Compucare Blog

Cyber Threat HackerReportedly, UK SMEs were targeted by hackers over 200.000 times each, in 2016.

Cyber-crime is a real threat, which often goes unrecognized by small business owners. Hackers know it is so, hence often pick SMEs expecting them to be an easier target. You might think your business is too small to be at risk. However, if you have sufficient quality data e.g. clients’ contact info, payment details, etc. you’re not too small. 

You might be aware of recent major ransom-ware attacks affecting companies across the globe. British advertising agency WPP was reported to be among the affected UK companies. 61 NHS organisations were significantly disrupted by global ransom-ware attacks carried out in May 2017. Firms in Ukraine were one of the first to report ransom-ware issues, and BBC UK continues to report on cyber-attacks experienced by Ukraine. It is said that those attacks were not about money – instead they were Russia’s attempts to destabilise the country. Whatever their motivation, however, global and local cyber-attacks create chaos in affected organisations – both large and small. What’s really frustrating is that most of them can be prevented.

The most recent mega-virus, justifiably called ‘WannaCry’, infects only machines running Windows operating systems. If your organisation uses Windows, and you do not update it regularly or you’re not careful when opening and reading emails, you could be at risk. We strongly recommend that you migrate away from unsupported operating systems and software as well. On that note, Outlook 2007 will reach its end of life on the 10th of October 2017. The product will no longer be supported by Microsoft. Failing to upgrade before it expires will make you more vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Click here to read more about Outlook’s 2007 End of Life, or get in touch for more information.

Ransom-ware attacks disrupt IT systems by freezing users’ computers and demanding untraceable ransoms to be paid for files’ restoration.

In order to protect your organisation (outside of having sufficient IT Support):

  • Run regular updates, migrate in due time;
  • Use firewalls and antivirus software;
  • Be careful when opening and reading emails.

Moreover, regularly back-up your data, so you can easily restore your files should you be affected. Bear in mind that succumbing to hackers’ demands doesn’t guarantee files’ restoration.

This topic deserves our attention. Cyber-security may be a virtual issue, but when ignored it is extremely likely to threaten affected SMEs physical existence.

If you believe your current security measures aren’t sufficient to protect your organisation please get in touch. We have been helping our clients to prevent and deal with cyber security issues for over 21 years!

Do what you can to stay safe in cyber-space, or get in touch if you need IT Support.

E-mail sales@compucaresystems.co.uk or call 0800 008 6181 now.

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According to a recent study by Sage, 45% of business owners work 40-60 hours a week while 16% work more than 60 hours per week. 

To some extent, having a small business is like having a baby. You give birth to it (sometimes, adopt). You protect it and watch it grow. You feel good when it’s doing good and distraught when it’s not. It’s easy to understand why many business owners struggle to maintain a proper work-life balance.

Work Life Balance

The love for what you do and the passion you have for your company may be one of the reasons why you decided to have one in the first place. Having said that, a recent report, by the Telegraph’s research team and Omnicom Media Group agency, included a survey which gives surprising insights into the motivations of the SME founder community. It reveals that the top reason given for launching a company was to have more control over one’s work-life balance. Many SME owners fail to accomplish the latter, hence put themselves on the path to losing that first love they once had for their businesses – not to mention many other health-related threats connected to overwork.

Technology has made it easy to work remotely which, in theory, could improve our work-life balance. On the other hand, however, the same technology made it easier than ever to work from anywhere, at any time, sometimes all the time. Why do business owners find it so difficult to disconnect?

There’s more than one answer to the question above, but we believe it’s a choice. If you’re out of balance and are fed-up enough to change it, you need to be deliberate about it.  Does overwork affect your relationships with family and friends, make you tired and stressed out most of the time? What are you going to do?

Thomas Jefferson said “I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” Agreed, hard work is good, but there’s a reason why it’s called HARD work. It’s not easy. Sometimes, it is necessary to put in the extra hours, but then those hours need to be compensated by an adequate rest. We know this may be easier said than done, but the choice is yours. If you’d like more information on how to have a better work life balance please read this insightful report on Work life balance by Sage.

In summary, “Balance is not better time management, but better boundary management. Balance means making choices and enjoying those choices.” Betsy Jacobson

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Compucare is an IT Support Provider passionate about vital Business and Charity related matters.

Tips for small & medium sized enterprises.

Business & People

Anyone can start a company, but what does it take to build one that stands the test of time? Whether you’re new to business or not, you might have pondered on how to make it work.

Compucare Systems Ltd. have been providing business IT support for over 21 years. We hope you find what we’ve learned during this time helpful. This two-part, non-exhaustive article focuses on two major issues i.e. Business Meeting Photo Pixabaypeople and money. 

It is said that businesses which focus on people more than they focus on anything else are the ones that thrive, so who are the people that make or break your business???

Business Partnerships

 You can’t do a good business with a bad person. Find the right people to work with and you can’t go wrong.” – Richard Branson

It’s impossible to work together unless you agree. Choose the right people with the right skillsets or assets, and then let them do what they do best. Communicate, but don’t interfere. Set common goals, but respect each other’s individual ways of getting there. Remember the bottom line i.e. what’s best for the client and the business. This applies to direct business partners and to all other partnerships a company needs to succeed.

 The Team

 “Great things in business are never done by one person. They are done by a team of people.” Steve Jobs

 Employ the right people (experts with good attitudes). Listen and talk to your team. Employees are more likely to do well when they feel understood and valued. Dissatisfied team members frustrate their clients and colleagues. Content individuals are more productive and much easier to deal with. Communication is key. Let the team know what’s expected of them. Setting expectations clearly decreases the need for micromanagement. Don’t lower your standards, but be fair. Don’t be afraid to let go of relationships that don’t work and won’t work, but do what you can to help your staff succeed.

 Customers

 “We are not in the coffee business serving people, we are in the people business serving coffee.” Howard Schultz (Starbucks’ CEO) 

 Nope, we don’t sell coffee. We are an IT Service Provider. In principle, however, we completely agree with Howard! Listen to your clients (don’t assume) – they are the best feedback source you can ever hope for. Small business owners often have the privilege of dealing with clients directly. Why not take advantage of it? Keep listening, and you will learn how to serve them better – there’s always a better way.

Do your clients like you? In today’s competitive market, this really could make or break a business. It pays to be nice to people and it’s best to employ people who are nice to people. Having said that, the most successful companies make an effort to take clients’ fondness to the next level.

“If people like you they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you they’ll do business with you.” Zig Ziglar

 Be honest, don’t exaggerate your offerings

  • Deliver on your promises in a timely manner
  • Make amendments if for whatever reason you can’t

Business is about building relationships – gaining and keeping trust. We can’t please everyone, but we can try (do our part). It doesn’t matter what we sell and to whom. We sell to people and with people, so let’s focus on people first…

If you find this article helpful please look out for part 2 subtitled: “Business & Money”. To receive more valuable content for SMEs & Charities please subscribe via e-mail RIGHT HERE.