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To Every Small Business Owner…
Today, speaking to small business owners in New Orleans, I’ll be covering security and fraud trends, along with strategies discussed in my latest book, Digital Money!
For instance, CATO, corporate account take over, is rarely discussed in security articles. But in the small business world it is potentially your number one threat. CATO is the process of taking over an account by tricking end-users who handle money and have the authority to transfer funds. When someone in accounts payable receives an email from the boss telling them to make a wire transfer, chances are they’ll do it. After all, it’s there job.
But what if that message came from someone pretending to be the boss, and that the actual boss? Will the Accounts Payable person know it?
More fraud is taking place online. While many argue against the value of chip technology on a credit card, news reports are telling us card-present transaction fraud is down by 54%. That’s because it’s not easy to create a fake credit card with a chip in it.
But what about not-present transactions? No card means no chip. Whether it’s CATO or making purchases using data collected on the server, it’s costing companies. On one end, it’s the rising cost of PCI compliance and card processing fees. On the other, it’s fraudulent wire transfers that can wipe out a small business account in seconds.
Both can cripple a company. The fees keep rising, and the transfers are not necessarily insured. Today we’ll be discussing what to do about it before it’s too late.
© 2016, David Stelzl
How Expensive Is Your Prospecting Strategy?
Time is expensive. How many calls can you afford the make to people who don’t care, won’t call back, or who might ask for more time consuming information just to get you off their back?
Earlier in the week I wrote about the number’s game. This is the poor advice many are getting that says, make 60 to 100 calls per day and you’ll get one deal per month. 60 calls per day is 1200 calls per month. All to get one deal? That’s like 40 hours, or one fourth of your month! How much does that cost you or your business? This is the mentality of sales activity based management. It’s wrong thinking.
Conversion Is What Matters
When you start looking at conversion numbers rather than number of calls per day, you come up with telling metrics. That one deal represents a .08% conversion. Does that sound good to you?
There are three components of outbound marketing to consider. Your market, your message, and the media you use to deliver that message. If your conversion is .08% to a deal, there’s a disconnect in one or all three of these components.
Start with Market
The first place to look is not media, yet that’s where people go first. Make calls, have an event, or send an email blast. If you do any of these things before looking at your market, you’re shooting in the dark. The more closely you define your market, the better.
Yesterday, on a coaching call with a rep going through the Security Sales Mastery Program, we took about 15 minutes to define his target market…individuals he is targeting with his calls. In just a few minutes we had a diagram of that person. When he stepped back to consider it, he said to me,”In 30 years no one has ever given me this perspective of the person I call on.” Suddenly he was able to see what that target person is thinking about, what they’re worried about, what they are trying to accomplish, and so much more. It completely changed his understanding.
This is the first step to moving away from the 60 calls per day program. It will save you time and an incredible amount of money. And it will lead to more sales.
PS. You may be qualified for sponsorship through one of our many distributor or vendor partners…Check out the Security Sales Mastery Program <<< Click, and look for the link to see if you qualify for a seat today!
Small Business Owners in Dallas
Hosted by Howard Financial Consulting and IT Services…
This morning I’ll be speaking to small business owners at Morton’s Steakhouse in Dallas – an event sponsored by Howard Financial & IT Consulting Services.
Our goal: educating small business owners on what’s happening in the data world, and why security is more important than ever as we move forward in the Digital Megatrend.
In my research to complete Digital Money – the next book on the “To be published” list, I am more convinced than ever that small companies can no longer afford to treat security as a “Nice to have”. It’s essential.
Not Just Any Security…
But not just any security – ransomware, corporate account takeover schemes (CATO), and the rampant theft of intellectual property are at an all time high, and growing fast. Having your Microsoft server patched, or running a clean backup are not the answer. You need both, but without a detection/response strategy in place, these companies are wide open to data loss and future business failure.
I can’t stress this enough…there has to be intelligent detection, and a solid – timed response plan. And having in internal IT person doing it, is no longer an option. This requires special skills and technology only available to enterprise fortune 500 companies – or through a special managed services offering provided by well equipped IT services companies.
Can They Afford This?
Will the small business owner spend the extra money, and make the extra effort to do these things? They will…these educational events continue to receive a strong response, because they put risk into business language. When a business person hears the truth, in their own language, it does lead to action.
My fall is booked solid with events just like this, simply because business owners are recognizing the need to know…in the coming weeks I’ll be in San Jose, Helena Montana, Buffalo NY, Las Vegas, Richmond, Santa Ana, Denver,…it’s time to get this message out!
If we don’t carry the message forward, we can expect more expensive compliance laws, and more business failure.
If you are an IT Services Provider, it’s time to get on board… Start here with my book, The House & The Cloud <<< Click for more information.
Are You Protecting Your Clients From Ransomware?
This is likely one of their biggest threats – but if all you do is basic firewall management and backups, this attack won’t be stopped. Ultimately your client should be asking you – how did YOU let this happen.
Not that your client’s will all pay for more intelligent security, but it’s your responsibility to tell them – let them make the financial choice, knowing the risk they are taking.
Zepto is new – it’s dangerous. It’s a varient of the Locky Ransomware, reportedly responsible for encrypting files at three major US hospitals; Kentucky Methodist, Chino Valley, and Desert Valley.
This month, researches estimate that this one attack was carried to over 140,000 systems in just a few days. As social engineering evolves, people are tricked more often. Getting an email from your boss or higher level executive demands a response. And when there’s an attachment, it’s hard to call upstairs every time just to make sure it’s real.
This type of attack is gaining momentum – it’s highly profitable. And to date, the only consistent recommendation is to maintain good backups. But restoring dozens or even hundreds of systems could put a business on hold for days or even weeks.
In the case of Locky, one report estimates a group of hackers earning somewhere in the neighborhood of $12 Million in single month! Software developers building these attacks may be earning up to $100,000/month! This is big business and it’s not going away.
So What Should You Be Doing?
First, understand that basic firewalls and anti-virus software are not stopping these attacks. So you can continue to say things like, “My clients are too small to pay for more security,” or you can get real with them and let them know they can afford to take the risk. Like buying life insurance or equipping their homes with updated alarms, they may choose not to. As long as you’re making the right recommendations, you’ve done your part.
Second, start looking into “Detection” technologies – security technology that detects. FireEye was early to the market with sandbox technology, but today, there are similar solutions built and priced for almost any size business.
Finally – backups are still your fall back plan. I’m always amazed to see how many small businesses continue to limp along with outdated back up technology…they claim it’s just too expensive to upgrade. If you’ve read, The House & The Cloud – you know why. Without the Impact vs. Likelihood graph sitting in front of them, they don’t understand their risk. Without that, how can they make a decision to spend more? They can’t.
© 2016, David Stelzl
Are You Following Cyber Currency Trends?
Not only is money becoming more digital – data is becoming more valuable. This is the topic of my new book, Digital Money, due out this summer!
If you’ve wondered why my blog has been inconsistent this quarter – it’s because I’m heads down at my local Starbucks, writing this book. Fintech, bitcoin, data mining,…their all hot topics. In fact several organizations including banking associations and a recent CPA association have asked me to speak at their fall conferences this year – so the book has to be ready.
This is good news if you’re selling security or MSSP services. Why? Because people want more information. As Matthew Dixon writes in his most recent book, The Challenger Customer, stop selling your product, and start helping people navigate through their real needs. Help them come to consensus internally on how to solve their problems, and you’ll be the one helping them implement the solution.
It starts with the value of their data, followed by a discovery of just how vulnerable they are to – Operator error, ransomware, hackers, nation state attacks, and other threats against application availability and data theft or misuse.
©2016, David Stelzl
PS. Find out how to tackle this market if you sell technology, MSP, or MSSP services...Four of the worlds biggest technology distributors are offering sponsored training through my Security Sale Mastery Program – see if you qualify for a free seat…. (CLICK TO LEARN MORE).
The Cloud is Taking Over
Spending on IT is down – the Cloud is to blame. You can ignore it, or you can look for the opportunities in it. In every paradigm shift there is an opportunity.
If you sit around hoping it will go away, you may be out of business before long. You can complain about it, but that won’t help. You can push harder to sell more – making it up in volume somehow, but don’t count on that working either.
Gartner is telling us in May 2016, that spending is down 0.5% from this time last year…but we knew that would happen. They’ve been projecting a downturn since mid-last year.
Have you found the new opportunity? There are two things that are selling…
Cloud and Security. These two lead the charts on IT spending.
Big data comes in third. Larger companies have as much as half their computing in the cloud, and it’s growing. 80% of small business, according to Gartner will move some or all of their computing to the cloud.
Microsoft is making a big push – and we’re seeing it happen. Oracle, Amazon, and others are doing their share as well.
As companies opt for cloud technologies, the need for upfront hardware investments is going down – along with hardware sales from your company. Meanwhile, cloud spending is growing at 22% – that’s big. If you have a cloud to sell – you may be able to capture a substantial amount of annuity business.
If you’re looking at software and license fees – expect flat growth over the coming months and beyond.
Opportunity #2 is Security
The cloud changes everything – are you investing in security services? If you want to compete, but don’t have a big cloud offering – you can OEM. The problem is, so can everyone. The cloud is good and bad. Suddenly everyone can offer things without spending the money.
But security is alive and growing – and it requires local expertise. Sure, you can resell a SOC offering – and you should. But the local presence with top-tier assessments and response capabilities are worth a lot in this market. Add compliance offerings, and ongoing detection/response capabilities, and your company valuation is likely to grow quickly.
If you sell into midsize and small business – try adding 7 by 24 firewall (UTM) monitoring, mobile device security (as opposed to MDM – which is different), and SIEM technology…this gives you just about everything you need on the detection side.
Equip your team, or partner to get real time analysis of events to weed out the false positive stuff, offer routine assessments – delivered in business language and clear recommendations, and be ready to respond to relevant threats such as malware, ransomware, and anything else that might put a company out of business.
© 2016, David Stelzl