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Cyber Security – Part Two

Jim Rickards – THE DAILY RECKONING

Hello everyone…this is Part 2 of 3 of our series called Cyber Security.  In 2016, Accenture Consulting published a cyber security white paper (geared towards large organizations) that we thought would be of interest to business owners like you.  This study goes into a more in-depth analysis supported by industry interviews and statistics.  You can download this white paper in two formats; either the Executive Summary or the Complete Report.

Having worked for a forensic accounting firm for several years, I understand some of the challenges and vulnerabilities all organizations face, and that we as consumers face regarding cyber security.  The challenge is, there doesn’t appear to be much access to simple, step-by-step, practical standards of cyber security available to small business owners to readily implement.  This is a real problem!  The white paper focuses its attention on cyber security threats of larger organizations, but we as small business owners can learn from their challenges, approaches and solutions.  The small business owner (and individual alike) needs access to practical, actionable standards of practice against cyber security threats and the protection of their data.

When we think of cyber security from the perspective of a small business owner or as an individual, think about it in terms of our smartphones/ tablets/ and computers.  We either grant permission for auto updates or regularly receive promptings to update and “accept” software company’s “terms and conditions” to either download or update the software on our devices.  This “acceptance” grants those software companies access to our data through our phone cameras, microphones, phone records, pictures and access to other data files.  It’s quite obvious that we have been conditioned to accept whatever terms and conditions are asked by these software companies in order to comply with their downloading/updating standards.   Why should you grant access to all these requests for your smartphones solitaire game?  What this means is that our data and our privacy are at risk.  Our privacy and security are practically non-existent because we have blindly “accepted” software providers terms and conditions.  We therefore have either knowingly or unknowingly relinquished our privacy, our data and control of our information, how it’s managed, secured and shared with others.  This can and does have serious repercussions!  How could we be then surprised that our information could be stolen and disseminated all over the globe?  We have only ourselves to blame.

We would recommend reading the white paper referenced above by Accenture Consulting, and think about how large organizations are approaching this eminent risk.  What can we as small business owners learn and implement from these organizations to better protect our privacy and data (and client data), and to help mitigate cyber security threats and breaches?  We’ll post a follow-up in Part 3 of this series in a few weeks to address how we as business owners (and individuals) can take some practical and actionable measures to better control the security and privacy of our data.  Well I should say, as best we can given that we live in a state of technological acquiescence…whether we choose to believe it or not.  Until then, we hope you enjoy reading the white papers by Accenture Consulting.  Back to you in a few weeks…

Contact Us if you would like to discuss business strategies for your business.

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

 

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Cyber Security – Part 1

Jim Rickards – The Daily Reckoning

Cyber Security may be the number one economic threat to individuals, businesses and to our nation.  Recently, there was a massive breach in cyber security for some of the largest companies in the world.  For the most part, it was brushed over on mainstream media for a few days.  Nothing substantial was revealed in terms of understanding the nature of this particular cyber hacking, and the potential threat and depth of damage this may have lead to.  Jim Rickards wrote an interesting post on his blog, THE DAILY RECKONING regarding cyber security that we thought would be of interest to our clients and readers.  Jim gives a macro perspective on the three degrees of the cyber security threats that currently exist in the world today.

We’ll post a follow-up to this in a few weeks to address how cyber security experts are strategizing about how to best address this imminent threat currently and for the future.  Hopefully their insights will enable us as business owners and individuals to take practical and actionable steps to better control the security and privacy of our data (well, as best we can).   Given that we live in a state of technological acquiescence (whether we realize it or not), have you ever seriously considered just how quickly and easily we “accept” the terms and conditions of downloading new software or software updates to our smart phones?  Do we really understand the access rights we are granting to these organizations, and what they’re doing with our data and who they’re sharing our data with?  Think about it…  Until then, we hope you enjoy reading the article by Jim Rickards.  Back to you in a week or two…

 

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact Us  if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular about M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution), designed to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

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WARNING – THE COMING ECONOMIC CRISIS

Image by: WiseGeek

Hello Everyone,  we hope all of you are in good health, prospering and productive.  You may have heard people talk about it before, and nothing has happened since 2008…yet.  As many of you know, earlier in my business career, I was a financial consultant for two large Wall Street Investment firms.  Over the past two decades, I have further expanded my breadth of knowledge and experience in business consulting for various business disciplines.  During which time I have also kept my hand on the pulse of the economic and financial world in which we have to live and navigate through.  Over the last three decades, I have seen and lived through several financial crises of which, by the grace of God, using some good common sense and incorporating some solid forecasting advice, I was 100% in cash 3-6 months PRIOR to the dot-com crash and the 2008-2009 crash.  (Please note: We are NOT investment advisers, nor are we giving investment advice.)  We’re simply sharing with you, our readers, how some proactive planning on your part may help you, your family and your business prepare for the coming economic crisis.  Thus, the title…”Warning – The Coming Economic Crisis.”

Over the years, I’ve noticed one important trend…the crises are getting worse as they come along.  The 2008-2009 crises literally brought the world to its knees…being within weeks if not days of a complete global financial banking melt-down.  Eight years later, I believe we are on the cusp of yet another, more severe economic crises that will forever change the world and how we transact business.  Nearly every person I speak with (business professionals and non-professionals alike) are completely uninformed about what happened leading up to the 2008 crisis, and have no clear understanding of what actually caused the economic crisis in 2008.  Most people simply believe it was about too many sub-prime home mortgages defaulting…really?  Do you honestly believe that was the true cause of almost bringing down the global financial system?  This post is not about explaining what happened in 2008 because that has already passed, and many have written about it.  Rather, we want to focus on what looms ahead and how you can prepare for it.  I know what you’re thinking… Things seem to be be better than they were a few years ago, and in many areas they are.  However, when you look at the foundations…the fundamentals of what support the global economy and not simply look at the short-term surface results, the picture is quite different.  We (GMS Business Consulting) feel like we’re all living economically on borrowed time.  Simply ask yourself the following questions:

QUESTIONS:

  • Are near-zero interest rates a sign of a weak or strong economy?
  • Why has the Federal Reserve been so hawkish in raising interest rates for 8 years if the economy were as strong as reported, and so cautious this year about raising interest rates 1/4 of 1 percent?
  • Does a 25 basis point interest rate hike really threaten a healthy economy?
  • Would you or any reasonably-minded person or business man refuse to make a purchase because of a 25 basis point hike in interest rates? (I don’t believe so, unless that person is already at their 95% affordability index.)
  • So the questions begs an answer to:  Why is the Fed so cautious and reluctant to raise interest rates by 25 basis points once or twice a year?  What do they know that we don’t know…and are not telling us?
  • How do you get good financial information/perspective/forecasting, and not dumbed-down propaganda?

ANSWERS:  You have to do your homework.  You have to dig a little bit outside the mainstream sources of information.  You have to become financial and political atheists when it comes to seeking sources of good/reputable information.  You need to let go of the mainstream media sources like the CNN’s/FOX’s/NYTimes/Wall Street Journals etc.  Not that they’re bad, but I just don’t recall these sources effectively ringing the warning bells of prior crises or of the future looming crisis.  They’re pretty good at telling you what “happened” once the crises began, but not too effective about warning the public and accurately describing the lead-up to the crises themselves.  Perhaps they did provide some tid-bits of warning in isolated sound bites, but I personally don’t recall receiving my sources of preparedness of previous crises coming from these sources.

Given where we are economically and politically, there are a few sources that we believe have been credible over the years that we share with family and friends, that we would like to share with you…  Keep in mind these sources are not perfect/all-knowing/faultless etc., but they have good, long, solid records of experience and forecasting.  We would suggest starting with these, then branch out and seek more on your own.  Evaluate how they compare with your current sources.  If you “really” want to seek understanding of the economic and financial condition we’re living in, then you must give-up your biases, and seek truth and understanding.  Only then will you be able to clearly understand the facts as they are, and not as they’re reported or appear to be.  Then, you will be better prepared to engage in strategic planning for yourself, your family and your business to survive the coming economic crisis.  We have found the following 5 sources  to be very credible in economic, financial and political perspectives and forecasting.  You may not agree with them on each point, however the key is…to better build your sources of independent information to give you a balanced perspective from which to make better informed decisions.

  1. JIM RICKARDS (Attorney & Financial Expert – About Jim) – View these interviews to understand his perspective regarding the coming economic crisis ahead at:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tfiJMMxSv3o     http://icradio.co.uk/icr-142-james-rickards-road-ruin/   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rhm0Zm-J4k and  https://youtu.be/MhR_AkfFfZ0
  2. NOMI PRINS (Former Goldman Sachs Director/Financial Expert/Author/Speaker) – View her bio here: http://www.nomiprins.com/ and view her recent interview of the coming economic crisis here: http://kingworldnews.com/financial-crack-up-nomi-prins-warns-when-the-system-crashes-this-time-it-will-crash-harder/
  3. DR. PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS (Economist/Former Assistant Secretary of the Treasury/Author) – Visit his blog with interviews and articles at: http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/pages/about-paul-craig-roberts/
  4. GERALD CELENTE (Renowned Trend Forecaster) – You can view his website and subscribe to his newsletter at: http://trendsresearch.com/   (Mr. Celente is very passionate, a political atheist, and very knowledgeable.  Focus on “what” he says, not “how” he says or expresses his views).
  5. JOHN WILLIAMS (Economist) – To better understand the “real” or true economic numbers reported to the public, John Williams strips away the non-sense used in massaging the economic indicators by government officials and mainstream media, and provides bare-bones numbers that more accurately reflect the state of the economy.  Visit his web site at: http://www.shadowstats.com/

CONCLUSION:  As we’ve mentioned, we believe we are on the cusp of another economic crisis of which we’ve never seen in our lifetimes.  Does that mean you should sell everything/close shop/stay inside/do nothing?  Absolutely not…it simply means get informed…better informed so that you can make better decisions on how to better prepare and protect your family and business once this crisis unfolds.  The sources I listed are simply the sources we have found outside of the mainstream media sources that have proven valuable to us over the last two decades.  There are many more sources out there…too many for us to list, and you too will find others as well if you do your homework.  Remember, you don’t have to agree with them on everything, simply listen to what they have to say, test their knowledge and perspectives, consult with your current advisers, and then make your own decision.  We simply didn’t want to let time go by and an opportunity slip away to warn our readers of what concerns us personally and professionally of what we see coming on the horizon, and to not take the opportunity to share our perspectives along with a few reputable sources.  Please don’t wait to do your planning now…the coming economic crisis isn’t waiting for you…

 

GMS BUSINESS CONSULTING provides lawyers and business professionals with Accounting Services, Business Development Services, Business Optimization Services and Digital Marketing Services to help business professionals successfully organize, grow and operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently.  We do NOT provide investment advice.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about our services, and in particular, about our M.A.P. (our 3-phase business development solution) to help you strategically focus and tactically grow your business.  We would welcome the opportunity to speak with you.

info@gmsbusinessconsulting.com

707-218-3135

John 14:15

GMS Business Consulting 274 Comments

Business Succession

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Hello Everyone!  Recently, we met with a few attorneys with small practices, in their late 60’s with no plans of retirement, nor thoughts of business succession.  That’s a concern we have for many business professionals today who know better to plan for events like this, yet they don’t.  Over the years, we’ve seen many business professionals own and operate very successful practices/businesses, however we’re still surprised to see how many have not planned for their business succession.

If there is a younger family member coming into the practice or business, then that is a natural business succession, and the business owner has a whole lot less to concern themselves with.  Conversely, if there is no family member or young associate interested in taking over the practice some day, then that leaves a potentially valuable asset foregone and left behind, and clients that will still need to be served. Read more