Cyber security – What is it and what does it mean?

Cyber security is the protection of computers, networks, programs and data from unintended or unauthorised access, change, theft or destruction. It is a company’s responsibility to protect and keep secure data such as;

  • Personal information – names, addresses, NI numbers, ethnicity, bank details
  • Customer information – financial data, business data

A breach is cyber security can greatly affect you and your business so it is important to understand what the potential risks are and where they come from to be able to guard against them.  Let’s go through some key points to be aware of:

Firstly you need to understand the main things that are at direct risk in the event of a security breach: your money, your information/data and your reputation.

So you know what’s at risk,  now you need to know who could pose a risk?

  • Negligent employees
  • Disgruntled employees that may have malicious intent
  • Business competitors for economic advantage
  • Criminals for financial gain

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A breach in your Cyber Security can be carried out in many different ways including:

  • Theft/unauthorised access
  • Remote attack / hacking
  • Attacks on third party systems i.e. company bank account
  • Accessing information from employees

Ok so now you know what is it at risk, who might want to carry out a cyber threat/attack and how they might do it, but do you know what the fundamental impact is on your business? The bottom line, a Cyber attack can result in:

  • Financial loss from theft
  • Financial loss from disruption to trading
  • Loss of business from bad publicity/damage to reputation
  • Costs for cleaning up effected systems
  • Costs of fines if personal data is lost
  • Damage to companies you work closely with

All of the above can truly be the undoing of a business.

There are many different types on Cyber Security attackers: 

Opportunists – Usually attack for personal gain, reputation or financial gain. They only target organisations when an easy opportunity presents itself.

Cyber Criminals – Steal information e.g. credit card or bank details for financial gain.

Hackers – Usually attack for financial gain and the breaking of a secure site. Hackers access information or deface websites for political or ideological ends.

Insiders  Usually disgruntled or dishonest employees who destroy or steal information to cause embarrassment. They may damage or steal equipment to disrupt the business. Employees may mistakenly send confidential information to the wrong recipient.

And they have many ways in which they will carry out an attack: 

Social media exploitation  – Is the act of using sites, such as Facebook, Twitter etc. to attack a computer system

Hacking – A type of remote attack to gain unauthorized access to data in a system or computer, mainly via personal IT equipment

Phishing – Fake emails and/or web links.

Malware – Software with a hidden function to capture data. This software can also encrypt workstations and demand ransom money.

Denial of Service – A type of attack that is designed to bring a network to its knees by flooding it with useless traffic, preventing legitimate users from accessing information or services.

Insider threat – Is a malicious attack perpetrated on a network or computer system by a person/employee with authorized system access.

scammer fakeOne of the  most common attacks is fake emails, and we have all had them, but if you are unsure if an email is real or not follow these tips: 

  • Do I recognise the senders email address?
  • Do I know this person?
  • Is this their usual email address?

Note: Be aware, spammers attempt to send email using your legitimate friends, colleagues or family email addresses. They may have obtained these email addresses from contact lists using malware installed on their computers

Emails should always have meaningful subject lines. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Does this email subject look unusual?
  • Are there spelling mistakes?
  • Is there excessive punctuation?

Out of the ordinary or poorly written subject lines may hint to a fraudulent or spam email.

Lastly be wary of links in emails, they can be easily disguised and may take you to malicious websites.

We hope you enjoyed our tips and advise on Cyber Security and what to look out for, check in tomorrow for the next blog in this series: “Cyber security – what are the responsibilities”

Get in touch and let HR Revolution run through a GDPR audit to see where and how quickly changes can be implemented.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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What is GDPR?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation intended to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU), and will apply from 25 May 2018, changing the way businesses manage personal data.

GDPR’s main concepts and principles are much the same as the current Data Protection Act, so most of your approach to compliance will remain valid under the GDPR and can be a great point to start from. However, the GDPR does come with some new elements which you will need to change and incorporate into your current processes and practice. Here we highlight the key areas you need to be aware of and act upon:

Awareness:  This may seem simple but you must make key people aware that the law is changing to the GDPR.

Information you holdIt will be necessary to document all the personal data you hold including where it came from and who you share it with.

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Communicating privacy information: Review your current privacy notices and put a plan in place for making any necessary changes.

Individuals’ rights: Check your procedures to ensure they cover all the rights individuals have.

Subject access requests: Update procedures and plan how you will handle requests within the new timescales

Lawful basis for processing: Identify the lawful basis for processing activity, document it and update your privacy notice to explain it.

Consent: Review how you seek, record and manage consent. Refresh existing consents if they don’t meet GDPR standards.

Children: Put systems in place to verify individuals’ ages and to obtain parental or guardian consent.

Data breaches: Put procedures in place to detect, report and investigate a personal data breach.

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Data Protection by Design and Data Protection Impact Assessments: Familiarise yourself with the ICO’s code of practice on Privacy Impact Assessments and the latest guidance from the Article 29 Working Party. Work out how to implement these.

Data Protection Officers: Designate someone to take responsibility for data protection compliance. You should consider whether you are required to formally designate a Data Protection Officer.

International: If your company operates in more than one EU member state, you must determine your lead data protection supervisory authority.

Although the new law doesn’t come into effect until May 2018 it’s a good idea to start protecting your data as best you can now.

Cyber security is a huge part of GDPR and this week our blogs will help you to understand what you need to know.

Look out for our blog tomorrow “Cyber Security, what is it?”

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Get in touch and let HR Revolution run through a GDPR audit to see where and how quickly changes can be implemented.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit: www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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Three signs that your business isn’t ready for the festive rush…

The decorations, tinsel and chocolate tubs are filling up the shops.  There is no way to avoid it, Christmas is most definitely on its way.. and it offers some wonderful opportunities for businesses, but if you are not prepared, you could find yourself hugely disappointed come January when you’re taking a look at your figures and assessing how your operations shaped up.

So how do you know if you are ready?  Below, we’ll take a look at three important indicators that you’ve still got some serious work to do.

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You haven’t started recruiting your Christmas staff

Maybe you’re planning on getting started with your festive recruiting as soon as possible.  You already know that it’s a really important task, but you just can’t seem to find any spare time to give it the attention that you know it deserves.  Before we get into anything, it’s vital that you don’t panic, that isn’t going to help you and it’s not going to help your business.

You don’t have a back-up plan

Even the most inexperienced business owners realise that Christmas presents its own unique challenges and opportunities, so they get to work creating a plan that will help with them to get the best results possible.  The problem is that this is often where the preparation ends, you need to ask yourself whether you’ve got a Plan B and whether you know what to do if things don’t work out the way you first imagined.

What will you do if your new recruits decide that the role isn’t for them, and leave you in the lurch? What if your management team comes down with a nasty bug and can’t get to work? What if your Christmas party turns into a disaster that could do some serious damage to your business’s reputation?  Hopefully, these things won’t happen, but you don’t want to find yourself in a situation in which you have no idea how to pick up the pieces.  Having compliant Employee Handbook will help you manage your staff effectively, take a look at HR Revolution’s ready to use handbooks.

4 reasons an employee handbook is a must in any business

You haven’t made customer service training a priority

High levels of customer service are essential at any point in the year, but now is the time to make sure that it is firmly at the top of your agenda.  There are numerous reasons for this, you’ll hopefully have more customers coming through your doors and you need to ensure that standards aren’t gong to slip, as well, you’ll probably have the opportunity to impress prospects for the very first time.

Refresher training should be rolled out so carry out an audit of where you are right now, and where improvements can be made.  You don’t necessarily have to invest huge amounts of time and money.  It’s about establishing your current position and working out where you want to go next.  HR Revolution will be happy to carry out a full HR Audit of your business, click here to read more. (Free when you mention “Festive rush” normal audit price £750).

Of course, you now have an option, do you want to do all of this on your own or do you want to call upon some expert help? HR Revolution have a wealth of  HR experience and can work to tackle the issues you may face by providing you the HR solutions you need to overcome them. Have a look at our Outsourced solution below…

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If you’ve recognised that you need to make improvements, you are already in a great position for making sure that you really raise the bar this Christmas, acknowledging that there’s work to do is the very first step and HR Revolution can help.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: hello@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit www.hrrevolution.co.uk where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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4 reasons why small businesses should invest in HR…

When starting up a business, spending money on HR initiatives and policies can easily slip to the bottom of the to-do list. The general focus is to drive immediate returns, and so it can take time to see a real return on investment of HR. As a result, HR is being thrown in the mix with ‘business admin’ and is reduced to a mere box-ticking exercise.

In place of an effective HR strategy, small business owners frequently try to encourage friendly and informal relationships, working under the implied promise of trust and  casual compliance with ‘this is the way that we do things around here’.

Many of the start-ups that began life this way, in a burst of enthusiasm, optimism and sheer hard graft, do not make it past their fifth birthday. Unfortunately, relying on their inherently goal-orientated and collaborative start-up culture to support people management requirements is not an effective plan for growth and longevity.

Small businesses need to strike the balance between managing ground-breaking innovation and challenging the status quo, with ensuring that they have streamlined processes in place that pave the way for long lasting growth. HR is not there to squash these cultural ideals, it’s there to form the foundations on which a successful business can grow and thrive.

So why should small businesses invest their time and money in HR from the beginning and ensure they get a return on their investment? Here are four reasons why small businesses should invest in HR.

1. HR adds value

Small businesses see little, if any, distinction between the strategic and transactional elements of HR. As a result, it is systematically undervalued and under resourced. And yet there is plenty of evidence to show that strategic HR delivers real dividends – especially among disruptive companies that are challenging the status quo. Netflix is a good example of fresh thinking about people management and how centralising and prioritising the employee experience can deliver exceptional results. This innovative culture has been a key factor in the company’s success.

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2. Small businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable

With their relaxed attitude to people management, small businesses are leaving themselves exposed to claims that they may struggle to defend in an Employment Tribunal. By investing in HR and developing policies and best practice they will have a fundamental framework to fall back on.

Employee handbooks are essential in today’s workplace as they help set out core Company expectations in terms of general conduct and integral UK policies and employment legislation, take a look at HR Revolution’s employee handbook template designed to cover everything your business requires to remain compliant.

3. It will come back to haunt you if you don’t

The value of HR is often downplayed in the early stages of a business and this can come back bite them, just look at Uber. And they are not alone. There has been no shortage of news stories revealing issues within larger businesses that could have been avoided if even the most basic of HR procedure was in place. Unfortunately, these companies thought about it too late and it rebounded back on them ten fold because by this time they are no longer a small start-up.

4. Managing HR admin is a misuse of individuals’ skillsets

As a small business, you probably don’t have a dedicated HR person – this is typically because at this early stage, survival is the biggest business priority. As a result, the management of HR administration such as approving holidays, managing sickness, and approving expenses, is landing in the laps of busy senior employees by default.

According to recent research, CEOs of small businesses are spending, on average, eight hours a week on all HR-related tasks. That’s more than office or operations managers who spend seven hours a week and might more realistically be expected to spend time on administrative activity. To put that into perspective, the median average cost of CEO time spent on HR equates to £18,700 each year and is an absolute misuse of individuals’ skillsets.

This is where HR Revolution can help you save valuable time and money by automating your all consuming HR tasks…  with breatheHR, an online HR information system starting from as little as £9 per month.

It has been shown that dedicated HR software saves small businesses, on average, four hours a week on HR admin with the use of software that can assist you with your day-to-day tasks.  Take a look at breatheHR below and manage your people, not paper!!

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Summary

It’s no longer acceptable for small businesses to allow HR due process to fall by the wayside, prioritising new business over their people management. In the current business economy, where 40% of businesses fail within the first five years, enthusiastic entrepreneurs need to change their tact. Whilst your investments may not bring about immediate returns, your return on investment will be clear when your trained, supported and rewarded employees grow with you.

Call +44 203 538 5311, email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk or visit http://www.hrrevolution.co.uk  where our expert CIPD HR professionals are waiting to help you with any questions you may have.

HR Revolution; supporting you, your employees AND your business.

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A version of this blog first appeared on breathehr.com

HR Revolution’s guide to organising work Christmas parties…

The Christmas period is a challenging time for many companies and business owners alike.  Profits are at the forefront of their minds to ensure sales continue right up to the end of the year and their products and services are the ones consumers want to spend their hard earned cash on.

If you’re caught up with the complexities of planning your approach to maximising sales and profits, you might not have yet thought about whether you’ll organise a Christmas party for your employees.

On paper, it’s a great idea. Everyone enjoys a chance to unwind, and you reward your employees for all their hard work that they’ve put in over the past year.

What could possibly go wrong?

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Generally speaking, Christmas parties get a lot of bad press. You’re probably familiar with horror stories involving workers who have taken full advantage of the free bar, and then went on to well and truly disgrace their employers. The truth of the matter here though is that these incidents are few and far between.

Yes, of course things can go wrong. But if you do some thorough planning in advance, you can avoid problems and give your employees the motivational celebration that they deserve.

Download our FREE guide, where we will go through the bases you need to cover so you can round off 2017 on a high note for you and your employees.

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Why not give us a call, or visit our website: HR Revolution, we are ready to answer any Christmas related questions you may have +44 203 538 5311 or email: info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution, expert CIPD HR professionals, supporting your employees and business.

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Expert tips for maximising your profits this Christmas

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Have you started to think about how you’ll maximise your profits this festive season? Savvy business owners are starting to pull together their plans and ensure that they’ve built some strong foundations for success. Of course though, some expert guidance can really make all the difference, and that’s what HR Revolution are here to provide.

Not convinced of receiving profit-boosting tips from an HR professional? surely we just take care of the ‘people issues’, leaving the tasks like income generation and new client acquisition to the sales and marketing team? Well actually, that’s not the case, HR isn’t a function operating on its own. When done correctly, it adds real value to the business, and is strategic as well as operational.

Make sure your employees are up-skilled in key areas

You probably already run regular training sessions throughout the year, as you’ll appreciate the importance of giving your employees the support they need to excel in their roles. It’s time build on that though, and consider what you can do take things up to the next level.

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You might want to consider some initial or refresher training on things like:

  • Identifying upselling opportunities and making the sale
  • Delivering exceptional customer service during busier periods
  • Understanding product and service lines
  • Leading and managing in stressful circumstances
  • Handling customer complaints

Balance your books

You might have decided that you need to recruit some temporary team members to help you to deal with an increased demand. Before you go ahead with this though, you need to ensure that you’ve struck the right kind of balance. Recruit too many, and your profits will take a hit. But if you don’t recruit enough, you could miss opportunities due to operational constraints.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach here. It’s not possible to say that a business of a certain size will need ten seasonal workers, for example. It’s about getting down to the nitty-gritty and making calculated estimates that are fitting with your ways of working and overall goals.

Assess performance throughout busy periods

Christmas offers your employees a time to shine. If you get caught up in the rush, and all your usual people management processes get forgotten, you could really be missing out. Be sure that your managers know to keep their eyes open. You might discover that a certain employee really excels when it comes to up-selling. Or an individual might step up and show that they’re future leadership material.

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If you didn’t have these considerations in the back of your mind, you’d be going into the New Year unprepared. Whilst you may be focused mainly on the Christmas rush at present, don’t forget that what you’re doing right now will have a direct impact on your future profits.

Each and every business out there is different, so whilst these tips will get you off to the best possible start, there will be countless other unique opportunities that will allow you to get the most out of your human resources so you can drive profits towards the end of the year.

Give HR Revolution a call today +44 203 538 5311 or ask us a question below, we’d be happy to talk you through how we are able to help.

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HR Revolution’s guide for a successful 2018 – PART 3

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HR Revolution specialise in giving SMEs the tools, frameworks, and knowledge to get the most out of their employees ensuring that people practices help them to achieve big things and in the final part of this guide, we take you through the last key action points you need to consider:

Are your line managers firing on all cylinders?

Your line managers are the oxygen of your business. They motivate employees, help you to achieve your goals, and can often be your eyes and ears when the workload starts to mount up and you can’t possibly keep on top of everything on your own.

The managers that you choose can make or break your business, so it makes good sense to consider how you will support them in their roles, and ensure that

Here are some important points to consider:

  • Do you assess your managers on their leadership skills during regular performance discussions?
  • Are you giving managers the tools they need to excel in their role? If you don’t have carefully crafted people policies, for example, then you are not providing the focus and direction that is really required
  • Who are your managers of the future? Do you have a succession plan?

 

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How can you become an exemplary employer?

HR is not just about ticking a few boxes and making sure that you’re not breaking the law. Savvy leaders know that becoming the best employer that they can possibly be can give them a huge competitive edge.

But what does this look like in practical terms? And what do you need to look at to make the shift from compliance to true excellence?

Ask yourself:

  • What do people really say about working for your business?
  • How have you built a positive employer brand? And if you haven’t, how can you get started?
  • How does your performance measure up against other businesses in your area and your industry?
  • Would YOU want to be an employee in your business?

Are you tapping into modern technology?

Make 2018 the year when you finally decide to make your life easier by harnessing the true potential of systems and processes. It could save you time, money, and a whole load of stress.

 

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Here are some points for you to consider:

  • When’s the last time that you caught up with your current providers? They may have new tools that you can utilise, or suggestions on how you can ramp up your return on investment
  • Where are you putting man-hours into tasks that could be automated?
  • What new solutions are being launched into the marketplace that could help you to achieve your goals?

Where do you want your business to be a year from now?

Whilst you’re getting down and dirty with the nitty-gritty considerations, be sure to keep an eye on the bigger picture and what you need to do to make real progress towards bigger goals.

Take a look at:

  • Where you are right now, and the reality of the obstacles that you’ll need to overcome to move forward
  • Where you will have to make investments to ensure that you have the skills and practical tools that you need
  • How you can make fast progress, without cutting corners and creating avoidable problems

Summary

There’s absolutely no doubt about it… If you make your way through the considerations that we’ve outlined in this guide, and you take action against them, then you can make massive leaps forward during 2018.

You don’t have to do everything at once, but you do need to be sensible with your time and make sure that you’re consistently making time for implementation.  Download the complete guide below.outsourced hr - hr revolution

Maybe this information has made you realise that there’s huge room for improvement, and you need a helping hand with getting started. If so, pick up the phone and give us a call. We can carry out an initial assessment of your strengths and weaknesses in terms of your HR practices, and give you advice around how we may be able to guide you through making meaningful and profitable changes.

I hope you enjoyed our guide and that it has given you food for thought… why not give us a call, or visit our website: HR Revolution, we are ready to answer any questions you may have +44 203 538 5311 or info@hrrevolution.co.uk

HR Revolution, expert CIPD HR professionals, supporting your employees and business.

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