Cyber Attacks – What Will This Cost Me?

cyber-attack_rect

This is a special guest post from the BlumShapiro Cybersecurity Team.


Cybersecurity breaches are making the headlines nearly every day. But what if the next time it was your business? What could the costs of a security breach be to you? According to a 2015 Kaspersky Lab study that evaluated over 5500 companies in 26 countries worldwide, the average direct costs of a security breach for a small business is a whopping $38,000. The study also cited that this number increases to $551,000 for large business enterprises to recover from an attack. These costs include lost business opportunities, downtime and the professional service fees associated with mitigating the breach. Of course, every breach is unique, and costs and damages will vary. To wrap your head around the basics and what you can expect, take a look at the numbers below:

Getting Back on Track – Once attacked, it’s very unlikely that you’ll have the means to get your business back in working order using just your staff and available technology tools alone. You’ll need to find outside organizations and experts to help lessen the blow from your recent attack. This may include IT Security Consultants, Risk Management Consultants, Accountants, Auditors, Legal Professionals and even Public Relations Specialists to soften the damage to your business’ reputation. The price tag for all this? On average, a small business is looking at around $10,000 in professional service costs with this number increasing exponentially for larger businesses.

Clearing Your Name – As for your reputation? Research shows that the estimate of reputational damage for a small business is nearly $9,000, while enterprises are faced with a loss of nearly $205,000. The loss of trust and reliability in your organization is generally something no business (large or small) can afford.

What About Financial Theft? – Another daunting statistic, research from Ponemon Institute in a global study sample notes that if you’ve lost funds in a cyberattack, 68% of these stolen dollars are generally declared “unrecoverable.”

Kaspersky makes one firm conclusion: the cost of a security breach is always higher than the cost of protection. It is important that you take a proactive approach to protecting your business from a cyberattack. (Link to 10 Best practices download) Being reactive is likely going to cost you in the end, both financially as well as by negatively impacting your company’s reputation. Learning about what resources are available to help protect your organization against what might occur is the better choice over shelling out when an attack occurs.


This guest post was written by the BlumShapiro Cybersecurity Team. BlumShapiro is the largest regional business advisory firm based in New England providing accounting, tax and business consulting services.

 

6 Business Owner Archetypes & How to Leverage This

This is a special guest post from James Lopata, Executive Coach at innerOvation. Read the original post on the innerOvation blog.


When it comes to what businesses need, one size does not fit all.

But you might not know it from all the easy advice that’s thrown around on the web.

One of my business buddies, Jeb Bates (owner and CEO of ThoughtAction and the PaperRoom Institute) and I were brainstorming recently about the work we do with business owners. We discovered that there are six basic types. And that we approach working with each differently.

Each leader comes from a different place, sees things in a unique way, and has different needs.

Below are the six archetypes that we discerned and, in a nutshell, what kind of outside business coaching that we find works best for each.

(See the Business Owner Optimization Matrix for quick reference.)

Which one are you or would you be if you ran a company?

How can you leverage your type and find what you need in order to succeed?

(1) The ‘All Set’ Owner: These owners are pretty well all set with what they need. Usually these are well-seasoned business proprietors who have a lot of experience and therefore know what type of help to look for and when to look for it. They find the kind of help they need when they need it. These types are rare. They are golden. Invest in them!

(2) The Driver Owner: These types know what they are after. They have clear goals. They know how they want to get to those goals and they just go. Some of their challenges include that they can become so single-minded and driven in their pursuits that they miss things that can be crucial to their business development. They will sometimes suddenly look up and around and find themselves stuck in places with their businesses that they hadn’t intended to be. Perhaps customers stop showing up, or a sales strategy isn’t working as intended. Their drive and certainty sometimes blinds them to other possibilities. These types benefit from outside assistance when (a) they hit a wall and can’t see the way forward, or (b) they somehow see the benefits of getting external help before they hit a wall and are willing to seek the broader benefits of deeper exploration of business possibilities and accountability structures.

(3) The Everything Owner
: These are the types who have all the tools. They know about and have in place lots of legal structures, financial tools, business plans, and so on. It’s all there. But they just can’t seem to make it all work together in a way that builds their confidence, builds their business and builds revenue. The kind of help these types need is assistance in defining a central vision and mission for their business, and to help them discover key metrics. Providing clarity helps these owners better focus the tools at their disposal in a way that decreases waste and overkill and creates efficiency, effectiveness and ease.

(4) The Analytical Owner: These types know a lot and they like to analyze and consider and really get know their business, but, for all their knowledge, they can’t always put it all together into action to create a winning business. These types get entangled in what is frequently referred to as ‘paralysis by analysis.’ Sometimes this business owner’s behaviors manifest in short bursts of big investments — just for the sake of doing something, anything — followed by periods of regret and retrenchment. These need deep behavioral change. Outside assistance from the right sources can help them get unstuck by helping them see the deep beliefs, habits, perceptions and thoughts that are hindering their progress. Deep change can help free them into forming constructive actions and behaviors that allow their businesses to thrive.

(5) The Go-Go-Go Owner: These are the ones who are always on the go, but have very little reflection. They often lurch from one thing to the next and are typically very reactionary when it comes to business needs, as opposed to being responsive or forward-looking. They typically don’t feel they need assistance from anyone. These are the most difficult nuts to crack. Unless they have become worn down enough and felt enough pain or are in danger of losing it all, they typically have no interest in getting outside help. If they are really ready to commit to a process of change, coaching could benefit them greatly.

(6) The Not Set Owner: These owners may need assistance, but they are generally not willing to be assisted. These types either must transform into one of the other 5 types, or they risk creating a business that goes nowhere.

Which are you? Click here to view the handy Business Owner Type Optimization Matrix.


James Lopata is an Executive Coach with over two decades of executive management experience. Follow him on Twitter or head over to the innerOvation blog for more wisdom.

INTERN BUZZ: Make your NetWORK!

A Summer Networking Event and Workshop for Area Interns

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce invite your organization to send its college interns to participate in a special intern networking event.

At the event, speakers will discuss ways to leverage internships for future job opportunities, and how to get the most out of internship experiences. They will also work with students directly in interactive workshops around networking and career building.

Due to the popularity of this event each year, this year there will be two event dates, both at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, located at 600 Atlantic Avenue.

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016, from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, June 16, 2016, from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Light refreshments will be served. Please RSVP with the names and email addresses of all participants by Friday, June 10 to Thalia Yunen at Thalia.yunen@bos.frb.org.

This event is one component of a larger initiative led by the Boston Fed and the Chamber to promote a strong workforce through talent retention efforts within the Greater Boston region. We thank you in advance for your support and participation.

Sincerely,

James E. Rooney
President & CEO
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Kenneth C. Montgomery
First Vice President & COO
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

7 Local Companies to Check Out When Choosing a Wellness Program

Gabriela Antunes of LeanBoxSpecial guest post by Gabriela Antunes, Marketing Manager at LeanBox.

You’re a Boston-based company and need to decide on employee wellness benefits.

Where do you start? Do you ask colleagues? Google the options?

The thing is, there are plenty of vendors in the area. Why not consider those?

Here’s a simple breakdown of 7 wellness vendors in Massachusetts to guide your search.

Clear Connector
What it is

 A one-stop shop for open enrollment, benefits management, and unique wellness initiatives via cloud. Their goal is to understand your biggest workplace health challenge and increase employee participation to overcome that challenge via social media and gamification. Learn more here.

Looking at employee exercise programs but have no idea where to start? How about a FitBit integration? Smoking programs? No problem. Clear Connector provides a transparent list of the options available to you. If you need help choosing which option fits your wellness goals, they can help with that as well.

How it works
The sign-up process is completely ungated. Anyone can log on and enroll their company or themselves. This is perfect if you are just looking into options and don’t want to hit the purchase button yet. Once you’re ready to give it a go with one of Clear Connector’s services, employers foot the bill.

I was curious to learn what options would be a good fit for a small food start-up like the company I work at so I signed us up. Here’s a walkthrough of the feature prompts:
Sign_Up___Clear_Connector-step2 Sign_Up___Clear_Connector-step3

The last question prompts you to give feedback on your company’s health challenges.

Sign_Up___Clear_Connector-step4

Clear Connector is located in the Back Bay.

NutriSavings
What it is
A healthy eating rewards program with mobile and web apps. NutriSavings specializes in motivating employees to eat a balanced diet and alleviating chronic illnesses through nutrition. Check out their knowledge base to learn about nutrition, fitness, recipes, and chronic diseases for adults and children.

Their mobile apps are available on both IOS and Android platforms:

NutriSavings app screenshot NutriSavings_iphoneapp

How it works
Employees self-enroll via their company-affiliate account, and a loyalty card is auto-generated to track grocery purchases. At a retail check-out, the barcode auto-loads data into the Nutri Savings app for employees to reap their rewards.

NutriSavings syncs with POS/inventory systems at over 1,200 grocery stores all over Massachusetts, so there’s a strong chance your employee’s local grocery store is listed. I noticed Russo’s in Watertown wasn’t listed, so I called the NutriSavings support line to learn how to add my grocery story to the list. All it takes is a call from your human resource manager. Pretty painless!

So who foots the bill for this program? Employers and insurance carriers split the cost of this benefits program so employees can focus on eating healthy and racking up financial rewards.

If you are looking for a way to incentivize healthy eating in your wellness program via financial rewards, they may be a good fit for you. Watch this clip to learn more:

NutriSavings is based in Newton, MA.

Savory Living
What it is
Proven 10-week healthy eating behavior change online program. Savory Living’s nutritional coaching program helps people learn how to develop a taste for healthy food, eat well “on the go,” and keep up the motivation to keep going. They are based in Brookline, MA.

How it works
Unlike NutriSavings, this nutrition program is open to the public as well as company sponsorship. The program costs less than $35 per week. Companies looking to offer healthy eating as a wellness perk with Savory Living will pass savings on to their employees via a company discount.

The online class component of Savory Living is a weekly program running an hour long and even accessible 24×7 via mobile or web. They also offer personalized nutrition coaching. Watch their video to learn more.


Virgin Pulse
What it is
A health technology company with a mobile app for employees and web platform for HR managers. Virgin Pulse is located in Framingham and is part of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin group.

The mobile app is available on both IOS and Android platforms. It’s worth checking out customer reviews on the Apple store and Google Play. Here’s what the iphone app interface looks:

VirginPulse-iphone

The mobile interface on Google Play looks similar:

VirginPulse-Google-Play

Bonus
Virgin Pulse employees grab fresh, healthy lunch from a LeanBox, a fridge filled with gourmet, grab and go meals available 24×7.

Plus, they hold a wellness conference called the Thrive Summit. #ThriveSum16 [tweet this].

Wellable

What it is

An all-in-one wellness solution. They provide wellness coaching and consulting, fitness classes, health education, and a digital, interactive wellness challenge. Looking for wellness resources? Check out their knowledge base or request a demo of their software. Wellable in located in Boston.

Wellable

How it works
The employee interface of their software enables users to link their personal wellness tech (think Fitbit) to a company-sponsored Wellable account and partake in health challenges with colleges for prizes or pure competitive thrill.

Employers have access to a portal with user data to optimize the success of wellness challenges. The text notification function enables employers to communicate with employees on an opt-in basis to send reminders, health tips, award winners, fitness class schedule, etc. Check out some of their current clients:

Wellable-clients

Wellness Workdays
What it is
Wellness Workdays is a wellness consulting company based in Hingham, MA.

How it works
They design and deliver worksite wellness programs. Their approach includes assessment, strategy, implementation, and evaluation. Each aspect of their program uses evidence-based conclusions from research in nutrition, fitness, and worksite wellness. Their clients look to WW, “to bring a new level of energy and enthusiasm. 

Learn what clients have to say about Wellness Workdays and check out some of the features in their portal: 

WellnessWorkdays-screenshot


Bonus

They also lead an employee wellness conference that grants credits towards some Society for Human Resources Management Certifications.

Me You Health
What it is
Open social IOS mobile apps that help users eat better, lose weight, walk more, and quit smoking. The strength of this wellness program is the use of validated engagement and validated clinical effect. Both of these research tools enable Me You Health to drive high rates of user activity and goal attainment. Consider their line-up of IOS mobile apps:

  • Quitnet to quit smoking
  • WalkaDoo, a fun step tracking IOS mobile app that syncs with Fitbit, Jawbone, Movesapp, and Fitlinxx
  • Daily Challenge and check out their #DailyChallenge tweets
  • Hello200 weight management IOS mobile app. This app has an average 4.5 star rating on the Apple store with happy customers:

MeYouHealth-customer-review MeYouHealth-iphone

Me You Health also developed a web app for HR managers to track and report on employee wellness outcomes in real-time, quarterly, and annually.

How it works
Me You Health enrolls your employees through a custom URL link, who also take a health assessment and choose which mobile solution they want. This enables them and you–the HR manager–to receive real-time feedback on their progress.

Employees can share their status updates with anyone in their social networks
regardless of insurance bureaucracy.

Learn more about how it works here:


 Gabriela Antunes is the Marketing Manager at LeanBox, a food tech company in Boston that brings fresh, healthy meals to the workplace 24×7. Check out the LeanBox blog where she shares everything about happy, healthy, and engaged employees.

The Mass. Electricity Market and Why We Support Hydropower

Businesses depend on different amounts of electricity but they are all subject to rates that are set by a combination of market dynamics and public policy choices. The rates for electricity in Massachusetts are among the highest in the nation, which has a significant impact on businesses and residents.

As part of our approach to taking positions on energy issues, we conducted extensive research on energy costs and supply as well as the solutions being offered in Massachusetts, which we brought together in a policy brief titled, The Current Balance: The Role of Cost, Reliability, and Environmental Impact in the Massachusetts Electricity Market.

Based on our analysis of the data, the Chamber supports proposals that encourage the procurement of hydroelectricity in the Commonwealth. However, we have two reservations with specific components of legislation that is currently under consideration.

  • First, the Chamber cautions against legislating a set amount of electricity to be procured from a specific source. We would encourage the Legislature to allow for a competitive procurement process that does not require a minimum amount from a specified energy source.
  • Second, the Chamber is concerned with the lack of clarity regarding what constitutes “cost effectiveness” for ratepayers, and would encourage the Legislature to provide measurable parameters that define this term.

To make Massachusetts more competitive, we must create and implement updated energy policies that strike the right balance between cost, reliability, and environmental impact. Achieving a balance will require that we look at how we integrate natural gas, solar, hydropower, and other sources, to create a more cost-effective, reliable, and environmentally sound energy future for Massachusetts.

Click here to read our policy brief.


James E. Rooney is President and CEO of the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce. Follow him on Twitter.