Compliance. That word strikes almost as much fear and discomfort as “taxes” does. But it’s just as important to the survival of your business. And, depending on your industry, your custom software may have as many compliance requirements as the business itself. So, let’s take a look at compliance, for both the business and your software, and how the two work together.
An information technology audit evaluates a business' technical infrastructure and operations in order to identify technologies that are aging and need to be upgraded or replaced. As technology ages, it can start to create unnecessary costs, security vulnerabilities, and prevent continued progress and efficiencies within the business. That is why we recommend periodic technology audits for our clients. These audits can be done internally by a qualified employee our outsourced to an IT auditor.
Notes from the Tech Council’s 2018 Cybersecurity Summit
We recently attended the Arizona Technology Council’s 2018 Cybersecurity Summit in Scottsdale. As usual, this summit was packed with great information and exciting presenters and panels. We had two key takeaways from this. First, there will always be threats, so you need to be prepared. Second, you need to have a plan for when (when, not if) you get attacked.
In the last of our three-part series on cyber-security, we're going to talk about how you can create a culture of security to prepare your employees to avoid the single biggest threat: human error.
Last week, we outlined some of the reasons cyber-security matters for small business. This week, we're going to provide you with some basic tools to help secure your Web site.
Recently, I attended a Cyber-Security Summit organized by the Arizona Technology Council. After attending many of these events in the past few years and through conversations at the many events I’ve attended, it’s clear this is still an important topic of education for small businesses. I’ll try to cover, not just the reasons for concern (hopefully without scaring anyone into giving up their smart phone entirely), but also some tips on how to prepare your small business for the ever-changing cyber-security threats.
Security was a hot topic in 2016 (and 2015 and, to some extent, 2014), but it seems that we see news of a data breach almost daily. Consumers are often more savvy (or at least more paranoid) when it comes to online purchases. Attacks on small businesses are increasing because hackers know these are the weakest links. Here are a few tips to make sure you aren't their next victim.
We recently started to map out a proposal for a new project. This particular project meant working around an existing relationship with a staff developer who maintains a version of the app for another platform. As we moved through the process of crafting a proposal to meet their needs, a number of questions came up, including the question about security.
Most small businesses rely on an outsourced Web designer to manage their Web site. With the economy improving, not all of those resources are sticking around. They are instead heading back to work for other companies themselves and they all handle the transition differently. Some are great - providing their client with well-documented processes and information about their site. Many simply fade away. If you're outsourcing your Web design and development to a freelancer or independent firm, here's a few tips on making sure you're ready if you're forced into a transition.
Over that past few years supporting applications, I've received multiple requests to not timeout (either at all or less frequently). From a user's perspective, it's frustrating. You get up for a cup of coffee between work and get distracted by a quick conversation or the ding of email. You come back to the application, click, and you're required to log in again. There's a number of standards for the length of login timeouts, but everyone has their own opinion and each industry has different specific requirements.
Building a platform with security built-in from the beginning isn't a common occurrence. Many freelance developers or small development teams consider security late, if at all, which results in what we call "bolted-on" security (versus "built-in" security). Bolted on security, while still security, tends to poke a lot of holes in an application. Here are three things to discuss with your Web team about before you start the next project or enhancement.
Recently, a class-action lawsuit was filed against 21st Century Oncology. In it, the medical provider is accused of storing patient data in Joomla. Since we primarily use Joomla as a content management system, this story was interesting, particularly when you look at the lawsuit attorney's comments.
This week, it's time for information about digital security and what you can do about it. When I previously discussed security, I mentioned that the tone when people talk about digital security, privacy, and recently hacked companies is dire, but I want to focus on what you can do about it. Recently, Entrepreneur published two great articles on the topic, one broadly covering the topic and the other specifically addressing the issue of employee theft.
Security was on everyone's mind last year, including mine. One of the things I was keenly aware of was that most people talk about it fearfully - including me. I wanted this article to be different. We all know there are people out there who want our information - that hasn't changed. As a web development company, however, we must do our part to make obtaining that information more difficult.
It seems like there's a data breach at some large company nearly every day. I'd rather my readers be informed, but I don't want to dwell on the events themselves. In our third series to launch in the new year, we'll be summarizing some of the events and let you know about fixes that may apply to you. You may already be aware, but it's important to stay on top of fixes for both your home and work computers to prevent problems. So, last month in security news...
If you're managing your own Web site or managing sites for clients, chances are you're trying to find a way to keep your site secure. It's getting difficult to go just a week without catching wind of some hacking scandal from the news. There's also a good chance your site is built using either Joomla or WordPress, which is great because there are a variety of extensions available for both platforms to make it easier to keep your site safe.
In our last article, we talked about cyber liability insurance, why we carry it, and why it's important for our clients that we do. Now, I'd like to examine the anatomy of a data breach - we'll use the recent Target hack - and look at what the costs would be if it happened to a theoretical small retail store.
You're elated. You've just launched your company's new Web site. Then the euphoria wears off. What happens if someone breaks through the security? What if your data is stolen? What if your customers' data is stolen? How much will it cost to fix? Don't panic. Life happens and there are ways to protect yourself, your business, and your customers.
Since founding Sol Minion Development, I've been to dozens of networking events. Each time, the same question came up: "So, what do you do?" There's plenty of ways to answer this question and plenty of techniques. I've tried several of them, but it's hard to define what we do succinctly. After a little over two years and using the "Twitter Approach", I whittled it down: We solve business challenges using software. The challenges could be just about anything, from marketing to operations to customer service, but it's all solved in some way by software. So, what do you do?
Here are three examples of challenges faced by many businesses that we can help overcome.