Protecting Your Business From Cyber Attacks

Protecting Your Business

Anyone with half an eye on the news in recent months will have noticed the increased spate of cyber attacks taking place. A recent report from the Association of British Insurers noted that 74% of SMEs are reported to have suffered a security breach in the past 12 months alone.

What does this have to do with me, you might ask? You work for yourself. You don’t have to worry about multinational IT infrastructure. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Individual workers are often the weakest link in the security chain. A recent IBM investigation noted that 95% of cyber security breaches are down to human error. With cyber crime quickly becoming a multifaceted, dynamic and constantly evolving threat to security it’s imperative that you protect yourself.

Most small business owners don’t take cyber security seriously. They think that their business is too small to attract the attention of a hacker. That laissez-faire attitude, however, is exactly the reason why 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses – hackers are aware that most SMEs don’t invest in cyber security. How can you protect your business from attacks? Here are a few of our top tips:

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A Brief History of Cyber Attacks

Cyber Liability

When it comes to cyber attacks, it’s often only the big corporation on the receiving end of the breach that makes the headlines. What people don’t often consider is the long chain of risk that generally allows such attacks to happen in the first place.

Although the entry point for any breach is often disclosed, it is generally an individual at ground level who is most fallible. In fact, a recent Verizon study identified that 77% of data breaches involved an insider, whilst a recent IBM investigation noted that 95% of cyber security breaches are down to human error.

That’s why we always recommend that you take out adequate insurance cover if you work in any area that could be digitally vulnerable.

Don’t take our word for it though. Read on below for some examples of the most notorious cyber attacks to happen in the 21st century.

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5 Tax Planning Tips for Contractors and Freelancers

Tax Planning Tips

As a contractor or freelancer, just hearing the word tax can fill you with panic – but there’s really nothing to worry about! We’ve outlined some basic tips for new contractors and freelancers below. They should help you prepare and manage your taxes easily and efficiently.

1. Set up a business bank account

Having a separate business bank account may seem like something that doesn’t really apply to you as a contractor or freelancer – why can’t you just use your current account? Having a business bank account means you can work out what money is coming in for your business and what money you’re spending.

Who has time to trawl through their personal bank account sifting through your supermarket purchases to try and find all business-related transactions? It makes working out your income and expenditure sheets so much easier.

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5 Essential Skills Every Contractor Should Have

5 Essential Skills

Don’t panic if you don’t have all of the skills below yet. These are just a few of the many qualities that help to secure work and deliver the project on time, as well as helping to deliver the best possible results for your clients.

Become a great communicator

You need to be a great communicator when you’re a contractor. Now that you’re wholly and solely responsible for your income you need to step up your confidence level when it comes to communication. If you don’t communicate regularly with your clients they can feel as though they’ve slipped through the net.

Keeping your clients engaged and informed as often as possible means less mistakes get made whilst also ensuring that you’re setting realistic expectations for throughout the project.

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General Election 2017: Party Manifestos and the Self-Employed

General Election

The Importance of the Self-Employed

We’ve already taken a broader look at what might lie ahead for contractors after Thursday’s General Election. But what about the vote itself? With the polls opening nationwide tomorrow join us as we breakdown the manifestos of each major party (Church of the Militant Elvis Party, this doesn’t include you.)

Before we begin it’s worth noting that the self-employed are likely to have more clout in certain areas of the UK. IPSE recently put together their election breakdown, using constituency data and ONS population statistics to work out where the voice of contractors and freelancers will matter the most.

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2017 General Election – What Should Contractors Expect?

General Election

In light of recent events in London and Manchester talking about politics seems rather redundant. But as we have heard time and again over the last few days and weeks, we must persevere. The UK moves forward scarred and damaged but defiant. At the time of writing this it appears that Thursday’s General Election is very much on.

As Simon McVicker, IPSE’s Director of Policy, pointed out back in April, no one outside of Mrs. May’s immediate cabinet saw an election on the horizon. Back then a Conservative walkover appeared to be a formality but, 6 weeks later, it seems far from a foregone conclusion.

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How to Successfully Manage your Time as a Contractor

Time Management

Time management is a skill you’ll continue to develop as your contracting career progresses. As soon as you think you’ve got those skills down to a fine art, you might win a contract that tests them to the maximum.

How you effectively manage your time can be the difference between success and failure as a contractor as it heavily relies on self-discipline.

So how can you successfully manage both your career and your time? Here are three key tips to help you become a time management superstar.

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Get hired – The Kingsbridge guide to writing a killer CV for contractors

Contractor CV

When it comes to securing your new contracting job, a well put together CV is crucial. Contracting is a competitive industry, with many choosing to take the plunge and become their own boss. How can you make sure you stand out?

At Kingsbridge, we’ve come up with a short guide to writing a killer CV. Hopefully, our pointers will help you to secure your next job!

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