This past week we had two wonderful sessions in our “Navigating our New Reality: COVID-19 and Beyond” webinar series. On Thursday, Tim Poyner of CTSi presented the last webinar of our series. Tim’s presentation focused on small businesses and their need to think more critically about how to work securely and effectively no matter where they are. Because of COVID-19, small businesses have had to adapt; learning new approaches to getting things done. For example, home office work is now being considered by more businesses as a legit method of work with effective virtual meetings and saving potential in technological investments.

Since the focus was on security for adaptive work environments, Tim discussed different components of management—or pieces that need to be consistently managed. Tim’s presentation relayed this information in structured parts that helped us think through these aspects and what may lead to helpful steps to make it happen.

One important idea that every business owner shouldn’t miss was the fact that security, despite what people often think, is really a business problem with technical solutions, rather than the inverse. The key reason for this change in thinking is simply in the recognition of the business consequences of security failures. It is a much more important issue than many estimate. Decline for business reputation, loss of sales, and missing out on business opportunities are only a few examples of these threats to your business. This is ever more present as small businesses are adapting to and learning from COVID-19.

It was helpful to gain a greater understanding of the business of cyber-attacks. I now see just how lucrative it can be and why it is so important to protect a business from bad actors. It is absolutely critical that businesses take action to secure home networks, unmanaged mobile devices, and home computers with a technology partner who can implement and manage the best tools to keep everything safe and secure.

Beyond security, Tim also explained reasons as to why productivity has become a relevant business problem. Tying into what a previous expert presenter, Mike Walton of XcelHR spoke about, Tim stated “happy workers is good HR.” It can be easy to think of employee productivity as existing on a binary of “poor” versus “strong” productivity. However, Tim described employee productivity in helpful language to think of it as a nuanced issue prevalent in small businesses adapting due to COVID. Part of the adapting that small businesses are going through is having employees conduct work virtually from various locations. Tim’s presentation laid out potential solutions to locational work-based issues so that it shouldn’t matter where we’re working as long as we have the right technological tools in place.

Throughout his presentation, Tim kept emphasizing the mindset that small business owners must have: We need to be prepared, we need to be nimble, and we need to be secure and safe.

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