excite your employees rather than cause change fatigue.

Technology will always be transforming it’s how the company and staff culture will lead its development into the business which will determine its success and benefits to the business.

As an IT consultant on a daily basis I see business being attacked by Viruses, Spyware and held ransom for their data in extreme events. How do you as a business protect yourself from the online threats which seem to be looking over our shoulder all the time.

Years ago, the typical hacking scenario involved a lone attacker maybe some buddies that created code and targeted specific sites but now days its evolved to bidding markets for maleware, crime syndicates, botnets for hire and cyber warfare.

People not computers create computer threats and they probe the internet looking for the security vulnerabilities and they also rely on humans to allow their exploits into the system either unintentionally or unknowingly.

So how, do you say that we are to protect ourselves from the online attacks and threats?

There is some simple measure you can put in placed to help prevent cyberattackers visiting your business.

First – Put the right technologies in place such as a firewall to protect your network from the outside web, implement a strong password policy in your network, use cyber protection software that hunts for viruses and malware and update your computers with the latest security patches on a weekly basis.

Second- Train your staff on best practices when dealing with secure passwords, opening email attachment from random people and recognising unsecure website sites asking for personal data.

Third – Most importantly make sure your business has a backup plan in place for your company’s data. Is it being backup up daily and being stored offsite? In cases becoming more common they are holding your company’s data and asking for money in return for the data. If you have a backup in place you can restore to before the attack and not pay a cent.

By implementing a proactive approach to your security, educating your users, and taking advantage of the latest virus software, you’ll be better able to prevent, detect, and strengthen your business against attacks and not being the next victim.

When I talk about your business being completely online I am referring to having your company being completely reliant on the internet for your accounting system, access to all your company files, pos systems, eftpos and telephone system any other cloud base programs that your company is dependent on to operate.

There are many reasons why companies are now all online and there are risks that come with being completely cloud based.

When the NBN came into play it meant that the old copper network was being removed which than lead companies into having their phone systems, alarms and eftpos systems to cloud base technology.

Than as software and database programs started to evolve into cloud base applications and online file sharing the need for an on-premise server was soon phasing out which meant that the companies were completely online.

The risk to being completely online is if your internet provider was to go down your business would grind to a halt as all access to your information would stop which meant downtime for the whole company.

How can you mitigate this risk is not complicated and can be very simple to implement and can save you downtime while the main internet provider comes back online.

We suggest two options mainly and they are affordable when you evaluate the risk.

• Install a modem router with a 4G backup plan so if the main internet line goes down the 4G will run most of the company’s resources except online phone systems but you can easily divert your cloud base phone system to a mobile number until the internet is back online.

• Install a firewall with an additional NBN internet provider such as if you are with Telstra as your main internet company you would than add another NBN plan with another provider so when the main internet goes down it will switch over to the other provider.

It means that you have redundancy with your internet which can be the 4G option or an additional NBN plan with another provider to than lower the risk of complete outage of your company.

Another benefit of having two NBN connections and a firewall is that you can divide your internet traffic between both internet connections and one can handle you phone system and the other all internet traffic to your online applications.

Eventually, the time will come in your business where you will be reliant on the internet to handle most of your company’s day-to-day activities, so why wait, start planning now and avoid the potential risk which can easily be implemented by your trusted IT advisor.

I know myself the first action I do when I go into work in the morning is to open my emails and have a coffee and quickly trawl through the list to see if there are any items that I need to action straight away but unfortunately, I get caught up with reading and filing all my current emails.

I know what you are thinking –zero unread messages give you that temporary satisfactionthat you are update. The fact is you are fighting an uphill battle as your inbox starts to refill immediately.

Let’s face it we all fall into the trap of scanning our emails consistently during the day but let’s work on some small steps to how we can improve our productivity in the office.

Step One – When you first arrive in at the office, work on your most meaningful tasks for the day and allocate at least the first 1-2 hours.

Step Two- Turn off all email notification from your outlook or other mail systems and that also includes your phone and tablet as we don’t want any distracting noises.

Step Three – Allocate two-time slots of 1 hour each in your calendar for the day to open and answer your emails.

Just remember that you’re in control of your daily schedule and beating the temptation of opening email constantly will only bring about more productivity into your day.

Good Luck😊

Fantastic Turn-Out to the Caloundra Chamber of Commerce 's Steve Baxter Better Business Breakfast event in Caloundra on Friday.

Steve Baxter is the Queensland Chief Entrepreneur and Shark Tank Favourite who joined a panel to discuss current issues including the future of business and encouraging the youth to give it a go.

As a proud Major Sponsor along with Storagecraft a massive 450 attendees with a long wait list.
It's great to hear from Steve and his take on how changes to bandwidth will inspire business innovation and growth.

For Future Events and Further information Follow the Secure Access Facebook Page

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