Forbes

A Hacker Almost Poisons A Florida City’s Drinking Water …And Other Small Business Tech News

By February 14, 2021February 15th, 2021No Comments

(This post originally appeared on Forbes)

Here are five things in technology that happened this past week and how they affect your business. Did you miss them?

1 — In Florida City, a hacker tried to poison the drinking water.

It was reported this past week that a hacker was able to get access to the control system of a Florida water treatment plant and attempted to poison the water. The hacker was able to breach the control system by using remote access that all plant workers share and —once gaining access —adjusted the number of sodium hydroxide to a dangerous level. While the public was never in danger due to the changes not reaching the water system, the remote-access program has since been disabled. (Source: AP News)

Why this is important for your business:

There are all kinds of ways a hacker can get into a system – employees opening an infected file, visiting a “phishing” site or running an out-of-date operating system – are among the most popular. Then there are the people who inadvertently share their login info or use passwords that can easily be figured out. There are people out there who want to harm others. But most hackers just want to harm your business…through your bank account. Get security software, train your employees, deploy multi-factor authentication, have a good online backup. That will minimize your exposure.

2 —The new online platform “Nearby” wants to help small businesses compete with Amazon.

The new online platform “Nearby” — which helps small businesses with their shipping, fulfillment, orders, and marketing — is working hard to help those businesses compete with Amazon. Since the pandemic began back in March, over 160,000 businesses have closed and a big part of that is because there is currently no one app or website where customers can go to purchase items from local shops and have them delivered to their house in the same way that Amazon does. (Source: NBC News)

Why this is important for your business:

Nearby is looking to create a single online marketplace by pulling shops together to do what the e-commerce giants currently do, but with a “buy local” twist. If you’re having trouble getting products delivered, this platform looks like an interesting solution.

3 —Twitter is exploring subscriptions to reduce its dependence on ads.

Twitter announced this past week that it is considering subscriptions in order to reduce how dependent the social media platform has become on ads. Several subscription options are said to be on the table for Twitter, one of which includes users paying for specific content from people that they follow. Twitter is still considering various options to assist in sustaining their revenue, only some of which involve subscriptions. The company is still in the beginning stages of exploring options and does not anticipate making any major income this year. (Source: Engadget)

Why this is important for your business:

This move will help and hurt your business if you advertise on Twitter. It will help you because subscribing users will be more legit and more committed to the platform – fewer bots and crazies. But it may very well reduce the audience of potential people who can see your messages and promotions. After receiving this service for so long without paying, will people actually pay for it?

4 — Amazon is building an incubator for startup trucking companies.    

Amazon has announced that it plans to launch an incubator that will help recruit hundreds to begin trucking companies of their own to haul and deliver items for Amazon alone. The program will give businesses loans and training to assist entrepreneurs in starting a trucking company. (Source: Freight Waves)

Why this is important for your business:

The initial idea for the program started back in 2018 as Amazon started to recruit DSP (Delivery Service Providers) that helped recruit employees to drive mainly for the company. However, delivery volumes and e-commerce demand has continued to grow, creating the need for the program. This seems like an excellent opportunity for startup entrepreneurs looking to enter the vastly growing transportation business.

5—An accounting software startup raises $10M to help businesses better manage cashflow.

Seattle-based startup Lockstep — which uses the cloud and specific software to help make accounting procedures more efficient — recently raised $10 million. Lockstep plans to use the new funding to speed up go-to-market initiatives and ramp up product development. (Source: GeekWire)

Why this is important for your business:

Lockstep utilizes tools such as automating emails as well as special accounting inboxes for items such as accounts payable and receivable to help negate cash leaks and traps that can often happen when humans handle company books. Its automation system sends out reminders via email to help keep cash flowing and also lets customers and vendors see into their accounts.

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