PCI-DSS Compliance: What You Should Know

Over the last year, many organizations struggled to keep their private data secure against cyberthreats as they rushed to adapt to pandemic-inspired shifts in workforce and operations. Cybercrime is becoming increasingly prevalent, and the sophistication and volume of cyberattacks is escalating as well. According to a report, over 300 million ransomware attacks occurred in 2020.1

Dealing with a cybersecurity disaster is difficult and brings forth a lot of uncertainty, especially when it involves financial and reputational damage. This holds true for all organizations, and especially for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). SMBs are increasingly becoming prime targets for hackers because they consider these organizations to have insufficient expertise and resources to prevent and respond to attacks.

The Role of Compliance in Cybersecurity

The overall technology landscape is evolving at a breakneck pace. While these changes are meant to improve the quality of life, the unfortunate flip side is an increase in cyberthreats. This is why global cybersecurity spending increased from nearly $40 billion in 2019 to $54 billion in 2021.1 Unfortunately, due to a lack of spending on personnel or technology, SMBs are most likely to be targeted by threat actors.

Many organizations fall victim to cybercrime because compliance and security are not a high priority for them. For your organization to run smoothly, both compliance and security are critical. While compliance ensures that your organization stays within the bounds of industry or government laws/regulations, security ensures that your organization’s integrity and vital data are safeguarded.

Agility for Your People, Processes and Technology

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Nothing is more crucial to a business than stability. Yes, profit matters, but companies can achieve consistent profits easily when markets are stable.

The world, of course, doesn’t always work this way. Markets are highly unpredictable and things change in the blink of an eye. If your business’s viability is dependent on the marketplace, which is almost always the case, you must be prepared to face the challenges of trying to maintain a smooth path through a changing landscape.

Businesses that survive and thrive under any circumstances share one trait: they are agile. When faced with a challenge, an agile business, like a skilled soccer player, knows when to decelerate, accelerate and turn. Agility can help organizations adapt to changes in the market and changes within the company.

Things to Avoid While Practicing Organizational Agility

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Even though it’s no secret that small to medium-sized businesses often have vastly fewer resources in comparison to larger enterprises, prioritizing agility is just as critical for their survival. This is because, in today’s world, where a variety of unpleasant surprises can arise at any time, you must be well prepared to avoid becoming overwhelmed. Recent events, such as the pandemic, supply chain issues, war, inflation and The Great Resignation, serve as explicit indicators of why your SMB needs to be agile.

When the needs of your customers, employees, the market, the economy and other factors change, agile businesses can adapt quickly and keep working toward their business goals. To be agile, you must have systems in place that allow you to respond quickly to rapidly changing conditions and opportunities by preparing your people, processes and technologies.

However, agility doesn’t happen overnight. You will encounter setbacks that can make your agility journey a bumpy ride. Knowing that is the first step towards business agility.

Making the Case for SMB Agility

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The last two years have been a bumpy ride for organizations of all sizes globally. During this time, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) were hit the worst. Since most SMBs have limited cash and resources, setbacks were much more severe for them than for big corporations with more resources.

Irrespective of whether your company had to completely shut down during the COVID-19 lockdowns or whether it had to create a touchless customer experience or transition to a remote workforce overnight, you may have had so much more at stake than the average business.

Whether you’re facing a global pandemic or something as simple as shifting market conditions, if you want to survive and reach your business objectives, you must improve your organization’s speed, adaptability and innovation. To do that, an SMB like yours requires even more business agility.

What is Organizational Agility?

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It’s hard to predict the future. Just think of all that has happened in the world in the last two years. From the COVID-19 pandemic to supply chain issues to inflation and war, no one could have predicted these events early enough to be adequately prepared.

These challenges make it more difficult for companies to succeed and achieve their long-term objectives.

When the needs of your employees, customers and the market change suddenly, you must be ready to make the necessary shift. Proactive small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) can achieve this by practicing organizational agility.

Common Scalability Mistakes SMBs Make

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Most small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are stretched for time and resources, due to which they may end up rushing through process implementations, technology upgrades and new hire training. Inevitably, this results in botched executions and a foundation that doesn’t support sustainable scalability.

Sustainable scaling allows you to scale up or down as needed and considers your people, processes and technologies. This is important for the future of your business because it prepares you to deal with unexpected changes. However, before embarking on the path to sustainable scalability, you should be aware of the most common mistakes to avoid.

Top Technologies for Scalability

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Rushing through process implementations, technology upgrades and new hire training can cause botched executions and unnecessary confusion. That’s why businesses must pursue a sustainable strategy that allows them to grow smarter, not just faster. Sustainability in business is all about being repeatable, adaptable and capable of scaling up and down as needed.

Sustainable scaling requires you to consider your people, processes, and technologies. Having the right technology on your side can help you scale your business up or down with ease as well as empower people and processes. But what technology should you consider introducing to your infrastructure to encourage flexible scaling? Keep reading to find out.

Positioning Your Business to Scale

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Businesses operate in a hostile environment where the only constant is “change”. Customer demands changing rapidly, new technologies transforming the business landscape, and regulations continue to be passed regularly making the modern business environment a struggle to navigate alone. How do you keep up? How does your business adapt quickly to the virtual jungle before being eaten alive?

Executives need to make decisions to counter the incoming barrage of issues, but quick decisions can sometimes become your downfall if customer and employee growth are not considered as well. Changes in processes without proper vetting, rapidly hiring personnel while rushing onboard training, and attempting hurried upgrades in infrastructure, could result in flawed implementations or massive confusion.

What is a Sustainable Business?

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Being a sustainable business means more than just recycling and using renewable energy. It means laying the groundwork for future employee and customer growth. An organization with sustainability as one of its core principles has a better chance of success in the future.