Tech Thursday (Sept 8) – Cost of Security Breaches, Pipejump, Updater Online Platform, Blackberry Management Center, Intuit Small Business Employment Index

Internet Security Awareness Training (ISAT) Firm KnowBe4 Examines Actual Cost of Security Breach and Compromised Servers in Cybercrime Case Study

Future Simple’s Pipejump Helps Small Businesses Visualize Their Sales Pipeline with Google Apps and Twitter Integrations

Updater Launches Online Platform to Simplify Change of Address Process and Stop Unwanted Postal Mail

RIM Introduces Blackberry Management Center for Small Businesses

Work Picked Up in July per the Intuit Small Business Employment Index

Internet Security Awareness Training (ISAT) Firm KnowBe4 Examines Actual Cost of Security Breach and Compromised Servers in Cybercrime Case Study

CLEARWATER, Fla., August 1, 2011 – While cybercrime statistics hint at the alarming financial consequences of an Internet security breach, a recent case study from Internet Security Awareness Training (ISAT) firm KnowBe4 breaks down the actual costs incurred by one small business. Cyberheists of bank accounts or proprietary data can result in huge financial losses; but as this case demonstrates, a compromised webserver can have expensive repercussions even when there is no theft of funds or data.
Cybercrime can financially impact a business in several ways. In addition to measurable costs – such as those relating to repair/replacement of systems, loss of revenue and loss of productivity – there are also more intangible costs associated with loss of reputation. A 2010 Symantec survey found that 75% of small and medium businesses (SMBs) were victims of cyber attacks in the previous year, with an average annual cost of $188,242.* Some suffered direct financial costs that were substantially higher; however, even smaller losses in the four- or five-figure range have the potential to cripple a small business.
KnowBe4’s founder and CEO Stu Sjouwerman (pronounced “shower-man”) tells the story of a network breach at a small company, which will be referred to as Acme, Inc., to protect the firm’s privacy. Acme provides a subscription service to a specialized database, and its network consists of 20 workstations, a SQL server, an Exchange server and a dedicated website server, all linked together via a broadband connection. The company did not have a trained IT team; just one person serving part-time in an administrator role. When Acme’s webserver suddenly started experiencing much higher levels of traffic from countries where they did not conduct business, they suspected cybercriminals had broken into their network.
Upon investigating the situation, it was discovered that one of the workstations had become infected with Zeus malware after an employee clicked on a link in a phishing email. All of the servers and a number of workstations were compromised, giving cybercriminals full access to the network. Acme’s logs revealed that the webserver was being used to host an illegal music download service, and it was also discovered that the perpetrators had installed hidden rootkits.
The disinfection of Acme’s network required considerable time and expense. KnowBe4 spent 110 billable hours correcting the problems associated with the network breach, including:
  • 10 hours to select, order, configure and install a quality firewall
  • 20 hours to build a new webserver, upload digital backups and bring it nearline
  • 25 hours to scan all servers and workstations with several anti-malware tools to locate rootkits
  • 15 hours to wipe and rebuild Windows on all workstations to ensure removal of all rootkits
  • 10 hours to install anti-malware software on all servers and workstations
  • 10 hours to bring the new webserver online and debug the initial problems
  • 20 hours to repair things that broke during the rebuild, install drivers, bring printers back online, etc.
Future Simple’s Pipejump Helps Small Businesses Visualize Their Sales Pipeline with Google Apps and Twitter Integrations

Designed For Companies Of 100 Employees Or Fewer, PipeJump Brings Simplicity
To Managing Sales And Contacts

CHICAGO, IL – August 23, 2011— Future Simple, a provider of small business solutions, announced today Google Apps and Twitter integrations with its sales pipeline application PipeJump.  Pipejump allows small businesses to create, manage and visualize their sales pipeline through a simple, drag and drop interface that maps the entire sale process.  Google Apps and Twitter integrations allow companies to manage their pipeline from the applications they use and gain insight into customers and their needs.
“As a small business owner I need simple applications that I can use immediately to manage my sales prospects,” said David Phillips, chief marketing advocate, ONE Marketing Resource.  “With PipeJump I can add a lead in seconds, manage the entire sales process, and get an accurate picture of my sales pipeline.  It’s a view into my business that I’ve never had before.  This helps me focus my efforts and win more deals.”
Thousands of companies are leveraging PipeJump to manage their sales pipeline. PipeJump allows any small business owner, sales representative, or business development executive, to easily see, manage, and report on their entire sales pipeline. No more complicated forms, consultant customization, insignificant reporting and ever-increasing license fees. New features in PipeJump include:
• Google Apps integration – Create and manage new sales opportunities directly from your Google Applications.
• Twitter Integration – Automatic updates of prospect profiles with most recent tweets.
• Email Dropbox – forward all your prospect email communications to PipeJump and they are tracked in each lead record.
• Smart tags – add keywords to easily sort through deals and contacts and produce insightful reports.
“Small business software has missed the mark on meeting the needs of the 27 million small businesses in the U.S.,” said Uzi Shmilovici, CEO, Future Simple.  “It needs to be rebuilt from the ground up to be powerful yet simple to use, so small businesses can focus on growing the business rather than wasting time managing their software.  Future Simple is dedicated to building these solutions to this under-served market.”
Pricing: Starting at $14 per month after a 30 day free trial.

Updater Launches Online Platform to Simplify Change of Address Process and Stop Unwanted Postal Mail

New York, NY, July 21, 2011 – Updater, the premier online service for managing offline mail, launched its public beta site today at www.updater.com. Updater gives its users control over who can access and use their postal address, stops unwanted paper mail and simplifies the change of address process for the 40 million Americans who move each year.

Updater offers two services: Address Change and Address Privacy. With Address Change, Updater files an official Change of Address Form for mail forwarding with the United States Postal Service and updates the records of every business, educational institution and organization that the user selects. With Address Privacy, Updater acts as the user’s authorized agent to remove his or her postal address from direct marketing lists and enables a “spam filter” for unwanted paper mail. Through these services, Updater empowers its users to save time, stop unwanted mail, reduce identity theft and help the environment.

“Notifying businesses and affiliations of a change of address is a major hassle, and postal addresses are increasingly hijacked by marketing firms which use them as an unsolicited advertising platform,” noted David Greenberg, founder of Updater. “The consumer needs a trustworthy and reliable way to streamline the change of address process and decide for themselves which mail they want to receive.”

RIM Introduces Blackberry Management Center for Small Businesses

Today RIM launches BlackBerry® Management Center, a free online service that helps small businesses automatically back up smartphones on a regular basis, locate lost devices, reset a device password, or remotely erase the information stored on a device if it is lost or stolen. 

What is the true cost of a lost smartphone? For businesses, the cost can far exceed the actual cost of the device. Factor in the cost of lost productivity with the time it takes to set up a new device and recover lost information, and the cost can climb into the thousands of dollars. Costs can soar even higher in cases of the loss or theft of unsecured or unprotected devices that allow confidential customer or company information to fall into the wrong hands.

Mobile security is an important consideration for small businesses and one that needs to be taken seriously. BlackBerry Management Center is just one of the ways that RIM is helping SMBs manage, secure and protect BlackBerry smartphones and the information stored on them.

The free BlackBerry Management Center launches globally today and is available at www.blackberry.com/managementcenter.

Work Picked Up in July per the Intuit Small Business Employment Index

Modest yet Steady Employment Growth Bolstered by Strong Uptick in Hours Worked, Compensation

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. – Aug. 1, 2011 – Small businesses were busy in July. They grew employment by hiring 50,000 people and significantly increased both hours worked and compensation.

These are among the results of this month’s update of the Intuit Inc.(Nasdaq: INTU) Small Business Employment Index, covering the period between June 24 and July 23.The monthly report found that small business employment grew by 0.2 percent in July, equating to an annual growth rate of 2.9 percent.

This modest yet steady growth is strengthened by a solid increase in hours worked, which grew by 0.7 percent for the month or an 8.6 percent annual rate. Compensation also increased by 0.6 percent for the month, or a 7.6 percent annual rate.

Since the hiring trend began in October 2009, small businesses have created 715,000 jobs. The Index is based on figures from small businesses with fewer than 20 employees that use Intuit Online Payroll.

Based on these latest numbers, Intuit revised upward the previously reported growth rate for June to 0.3 percent from 0.2 percent, equating to 50,000 jobs added for the month.

“July’s small business data cheers me up,” said Susan Woodward, the economist who worked with Intuit to create the Index. “In addition to a steady hiring trend, there is now a solid increase in hours worked and compensation. This means that small business owners are busy, giving their existing employees more work and paying them slightly more.

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Allison Midori Reilly is the CEO and Founder of Stirring Media, LLC. Stirring Media, LLC is a content marketing and news production firm that provides content marketing and business blogging services to the small business market. Prior to that, she was a freelance writer, who was published in over a dozen print and online publications, such as Smallbiztechnology.com, American City & County, Ideabing.com, Transport Topics and St. Louis Commerce Magazine. In her spare time, Reilly is an active member of Amnesty International as well as an avid poker player.

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