Tag Archive for: internet security

If you’re a small business, you may think that your business is safe because it is a small operation. Well, we’re here to tell you, think again. Research shows that about half of small businesses experience a cyber-attack, and this is mainly because they tend to have minimal security. So you need to be alert and take the necessary steps to secure your business. To help, we’ve come up with a list of six things you can do right now to secure your business.

Step #1: Keep Software & Operating Systems Up-To-Date

One of the best things you can do to secure your business is keep a close eye on all the services and software your business uses and make sure everything is up-to-date. By putting off updates, whether it’s for your PC, tablet or server, you could end up losing hours, and hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

Keeping your software and systems up-to-date keeps you safe from known security holes. When you leverage any of our applications at Commercient, such as SYNC and IoT Pulse, you will always stay up-to-date, because all our apps are cloud-based.

Step #2: Store Data Safely

Another step you can take to secure your business right now is decide where to store your data. And one of the best places you can store your data is in the cloud – is it both safe and secure. For example, having a cloud server restricts your employees from saving their files on their personal computers.

Also, you can use cloud storage as a backup plan, as it can provide a second copy of your important files. These files are stored at a remote location and can be accessed through an internet connection. So, in the event that a disaster occurs, your data will remain protected. Since all our apps at Commercient are cloud-based, you don’t have to worry about your data being destroyed or lost, and you can have that extra peace of mind.

Step #3: Control Data Use

Another step you should take to secure your business is make sure every employee only has access to the data they need, which will minimize the chance of anyone accidentally changing or deleting things they shouldn’t.

According to CSO Online, you should “divide your data into categories, and make sure sensitive data is protected and can be accessed only by authorized employees who have a legitimate reason to access it.” Many CRM systems, such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM, even allow you to grant different users different levels of access, which is a great way to help you control data use.

Step #4: Set Up A Firewall

Making sure that firewalls are activated for all computers in your business is another way to your business is secure. A good firewall will help you block unauthorized access to computers. Without it, a hacker may be able to penetrate your network and access your critical business information, such as financial data and employee records.

Firewalls also protect against other malicious activity on the Internet, including hackers using “malware malicious” programs often disguised as legitimate software to get at your private data.

Step #5: Have A Two-Step Verification Process

According to USA Today, “almost two-thirds of all cyberattacks are now directed at small businesses,” and the number is still increasing. This is why two-step verification is an important measure you need to take to secure your business.

The idea behind two-step verification, or two-factor authentication, is that in addition to a password, users are required you to provide a second piece of information to confirm their identity (sometimes a special numerical code sent via text or email). This increases the level of difficulty for hackers to access a user’s personal information.

Step #6: Educate Your Staff On Cyber Security

Another way you can secure your business is by educating your staff and helping them to understand what data needs to be protected. Research shows that 64% of data breaches are caused by human error, so training them on this topic is so important.

For instance, you should let them know what they can and cannot use company computers for, as well as which applications should not be downloaded to a company computer. It’s also important to inform them on what types of emails should not be opened or sent.

Want to integrate your all your other business apps securely? Contact us today to learn more about our SYNC data integration and IoT Pulse apps today.

IoT Pulse connect ERP to the Internet


Since technology is constantly evolving, small businesses everywhere must adapt to suit the needs of the ever-demanding customer. Over the years there have been great advancements in cloud services, data management and IT services. However, with all these options, deciding on the correct path for your business may be daunting. In fact, many small business owners actually avoid addressing their IT problems due to uncertainty and lack of knowledge. That doesn’t have to be you. With a little research and careful planning, you can overcome those IT challenges and save both time and money in the process. In this post, we’ll go over three big technology challenges businesses face and how you can overcome them.

Challenge #1: Choosing the right technology according to company’s needs

Investing in new technology can seem like a daunting and overwhelming task. The many stories of failed implementations, the abundance of choice, and the fear of choosing the wrong tools can lead any business to hesitation in acquiring new technologies. In order to stay competitive, businesses must take the plunge. The good news is that you do not have to make irrational or uneducated decisions because there are key aspects to look at before making a decision.

Choosing the right technology correctly the first time can be done by:

  • Knowing your business’s strengths

Focus on points in your company where you are succeeding and where you can improve. Consult with managers and employees to assess pain points and in turn understand how much time is spent on specific activities and where optimisation is needed. For example, slow Wi-fi speeds may slow down day-to-day operations. Scaling up to a faster package would increase productivity and increase business growth.

  • Knowing your employees

Understand the skill sets of your employees. Trying to implement new technology to a team that refuses to adapt is a futile endevour. To avoid such an issue, ensure that you understand the strengths of your team and where they will need support. A piece of technology that requires significant investment in constant training may not be worth it.

  • Being User friendly

User friendly technology is extremely important, as having a product that causes frustration amongst staff may result in decreased productivity.

  • Researching the technology of interest

Researching a product before you buy is similar to test driving a car before you purchase it. You need to ensure you assess what products are on the market and find reviews from other users. Allowing the key users of the technology to lead research efforts, will ensure they benefit from the new product or system.

  • Ensuring technical support is available

Through the implementation process, the chances of having a highly trained team are unlikely. To ensure the smooth transition from the old to new system, support, in the form of training, security, upgrades and troubleshooting services are vital. 

Choosing the right technology means choosing the right system that not only delivers the capacity you need today, but can also meet tomorrow’s expansion needs. At the same time, you need to ensure you are not paying for more capacity than you need. Fortunately enough, there are now apps like Commercient SYNC that allow you to pay per user, per month, and has the flexibility to scale up as your business grows.

Challenge #2: Integrating applications

Integrating applications is another challenge that businesses often face. Sometimes newer technologies do not integrate well with older systems or legacy applications. Independent systems also prove to be an issue, as they act in isolation and are not able to be integrated. Due to this, operational and employee efficiency can take a huge hit such as integration issues like: duplication will be forced of tasks and the inability to quickly find and track data. Integrating applications assists in comparing performance with a variety of others and helps with business management procedures. Furthermore, IT facilities are developed easier and when customers have expectations, they can be responded to in good time. 

This is why it is important to check whether your existing systems will integrate with any new technologies you want to leverage. In essence, your payments system should work with your accounting system, and your accounting system with your CRM, which then should work with your marketing tools, and so on. 

CRM integration allows all your sales team’s essential functions to be in one place. This creates a space where emails, accounting, customer support and document management can be dealt with and linked.

Integrations can take place in one of three ways:

  • Native integrations are built into the CRM software

They are the easiest to use and can be turned on with one click, within your CRM. Moreover, it enables you to work with common business tools. However, limitations occur with this integration platform; as they are only available for a small number of business tools.

  • 3-rd party integrations are developed by independent companies

This integration platform is especially useful when many business tools are being utilised by a small business team. They are able to connect a wide range of business tools with your CRM and provide a large range of opportunities. 

  • Custom integrations are created using APIs (application programme interfaces).

This integration platform is a software-to-software interface that allows programs to connect and communicate with each other on a larger scale. All cloud-based businesses utilise APIs, which allows other types of software to access your CRM. 

Custom CRM integrations often requires technical expertise, however, when all your applications are connected, your business can operate more efficiently, and employees can be more productive. You can experience this with Commercient SYNC, which serves to integrate your CRM and ERP system, which automates data migration and frequent tasks by connecting your ERP with thousands of internet apps, such as marketing systems CRM (like Salesforce), email, social media, etc. You can have assurance that your data is protected and is seamlessly transferred from one application to another.

Commercient SYNC, the #1 data integration platform for sales, makes it possible to see important accounting data directly in your sales system. It keeps you up-to-date with changes made to your ERP and CRM system simultaneously. It supports over 85 ERPs and most major CRMs. Commercient handles everything, including hosting, so you don’t have to hire an IT specialist to install it and a server. SYNC helps businesses streamline sales and customer service, cut costs, increase customer satisfaction, and drive profitability.

Within CRM, your sales team will have access to ERP information such as customer information, sales history, invoicing, terms, serial numbers invoiced, inventory, A/R information, multi ship to addresses, and more. New accounts, sales, opportunities, etc., created in CRM are SYNC’d back to ERP, avoiding double data entry and possible errors.

Challenge #3: Securing company data

Cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated, and small businesses are being targeted now more than ever before, which means they are at much more risk from a security breach than larger ones. Imagine if your business data fell into the wrong hands, just a single breach can be enough to completely ruin people’s trust in your brand; employee information, customer payments and business strategies are personal which need to be kept out of the hands of criminals. Taking these important steps mentioned below is essential to ensure your company doesn’t become a target. 

  • Create BOYD (Bring your own device) policies

With over 68% of employees accessing files from their smartphones, it is essential to create policies to keep sensitive data safe. Outdated operating systems and lack of encryption on smart devices are a cause for concern in terms of data leakage. Software installation, updates and maintenance should be provided to employees utilising smart devices. 

  • Utilise identity and access management (IAM)

IAM allows companies to control and monitor who accesses specific data through identity mapping as well as restricted data. Real-time and continuous risk analysis can be maintained to ensure data is accessed securely. 

  • The use of encryption

Encryption is beneficial for both data and devices on the move. Ensuring mobile devices and USBs as well as sensitive data are encrypted while moving to and from the cloud reduces the risk of data breaches. A type of encryption is known as, cloud cryptography and one of the benefits of this is that if, unauthorised users tried to breach through the security systems, businesses would be notified and the only ones who have access to this information are the ones with cryptography keys.

In order to overcome the challenge one must take the necessary steps to secure your sensitive data. This includes leveraging cloud-based apps like Commercient SYNC, which provide you with a safe and secure way to quickly take payments in your ERP, CRM or eCommerce system. In addition, you’ll have access to effective and updated anti-malware solutions, administering employee cybersecurity training, policies governing internet usage, BYOD’s, and access to sensitive company data.

The right technology will stay with your business even as it grows. Choosing the correct technology, ensuring smooth integration and a safe data platform can all be achieved with a little knowledge and know how. Allow Commercient help you overcome the most common technology challenges faced by companies. Our ERP and CRM  experts can help you choose the right application for your company. We can also assist with integrating your existing applications. Commercient provides you with a secure cloud environment for your business data. If you have any other technology challenges that you want to know how to overcome, We are here to help you in the best way we can. Contact us today!

About The Author 

Shana Vilensky currently works in the finance sector while studying law part-time through the University of South Africa. She is passionate about technology, research and writing.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 was no ordinary day for banks and businesses in Kiev, Ukraine. Government and business computer systems were infected by a virus known as “Petya” after users downloaded a popular tax accounting package or visited a local news site, according to the national police and international cyber experts. “The malicious code locked machines and demanded victims post a ransom worth $300 in bitcoins or lose their data entirely, similar to the extortion tactic used in the global WannaCry ransomware attack in May,” says Reuters.

Which companies have been affected by the Petya ransomware?

There are many companies that have been affected by the Petra ransomware. The attack started with local businesses in Ukraine to infecting computers worldwide. In Kiev, “ATMs stopped working. About 80 miles away, workers were forced to manually monitor radiation at the old Chernobyl nuclear plant when their computers failed.” Then the attack went global. “Tech managers at companies around the world — from Maersk, the Danish shipping conglomerate, to Merck, the drug giant in the United States — were scrambling to respond. Even an Australian factory for the chocolate giant Cadbury was affected,” according to the New York Times. Here is a list of companies that have been affected by the attack.

  1.    DLA Piper
  2.    Evraz
  3.    Heritage Valley Health Systems
  4.    Home Credit Bank
  5.    Kievenergo
  6.    Maersk
  7.    M.E.Doc
  8.    Merck & Co., Inc.
  9.    Metro Group
  10.  Mondelez
  11.  Nuance Communications Inc.
  12.  Rosneft
  13.  Ukrtelecom
  14.  Saint-Gobain
  15.  WPP

How can my company fight against ransomware?

According to theguardian, “Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks access to a computer or its data and demands money to release it. When a computer is infected, the ransomware encrypts important documents and files and then demands a ransom, typically in Bitcoin, for a digital key needed to unlock the files. If victims don’t have a recent backup of the files they must either pay the ransom or face losing all of their files.”

How can you protect your company against ransomware? Well, there are a few things you can do. One way is to ensure you have the latest version of your antivirus software installed. Some antivirus companies like Symantec and Kaspersky have already upgraded their software to help you fight against Petya and will notify you if there is a threat to your computer.

Another way to protect your business from ransomware is to download patches. Microsoft, for instance, released critical patches in March that can remove the Petya vulnerability and help fight against future attacks. If you’d like to see more ways you can protect your business, Jonathan Care, research director at Gartner, gives seven suggestions for preventing attacks and protecting your organization. Additionally, always backup your data and have the backup protected.


As we’ve seen with Petya, cyber attacks pop up unexpectedly. That’s why we are so scrupulous about security at Commercient we have a rigorous security review process. For example,  our  Sync2Pay solution can take Level 3 payments and allow you to take quicker payments in your ERP, CRM, or eCommerce systems which ensures less fraud.