I mentor and advise some amazingly smart students from Stanford University’s Technology Ventures and Entrepreneurship Program who are building business plans and becoming this country’s next-generation of entrepreneurs and business owners. Their passion is infectious. Where others see challenges and problems in the world, these students create opportunities and solutions. My job as a mentor and ongoing advisor outside of the classroom is simply to help them uncover the additional insights they need to turn their business ideas into successful, thriving enterprises. Insights are invaluable as they fuel business growth.
Big data, analytics, or any of the other buzzwords making the rounds are just a few new ways business leaders seek to gain insights. Insights into how customers use and feel about their products, about how productive workers are, or how efficiently processes operate.
That’s the same thing that motivated me to step into my new role as president of Interfocus. The chance to introduce a Secure IT Management solution that delivers incredible business insights into a company’s technology landscape, so that entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized business owners, and their IT managers can grow revenue and protect profits.
Hidden Surprises in Business
Running a business has its own unique challenges, something that I saw clearly when my Dad ran his own marketing agency. You wear a lot of hats, and are constantly on the lookout to take off a few so you can focus on what you do best.
Today, technology has made a significant impact, a fact Dad would’ve appreciated. Businesses can leverage technology to delight customers, penetrate new markets, and harness the efforts of a distributed network of talented employees. But in Dad’s day, when a virus affected productivity it meant that cold and flu season had taken their toll, not that an unsuspecting employee had unleashed malware into the computer network and crashed the most critical applications.
Because many businesses typically don’t have large, sophisticated IT departments, it can be challenging to secure assets, prevent insider threats and gain operational visibility into the digital productivity of the company. However, with 60% of all online attacks targeting small and midsize businesses, securing productivity is essential to ensure years and years of hard work can’t be inadvertently undone by a few misplaced keystrokes or a click of the mouse.
Small business people are smart. Even if their IT department is a team of one, this doesn’t mean they lack firewalls and antivirus protection. However, these basic protections don’t make the business secure AND productive.
Many SMBs struggle to answer basic questions like:
- Are there unauthorized devices on my network?
- Is restricted information being accessed and downloaded by only approved, trusted employees?
- Do all my devices have the most up-to-date security patches installed?
- Have my employees accessed risky or prohibited websites?
When we show them how the Interfocus Secure IT Management solution is different, it creates an “aha!” moment. SMBs tell us, “You mean I really can do this, stop threats from inside my company and help employees focus on things they should focus on rather than just block them and frustrate them?” And we say, “Yes, you really can secure IT and improve revenue flow.”
The jubilant reaction of an “aha!” moment makes me smile too. I know that I wore that grin when I saw the incredible capabilities of the Interfocus solution for the first time. Here was a suite of products that was making a difference in its home market and could really be a game changer in the SMB market here in North America. And the timing couldn’t be better, as more than 50% of SMBs were breached in the past year according to a recent Ponemon Institute study.[i]
Teaching Security through Insights
Despite the high incidence of security breaches among small and medium businesses, 28% of US small business owners “report they have never trained employees on how to comply with legal requirements or company information security procedures.”[ii]
Defending your enterprise isn’t just preventing or responding to cyber incidents, it is providing the tools to ensure your employees can work productively and securely, too. Secure productivity management tools like Interfocus deliver insights to employees as well, alerting them to non-compliant activities, and raising awareness of acceptable use.
Interested in more insights into how small and medium business can secure productivity and combat cyber-attacks? Learn the latest on managing operations logs, IT assets, insider threats and web access controls. Check out the growing collection of resources. Or better yet, contact us and we can help you and your business be more secure, productive and profitable.