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Monday, 23 June 2014

Employment v Consultancy Choices

Should I employ a Management Representative to carry out the duties of Quality Manager, Environmental Manager, Information Security Manager or Internal Auditor or should I use the services of an external consultant?

The choice may revolve around cost; employment costs are probably the biggest overhead that any company has to cover and finding the right employee can be both time consuming and expensive.
The alternative, which many companies are using, is to use the services of a specialist consultancy where a consultant is used for a specific task or period of time.

There are a number of advantages in this sort of arrangement; consultants are paid only for the work or time involved, consultants are not 'employed' so do not have paid holidays, sickness, time off for domestic or social reasons, do not require pension or other benefits. There is also no risk that a consultant will become involved in company politics. And as they are not employed, no disciplinary processes and/or extended periods of notice are required to terminate a contract.

The consultant is usually an 'expert' in the chosen field and will often have a greater depth of experience than the equivalent employee.  The consultant will have up-to-date information.

Select a consultancy that is covered by the rules of a governing body such as the Institute of Consulting and is covered by appropriate Business Indemnity Insurance. Ask for details of previous assignments to assess how effective the proposed consultant has been in the past.

Employment or External Consultant, the choice is yours, consider:
  • Employment Costs
  • On costs
  • Expertise   
  • Previous knowledge of similar organisations
  • Time scales
  • Ease of termination

Monday, 9 June 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Hackers Steal Computer Information

The rate that data is being stolen seems to be accelerating; hardly a day goes by without a news item saying that customer sensitive data has been targeted by hackers. The main problem seems to be that the companies that are hacked are reluctant to publicise the fact that they have allowed the data to be compromised. Eventually, of course the details emerge into the public domain and then customers are advised to change passwords or watch their bank and credit card accounts for irregular transactions.

Once personal details such as addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers and other identifiers including mother’s maiden name, place of birth etc have been taken then identity theft is easy. Sadly stolen data is sold freely on the internet and mass attacks are common.

It is not possible to have 100% secure systems but companies holding data should look to protect this data as far as possible; one such measure is the introduction of an information security management system ISO 27001:2013. Readers of this blog will have been following our tips on transition from the previous Standard, but equally companies looking to protect themselves and their customers are introducing 27001 as a means of gaining an externally moderated certificated system.

ISO 27001 is the hottest of all the Standards at the moment and it is fair to say that it is not the easiest Standard to put into operation; however, once fully operational it does offer some significant protection from data theft. We have been offering consultancy for companies wishing to incorporate this Standard for many years and have been successful in helping our Clients to pass their assessment for 27001 with a 100% pass rate.

 Don’t wait until your data has been compromised to motivate you to start on this journey to 27001 certification. Contact us and we can show you how to get certificated and protect both your company’s reputation and your own and customer data.

Call Chris Eden today for further information and a quotation.

Office:  01621 857041
Fax: (if you still have one) 01621 856016

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Quality Matters

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