Business in a digital world
Name: Ian Bennett
Position in the company : Founder / Director
Years with the company : Since inception Nov 2012
Number of employees: 2
Yearly revenue: £124k (2019)
ACME provides a comprehensive GDPR management suite, as a cloud-based managed service, that deals with all aspects of legal requirements on a business, to become compliant, attribute responsibility, audit activity - on an ongoing basis. ACME will provide guidance during the on-boarding process in deployment, also ongoing management as required.
ACME can carry out an Audit to assess how the GDPR, CyberEssentials and meeting legal responsibilities – which are upheld and enforced by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO), will affect your business and what can be done to fix vulnerabilities and minimise risk.
The bad guys are out there, intent on stealing your data!
…Avoid a breach, a business lock-down, a ransomware demand, irate customers, and maybe a fine from the ICO…
Ensure the business’ future!
…look after your Bits & keep the shysters out, with ACME!
What strategies would you recommend to SMEs with their GDPR policies?
There are legal responsibilities for SME business in the GDPR, which are upheld by the Information Commissioners Office (ICO). All businesses are obliged to register with the ICO.
As much as compliance with the GDPR and management of an individual’s personally identifiable information (PII), a business owner should consider data protection in terms of good business practice to keep the value in your data – and hence the business, safe, secure and protected.
Becoming complaint with the GDPR and accredited for CyberEssentials – UK Government’s minimum standard for SME cyber security, is best business practice. Information security is about Governance, Risk & Compliance and considerations will include People, Operational and Technical aspects.
All SME should have a strategy to adopt sound policies, processes and procedures, and to fix vulnerabilities to mitigate risk. Data Privacy by design is the goal.
ACME provides a comprehensive cloud-based management suite will help a business manage all aspects of GDPR compliance. Also affordable managed services that will monitor, detect and protect data 24 hrs a day / 7 days a week / 365 days a year. These should be implemented in any case.
During the Covid-19 crisis, as many people are working from home and accessing corporate data in the cloud via the Internet, there has been a dramatic, exponential rise in cyber-attacks, threats and ransomware demands. Especially now, it is imperative SME business owners be vigilant and take precautions to protect their BITs.
Keep the Shysters out with ACME!
Could you please take us through the instant "Push to Talk" communications and how it differs from current communication means?
Push-To-Talk over Cellular, uses the Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) data channel of cellular networks, to transmit communications from mobile smart device to mobile smart device, over a wide-area, i.e., globally. Often dedicated PTT smart mobile devices in a rugged case designed for the purpose are used, The PTT App could just as easily be deployed on your own android or Apple device.
Gone are the days of being tethered to a radio mast for local, site-wide communications. Without the installation of costly equipment, PTToC may be deployed rapidly, and as selected by the mobile operative on the smart device, or the controller at the Dispatcher Console, it is possible to communicate with an individual, or the whole group (100’s of people), instantly.
Typically, there are multiple applications in the suite, which may include InstanceTalk, InstantMessage, InstantLocate, and InstantAlert/SOS. Locations of each individual operative is displayed on the digital map at the console screen. Man-down, SOS Alert incidents are also displayed and managed at the control console.
PTToC has a significant role to play in many mobile workforce deployment scenarios and is suitable for a broad range of vertical markets.
What is your take on “Business in today’s Digital World” and how has eCommerce evolved during Covid-19?
In the current climate a business owner needs to think quickly to adapt and if necessary pivot, to adopt new business models that will enable the business to survive and thrive. Transformation to adopt digital processes make good business sense in a number of respects. In many cases, the efficiencies gained may make all the difference to survival. As the status quo is disrupted both inside and outside businesses, organisations that don’t have a plan for transformation will be steadily left behind.
But IT is just the means to an end…, the end goals should be business objectives.
Presentation of goods and services, and if practical, the ability for customers to buy them online, should be appealing and easy to use. It is imperative all sell-side inter-action with the company and brand ensure enhanced customer service and experience, to foster engagement and goodwill, generate repeat business and ideally, recurring revenue.
Integrated business information systems and good communication links to manage all aspects of; marketing, including online and social media, CRM and sales activity, apps for online collaboration with mobile workforce and remote, perhaps home workers, automated data processing and administration in real-time for back-office operational processes, and supply-chain management, will enable more cost-effective ways of working, rapid decision making and reduced cost.
As well as improving business processes and efficiencies, through transformation it’s a good idea to sell what is in demand. The most reliable source of wealth during the Gold Rush was in selling picks and shovels to the prospectors.
Test and measure to monitor business KPIs in order to bring about continuous improvement. With regard to marketing and sales – online or off, the 5 aspects to focus on are; Number of leads, Conversion rate, No of transactions, Average £ sales value, Profit margins. There are many ways to positively influence and increase those factors, there are also many other KPIs well worth monitoring.
Transformation to a good, integrated business information system will help a business prepare to scale and grow. Cloud-based systems provisioned as a managed service, are easily implemented and affordable.
Digital Security Systems, what are the impacts in today’s world.
In this inter-connected digital business World - when the front office is an App on your mobile device, and the back-office is in the Cloud… data security is imperative. If you can access your data from anywhere, at any time, so can those with malicious intent – unless you protect it. You should continuously be ultra-vigilant, to make it as hard as possible for those without authorised access rights, to gain access your data and the business value in it.
Digital Security has 3 crucial aspects Governance, Risk & Compliance
There are many measures, by way of affordable managed services, that will fix vulnerabilities and minimise risk. They continuously monitor, detect and protect, to keep your business data safe, secure and protected 24 / 7 / 36.
There are appropriate policies, processes and procedures that may be adopted to instil best business practice. Precautions should include staff training to ensure awareness about the extensive, invasive techniques and methods used by miscreants. They are smart and sophisticated, it is all too easy to be deceived and tricked.
Now, more than ever with the legal requirements in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), security of business data is paramount.
Legislation dictates a business is obliged to manage data and personally identifiable information (PII) responsibly. The GDPR upholds an individuals’ right to know what information is held about them and imposes deadlines on a business in time to respond to a data subject access request (SAR) or a data breach, as well as logs as a record of activity for audit.
As recommended by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Privacy by Design should become fundamental to your business strategy, an intrinsic feature of business operations, to become compliant, and also to adopt best business practice and ensure business activity and processes that will maintain data security. There are many aspects to consider password management, multi-factor authentication, email compromise, computer network and end-point security, data management and storage. Unfortunately, data protection and info-security is not a pick and mix. The odds are that any vulnerability left exposed, will most likely be found and exploited.
The GDPR is based on sound strategies and policies devised to maximise data protection. As is CyberEssentials; UK Gov entry-level standard for information security.
Due to the sharp rise in home-working, remote access to business networks and data - perhaps prompted by heightened concern about major issues of health and well-being - malicious online activity, to obtain data and extort money fraudulently has increased dramatically.
Becoming compliant with the GDPR and Accredited for CyberEssentials are worthy business objectives. Adopting the underlying principles related to people, operational processes and technical aspects, will implement appropriate information-security precautions and align with best business practice.
Why not become accredited? You can then exhibit the tick of approval and demonstrate to customers that you care about data – and are careful and responsible in management of their data.
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