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How to create a better cyber security culture

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Keep out of the headlines and ahead of the competition: 

By Adam Louca, Chief Technologist- Security, Softcat

Globally operating financial services firms, by their very nature, are subject to a host of different cybersecurity regulations which can make navigating data rules and keeping compliant a challenging task.

Some players in the global financial market see intervention by regulators in such matters as an additional burden to generating revenue. However, it’s essential to be transparent and make appropriate adjustments early enough to protect your business, its customers and to proactively secure its future.

#1 Cast the net wide

Ensuring everyone in your organisation is aligned with your cybersecurity strategy—and is responsible for implementing their piece of the puzzle—is critical.

A big part of this includes regularly training employees on good I.T and security practices and ensuring they follow through with what they’ve learned.

Every individual should understand how to manage their electronic equipment and what to do in particular web-based scenarios. You should also be able to test this knowledge by running security drills.

For example, companies today often send fake spear phishing emails out to employees for training purposes, to see who clicks on the links or attachments and who flags it to the right team.

Clicking on attachments from bad actors is one of the main ways malware ends up on a company’s network. It’s also one of the most common forms of ‘attack’ an employee will face, so it’s critical they follow protocol on these issues.

While regular training from in-house or external experts is an absolute must, make sure you break it down into chunks and avoid using technical acronyms, to prevent employees feeling overwhelmed.

Try to make the training relevant to their lives outside the organisation and show them how to use this information to protect their personal online lives as well, which will resonate far more effectively.

#2 Reliable processes

With GDPR soon coming into force, information security and privacy should be at the heart of every internal process. It’s absolutely critical for financial companies to implement an acceptable digital use policy, which addresses questions around business travel, critical customer data, how it should be categorised and timely responses to security incidents. 

You may wish to put certain technologies in place to monitor and limit access to certain files or information. However,it can be hard to cut through the marketing noise when it comes to choosing which solutions are best for your business.

So, before deciding, draw up a technology roadmap which aligns with your company’s overall growth strategy and encourage collaboration on this with senior management who manage budgets across other departments. You can then cross-compare where there are technology gaps in the company and identify if budget needs to be prioritised or re-allocated to protect vulnerabilities.

Some organisations will find they don’t need to implement new technology, they just need to better use what they already have in place and tailor it to their environment. For instance, maybe you already have a firewall in place, but you haven’t necessarily configured it to block all traffic originating in an area notorious for hacking.

#3 Don’t forget external partners

There’s no end to major cyber breaches which originate from third-party suppliers.. This year, Equifaxblamed its giant data breach on a flaw in an externally provided piece of software it was using. The problem gets worse when you consider the risks don’t always end when a supplier relationship is terminated.

However, research has shown when companies evaluate the security and privacy policies of all suppliers, the likelihood of a breach falls from 66 percent to 46 percent.  Proper oversight pays dividends beyond just compliance benefits.

Once a company has a clear picture of who all their vendors are and which of them have access to sensitive data, a variety of methods are available to help maintain security. For example; you could discuss the option of regular vendor self-assessments, request customer visits and audits, or ask them to purchase specific cyber insurance.

If your company or an external supplier experiences a data breach, it’s important to create an intelligent response plan that outlines the scenarios you could face and their potential business impact.

You must identify the critical systems you need to keep online and you’ll also need a strong communication plan in place to inform your partners, customers and the public in a timely and sensitive manner before it hits the headlines. Have a single spokesperson and prepare a script providing answers to likely technical questions.

You also need to make sure the organisation stores, secures and retains all system logs in original forms so they are admissible as evidence.

#4 Involve customers

If an attack occurs, is it possible to earn back your customers’ trust?

The answer is ‘yes’, but it will take time and you will need to be honest and completely transparent. Creating a better cyber security culture extends to your customer base.

Graham Cluley points out how common it is for companies to hide their data breach announcements in the darkest corners of the web where they’re less likely to be spotted.

Call us old-fashioned, but when has burying your head in the sand ever been the right approach to a crisis?!

Providing detailed information about the breach in real-time updates including how the issue is being resolved and expected timing is vital. This can be accomplished by sending out emails and ssocial media updates whenever possible.

You could place a prominent, temporary banner on your website’s homepage letting customers know an incident has occurred. Not everybody checks their emails and not everybody reads the news, so this is another way to let a customer know about any cyber security incidents.

Help your customersunderstand they have control over their personal information and how it can be managed post-breach. This can be done by having them re-confirm their preferences once the breach is resolved. Compensating victims in accordance with the severity of the breach is also a good solution. They will appreciate the additional support and the efforts you’re making to re-build trust.

There are two kinds of financial services firms: those that have faced a cyber-attack and those that will. The moral of the story is business leaders have the responsibility to build defences that are both comprehensive and resilient to limit damage, speed recovery and most importantly create a stronger, more-informed employeeculture.

How To

Guest Posting

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Guest Posting 1

The internet has set up brands at every corner of the street and getting people to visit yours is a mix of skill and art. The attempts to layout customer roadmaps to your brand which aren’t abandoned are not new and the struggles are the same as before. In fact, the struggle to have your brand heard has piled up as competition keeps emerging and viewer attention span keeps getting fragmented. This has led to a surge in brands using conventional advertisements to highly compress their message to the audience.

This is not the best gameplan to bet on. Ads are perceived by many as intrusive, insincere and housing an ulterior motive. The audience is bombarded with ads from every angle and making it shorter does not really help. Most people don’t react the same way to guest posting.

A guest post is a piece of brand journalism which lives on a publisher’s website. Sponsored posts are an advertorial piece of long-form writing that is created to be highly engaging. They avoid the intrusive and abrupt conventional-approach of ads and indulge in a more respectful and subtle modern-approach for recommending your services or products.

Choosing the right platforms to publish your guest post is crucial as the platform is seen as your partner and representative. Your chosen platform must balance between writing a blog post and a traditional advertisement, stray away from being intrusive and stick with being subtle and respectful. At Global Banking and Finance (GBAF), we offer the opportunity to bank on our decade-long experience and expertise in writing balanced content like this.

How Can Guest Posts on GBAF Help You?

Constantly investing time and effort into writing and publishing on your blog is great for fostering and strengthening your already existing audience relationship but this doesn’t help you reach a new audience.

Guest posting opportunities on our platform gives you access to an untapped audience base. This is a significant advantage in two ways:

  • Familiarity: We have built our audience through our authentic, thought-provoking and storytelling writing nature. Our audience is familiar and receptive to this writing style. When we adapt your content in the same format, it allows your content to have better reception compared to traditional ads. Also, your content will adapt to the environment of content which makes it feel natural and less abrupt or intrusive.
  • Trust: When a consumer learns about your brand through someone they trust (someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too. Our audience’s trust means a chance for your brand’s voice to be heard. It also means having customers who have completed their journey of brand choice. When they choose you, it will be an additional choice of transition from our platform rather than a new choice of approaching you. They only have to go half-way.

With amplified brand reach and redefined trust, your brand visibility and credibility will be boosted. We also help you boost visibility by leveraging our social media channels which currently have 135k followers and keep growing every day.

Another major area of impact when doing guest posts with GBAF is the focus, delivery and expertise of writing. The audience members will engage with your content much more than they do with your traditional ads. This will increase the chances of convincing the customers who doubt, skepticize and speculate becoming customers of your brand from afar. Writing to deliver your promotion with value-driven content also allows you to plug in a recommendation at a crucial point of the problem with your brand as the solution.

Lastly, value-driven content avoids the intrusive BUY THIS! style of writing. Here, the focus is on communicating your knowledge and therefore allows you to establish yourself as a thought-leader in your niche.

All of these combined benefits act as a catalyst to boost your brand reach, funnel attention to your brand, gain a competitive advantage and knock down all other challenges presented in separating yourself from your competition.

Final Thoughts

Brand adoption is slow. Abandoning an old familiar brand route for a new one is difficult. People rarely reach out to brands and they sprint the other way if they see brands reach out to them through conventional and dull ads. In such a deadlock scenario guest posts can provide the perfect strategy to bet on.

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How To

Why Guest Posting is Your Best Bet

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Why Guest Posting is Your Best Bet 2

In a scenario where new businesses are popping up everyday, one of the major challenges brands face is that of devising an organic and effective way to get the attention of their target audience. And one of the first solutions that comes to mind is the internet and consecutively, digital marketing. Even though its all-pervasive nature has made it both super-easy to reach people across the globe, the internet also comes with its own set of challenges. In this article, we will discuss the tough-to-crack parts of digital marketing, things that almost every brand representative or marketing executive has to face in the present date.

The oversimplification of digital communication has deceived many brands into believing that it’s the only way to reach their audience. However, the reality is hardly so. Today, there are more platforms and media formats than there have ever been before and newer ones keep emerging everyday. As a result, the netizens have developed a rapidly decreasing attention span. As a result, brands are wrestling to fit their message into as tiny a space as possible in what can only be called conventional methods of advertising.

For many brands, digital marketing proves to be an ordeal that takes years to crack, all the while draining the brand’s potential for more business and/or larger reach. It is worth noting that one of the major challenges that most businesses face is that of people avoiding ads altogether; no matter how good your ad is, chances are that people don’t want to see it, resulting in zero engagement. The second and bigger challenge is that short messages don’t convert those who are unaware of your brand, to brand loyalists. Instead, these ads are likely to affect only those who are already considering buying into what your brand is offering, which might be a small share.

This is where Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF) comes in. We offer you the opportunity to overcome both the challenges (and more) in one go through our guest post services.

Guest Posts Have An Edge Over Normative Advertisements

Guest posts are advertorial pieces of long-form writing, created with an aim to engage the audience by taking away the impression of normative ads. How? Sponsored posting articles are so designed that they address the audience’s demands or queries, and also offer your brand as a solution instead of point-blank marketing. Consequently, this makes the audience spend a longer time engaging with your brand than they would do with, say, a pop-up ad. Through a guest blog post, your brand has the space to engage in a fair exchange because the article delivers value to your audience rather than being a conventional sales-driven advertisement.

To sum it up, sponsored posts fall right on the sweet spot between a blog post and a traditional advertisement on the spectrum of advertising.

Here’s Why You Should Run Guest Posts on GBAF

At GBAF, our team understands the importance of the environment in which your brand is introduced to an audience, something that leaves a lasting impact on their minds. It goes without saying that this very impression will influence and drive their future decisions on whether they want to engage with your brand and buy what you’re selling. Hence, it is our staff that is usually responsible for writing the posts that go up for your brand on our website. This allows for the sponsored post to merge in seamlessly with the existing content in our website instead of sticking out like a sore thumb. The aim in doing so is to create these posts in a way that does not distract or seem abrupt as guest posts are meant to be adaptive to an existing environment. So, even though it is essentially promoting your brand, a sponsored post is more of a brand journalism piece than an ad.

On our platform, we understand the importance readers attach to authenticity and value. This also allows GBAF to have a firm grip on introducing your brand effectively while simultaneously catering to the audience’s needs. Our team works around the clock to gain our audience’s trust by continually delivering authentic and value-driven content to our readers for more than a decade. When you partner with us, that resource pool is easy to tp into. When a consumer learns about your brand through a reliable source (for instance, someone like a renowned brand, friend, some industry authority, etc), they are more likely to trust you, too.

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How To

Why You Need to Take Guest Posting Seriously

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Why You Need to Take Guest Posting Seriously 3

When customers are largely in control of marketing conversations, traditional advertisement has lost its touch. How you educate your prospects and out-educate your competitors now win the battle and generate leads.

If you’re the spokesperson of a brand or if it is your job to tell a story that your customers care about, you know how important it is to be generous, to share your ideas on a platform that promotes storytelling, and to position your brand as the most trusted partner for your customers.

The challenge with quick, easy micro-copy is that it fails to make an impact. It’s like a quick-fix that we try to use in everything we do. However, quick-fixes don’t heal a burning pain-point. A thoughtful, easy-to-read, user-friendly guide does.

At Global Banking & Finance Review (GBAF), we help you help your customers. Here’s how.

Guest Posting: How it Works

Guest posting is the art of telling your story to your audience without shoving it down their throats. It’s not an advertisement, but a thought-leadership content piece that educates & promotes your brand to your target audience without interrupting them.

  • Our editorial team works your content piece to present your brand on our website
  • The sponsored articles adhere to the context, the tone, the voice of your brand and represent it in the way you’d like to portray to your audience
  • The content piece is lucidly written and only does one job, i.e. educating your audience
  • The piece is long-form of content that allows your target audience to engage with your brand longer (much more than an advertisement)
  • It doesn’t distract, interrupt, or intrude the audience
  • Sponsored posts are designed and articulated to solve the audience’s pain-point and showcase your brand as a solution-provider

Why Should You Run Guest Posts on GBAF?

GBAF is a platform that garners a community of over 135,000. Here are four reasons for which you should run guest posts on GBAF:

  1. We help you increase the engagement with your audience: We don’t depend on surveys to understand what your target audience wants. For the last ten years, we have been serving various kinds of readers. And we know them personally. Thus, we know how to place your content to increase engagement.
  2. We put your audience ahead of the marketing funnel: When you run an ad, you start from scratch. And as a result, the first step is always to start with the beginning of the marketing funnel. When you publish a guest post on our platform, your target audience already begins to trust you since we’ve put years of work in building the community.
  3. We help you generate leads: An ad is interruptive. When you submit a guest post on GBAF, it teaches instead. And directs the audience to take action. As a result, you generate more leads. In this era of marketing, the brand that educates better, profits more.
  4. We offer you cost-effective solutions: When you run sponsored articles on GBAF, you’re in charge of your budget. You decide how much you’d like to spend per month. And we support you with cost-effective solutions backed up with the results so that you can calculate your ROI upfront.

How to Submit a Guest Post on GBAF

  • Check categories:
  • B2B: CSR, Green Tech, AI & Big Data, Ongoing Training for Employees, Manufacturing
  • B2C: Travel Destinations, Trends on Buying a Home, Working Remotely, Electronics
  • Follow guidelines:
  • Format: Word format
  • Send at: [email protected] (or use this page to submit a guest post)
  • Length: 750 – 1000 words
  • Image: We need an image of the author (specifications: width – 800 px. & heigh – 600 px.) with original credits
  • Additional requirements:
  • Author Bio: Provide an author bio (name, title, affiliation, bio, and contact). You can add a link
  • Profile: Give a brief overview of the company, key information about the company, major projects, certifications, and company logo. Please submit the profile in word format

We review your submission and if it adheres to our submission guidelines and quality standards, we will connect with you before publishing the article.

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