Capital Advisory Group August 2018

BOOK A CARIBBEAN CRUISE WHY SMALL

Today’s small businesses are woefully unprepared for digital threats. Cybercrime is at an all-time high in 2018, and yet a frightening number of small-business owners assume that their organization is too small to ever warrant the attention of hackers. From the perspective of cybercriminals, most small and mid- sized businesses (SMBs) represent the low-hanging fruit of the digital world: a modest pile of cash guarded by outdated or easily circumvented barriers.That’s why 71 percent of cyberattacks are directed at SMBs, according to Verizon’s annual Data Breach Investigations Report, and a huge number of those strikes actually succeed. If you’re hoping to protect the business that you’ve built from the ground up, it’s important to be vigilant. Here are three steps you can take right now to drastically improve your chances at scaring off the wolves at your digital door: BACKUP YOURDATA. A large majority of data breaches today come in the form of ransomware, which locks users out of everything on a company’s network. Hackers then threaten to delete the data forever unless the company forks over thousands of dollars. But if you have all of your files automatically backed up to an alternate location (that can’t be accessed on your ordinary network), you can skip paying the ransom, let the criminals wipe your system, and make it through the crisis unscathed. TRAINYOUREMPLOYEES. It’s easy to imagine a team of evil geniuses typing at lightspeed to try to penetrate your business’s defenses, but 60 percent of the time, it’s a simple mistake by one of your employees that leaves the company wide open to attack.To combat this, you need to ensure that every single one of your employees is on board with strong cybersecurity practices.That means building a comprehensive cybersecurity policy that all members of your team must sign (including provisions such as password strength requirements) and supplying extensive training on the biggest digital threats. USE FIREWALL, ANTIVIRUS, ANDENCRYPTION SOFTWARE. Firewalls, which are usually included with your operating system, block unauthorized access to your network. Antivirus software serves as a watchdog, sniffing out malware and spyware before they become a problem. And encryption ensures that the data on your system is unreadable to anyone who doesn’t have the encryption key. All three of these powerful protections are inexpensive, user-friendly, and essential tools for businesses of all sizes seeking to stave off cybercriminals. And What You Can Do to Protect Yourself BUSINESSES ARE CYBERCRIMINALS’ NO. 1 TARGET

Safe Sailing This Hurricane Season

After last year’s devastating storm season, would-be tropical travelers are undoubtedly hesitant about purchasing those discounted plane tickets to the Caribbean Basin. No one wants to face a possible evacuation during their vacation — or worse, be forced to weather a hurricane at a beachfront resort. If you want the most bang for your buck while enjoying the turquoise waters of the Caribbean this fall, consider booking a cruise. Cruise-ship travel is a fun and adventurous way to explore any time of year. After all, what could be more magical than a floating hotel room where you fall asleep in one country and wake up in another? This charming mobility is also what makes cruise travel the safest option for visiting the Caribbean and the coast of Mexico this time of year. SAFETY AND SAVINGS Much like resorts and airfare, cruise lines discount their Caribbean fares significantly during peak hurricane season, from August to October. However, unlike a traditional hotel, these massive ships have the luxury of navigating out of a storm’s path with ease. For all their ferocity, hurricanes move slowly across the Atlantic and have relatively predictable trajectories. Meanwhile, modern cruise ships carry the most sophisticated weather-tracking instruments, allowing them to bypass even small storms and inclement weather. FLEXIBILITY IS AMUST The flipside of this ability to dodge storms is the fact that your ship may not be able to stick to its original itinerary. You may have to anchor at an island you weren’t expecting to or miss out on seeing a port you were supposed to visit. If you have your heart set on seeing a specific location, cruise travel this time of year may not be for you. But if you are simply looking for a safe, affordable vacation to a beautiful region, then it doesn’t much matter which white-sanded beach you wake up to next. While unpredictable

weather will always be a concern for any vacation, the safety and variety cruises offer make them great options for anyone looking for a Caribbean getaway before the holiday season. So if you have a flexible schedule and a healthy sense of adventure, it’s time to call your travel agent, pack your sunscreen and bathing suit, and head to paradise!

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