When Is The Best Time To Asphalt Your Driveway?

Hargrove Sealcoating
A new asphalt driveway can elevate the look of your home. It’s a durable surface where you can walk or park your car. To make it last for several years, asphalt must be properly installed under optimal conditions by an asphalt paving professional.

Choosing The Best Conditions For Asphalt Work

In its workable state, asphalt is viscous, flexible, and easy to pour and spread across a surface given the right environmental settings. Asphalt can be difficult to manage when it’s too cold outside, and teams would need to work quickly before the asphalt cools and hardens. On the other hand, it can take longer for asphalt to cure when it’s too hot. The ideal temperature would be somewhere near 70 degrees. This typically happens in spring, late summer, or early fall depending on where you live.

Why Precipitation Matters

Precipitation is another important factor to consider when planning asphalt paving work in Nashville. Water seeping into the sub-base will freeze during winter, which causes it to expand and damage the asphalt above. Heavy rainfall can cool down the asphalt surface before the team could have the chance of properly leveling the material.

Review Project Timelines

The amount of work to be done on your driveway will affect the timing of your asphalt paving project. It could only take 1 to 2 days to refresh an existing driveway, but it can take a week if you are planning to install a new one entirely. Consult with a Nashville-based asphalt paving contractor and schedule your project accordingly.

Remember: The first two weeks are the most crucial for your new asphalt driveway; it is still vulnerable and prone to breakage during this time. Do not drive on it for 3 to 5 days, and wait for up to 7 days before parking a vehicle on it. If you do, park in the early morning or in the evening when temperatures are lower.

For your asphalt paving and repair requirements, call Nashville-based Hargrove Sealcoating at 931.619.6718 for a free consultation and quote. One of their service advisors will be happy to assist you.

Nashville Cybersecurity Service Recommends Running Security Response Drills

ImageQuest Digital security is important for businesses of all sizes and in all industries. However, those that fail to plan for a data breach or other cyber incident are risking their businesses. Nashville-based cybersecurity service ImageQuest says those that have plans but failed to test them with practice drills could be no better off than those with no plan at all. In light of many recent data breach events, we reached out to ImageQuest. What we learned was that it’s best to practice what you’ve prepared.  

What Is A Security Incident Response Plan?

One of the first questions we had for the cybersecurity service provider was what, exactly, a Security Incident Response Plan is. They told us this is simply a planned series of events that a company’s leadership and IT staff would take in case of a digital compromise.

This plan is put into place to both protect a company from financial losses and to ensure that its clients’ data remains safe.

Tabletop Exercises

A cybersecurity incident response plan does not look the same for each business. However, the cybersecurity service tells us that all companies can benefit from running what’s called tabletop exercises. This is a chance to test the efficiency and effectiveness of the response strategy. More importantly, it gives business leaders a valuable opportunity to identify weaknesses in the plan. 

Weaknesses that tabletop exercises can shed light on include when steps are taken prematurely and must be reordered. It can also pinpoint additional company executives or contacts that must get involved.

Why So Important?

Cybersecurity service advisors from the Nashville company use the following example of a potential cybersecurity incident at a large accounting firm. We will call it Acme Accounting. Imagine this scenario:

You are an executive at Acme Accounting. You’re coming up on tax filing season and are consumed with work on multi-million-dollar client projects. Suddenly, you are interrupted by your IT manager, who tells you one of your vendors has experienced a data breach. You realize immediately that this means that your clients’ sensitive information may have been compromised. You have planned for this, so you are not that worried.

Unfortunately, you have never practiced your plan. Shortly after your IT Manager’s alert, you realize your plan does not work as envisioned. You are now scrambling to decide what to tell your customers while simultaneously trying to figure out how to deal with the problem. Now you must figure out how to mitigate damage for the affected clients while retaining the trust of your entire client base.

Had your management team simply taken the time to run a series of security drills, you could have avoided your current state of panic and corrected the gaps and mistakes. You would have known exactly what to do, when to do it, and who within your organization would lead each step of your response plan.

A Better Way

ImageQuest’s cybersecurity service offerings can help businesses in Nashville and beyond create and practice their Security Incident Response Plans. This may include everything from how to save data in the critical first moments to what to say to your clients when it is time to issue a statement. By running routine drills, your workers will be ready to handle the unexpected.

It may not be possible to prevent every security incident. But our conversation with ImageQuest has helped us better understand that having a plan in place and practicing each step of that plan before a disaster occurs is the best way to prevent serious ramifications.

If you are looking for a cybersecurity service in Nashville, Louisville, or Bowling Green, visit ImageQuest online at ImageQuest.com or call 888.979.2679 for more information.

What Is A Tort? (Hint: Definitely Not As Sweet As A Torte!)

Boyd Law Business torts are best described as wrongful actions. However, to be more specific, they are actions performed against either a large or small business that causes harm to that company. According to Franklin-based business lawyer Brian T. Boyd, a business tort is dangerous because it can create everything from a damaged reputation to profit losses. These types of actions can also cause an enterprise their rightful piece of the market share.

According to Boyd, business owners in Franklin that have been a victim of a tort can benefit from the help of a business lawyer. An attorney can act as legal counsel to help guide the business toward lawful retaliation. Further, having a business lawyer on retainer may help pad against economic losses directly resulting from the tort.

Legal recourse

Boyd explains that the most logical recourse to a tort is a civil lawsuit. The plaintiff – the harmed party – must then accept the burden of proof. They must prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that that harm was caused by the defendant – the offender. The plaintiff must also illustrate that the defendant had a responsibility to behave a certain way toward the business. This responsibility must have been unquestionably neglected.

In addition to negligence, the plaintiff may need to prove that the defendant’s actions were reckless and/or intentional. A business lawyer can help a plaintiff identify contractual responsibilities and, if applicable, any breached state or local laws.

At the conclusion of a civil trial, a judge may award a plaintiff financial damages up to and exceeding the amount of their lost profits. If found guilty, the defendant may also be issued a restraining order, which will prohibit them from continuing to cause harm to the plaintiff. A court of law may further rule that any defamatory or disparaging statements are publicly retracted.

Types of misconduct

There are many situations that may be considered a business tort. Boyd explains these include everything from business disparagement and malpractice to misrepresentation and the mishandling of trade secrets. When a business attorney looks at the case, they will also look for losses incurred by their client based on improper interference by the defendant.

Six types of business torts

Trade libel

Trade libel is a type of deformation where false statements are publicly published. This information might relate to the business itself or its products or services. As a business lawyer, Boyd explains these are usually some of the costliest cases since it involves the perception of Franklin’s residents, not just local corporate leaders.

Theft of trade secrets

Trade secrets are proprietary processes that give a business a competitive advantage. They are not published and, typically, only a select few have access. A tort involving trade secrets happens when an offending party comes into possession of the secrets and uses them against the business that rightfully owns them.

Tortious interference

This essentially refers to causing complications in business relationships. A business lawyer may claim tortious interference on behalf of their clients if the defendant unlawfully meddled with contractual agreements between the plaintiff and other parties.

Fraudulent misrepresentation

A breach of good faith is a fraudulent misrepresentation created to convince parties to join into a contractual agreement.

Commercial disparagement

This is the act of intentionally making a business or its products, services, or property look bad so that it loses business.

Restraint of trade

Restraint of trade is the act of creating unlawful barriers to production. For example, if a group of businesses band together and refuse to sell, distribute, or ship raw materials only to certain businesses. As a local business lawyer, Boyd can help Franklin-based owners and executives determine if their firm has been the victim of restraint of trade or if the actions against them were taken as part of a lawful non-compete.

If you believe that your business has been a victim of a tort, contact the Law Offices of Boyd & Wills for expert legal assistance. Our experts can help identify illegal behaviors and will represent your best interests in a court of law.

Nashville VW Repair Shop Dishes On Das Auto

GPO Tuning
Volkswagen is one of the most popular vehicle brands on the road. However, GPO Tuning, Nashville’s premier VW repair, maintenance and tuning provider, says that most drivers know astoundingly little about the German company. We recently sat down with techs from the busy performance tuning shop to get the inside scoop about what is under the proverbial hood.

Q: Thank you for sitting with us today. We have heard that Volkswagen has a very long history. Can you fill us in?

GPO Tuning: Absolutely. There are a few things that many people do not know. First is that the brand we have all lovingly come to know as Das Auto (The Car), was originally thought up by the most abhorrent human being in history: Adolf Hitler. But the brand has ties to many beloved historical figures as well, and the first “People’s Car” was designed by none other than Ferdinand Porsche.

Q: What is the most popular Volkswagen?

GPO Tuning: That is an easy question to answer. The Beetle is the most iconic of the Volkswagen models. Although they were discontinued, we offer VW repair for all Beetles, no matter their condition or age. Interestingly, there were more than 21 million Beetles sold before production was pulled. We’re personal fans of the Scirocco and Corrado as well. The new GTI’s and Golf R’s are fantastic cars as well. It’s too bad the TDI’s (VW Diesels) had the Dieselgate incident, as those are great cars too.

Q: We understand that the Volkswagen group actually owns many other brands as well.

GPO Tuning: Correct! Although few people know it, Volkswagen owns Porsche, Lamborghini, Bentley, Bugatti, and Audi. Our certified VW repairs techs in Nashville are qualified to handle diagnostics and repairs on these and other German vehicles. We also offer performance tuning for drivers who want more than what their vehicle offers directly from the assembly line. Volkswagen owns so many brands that more than one out of every ten vehicles sold worldwide is manufactured by the group.

Q: In the US, we tend to love our GMC’s and Fords. How prevalent are Volkswagens in the states?

GPO Tuning GPO Tuning: The US market is one of the most coveted among auto manufacturers. Because of this, competition is brutal. Despite our lingering affection for our American and Japanese vehicles, Volkswagen does sell around half a million cars in the United States each year. Incidentally, for those buying in Music City, GPO Tuning is one of the only shops in Nashville that specialize in VW repair and service.

Q: It sounds like it is growing in popularity. How many people does it take to make all of those vehicles?

GPO Tuning: Around 600,000 people receive a paycheck from the Volkswagen Group. Almost half of those – 270,000 – work at a single location in Germany. Volkswagen is not the only automotive giant across the pond, either. Around 2% of Germany’s workforce works for either VW, BMW, or Daimler. These manufacturers are known overseas as the “Big Three.”

Q: That is a lot of people turning wrenches…

GPO Tuning: It is. This does not even take into account companies that provide VW repair. The 600,000 folks that work for Volkswagen and its subsidiaries are involved in design, sales, marketing, and production, not service.

Q: We are beginning to think that we need to start the new year with a new vehicle. We appreciate your time with us today and look forward to speaking with you again. Before we close, can you tell our readers a bit more about GPO Tuning?

GPO Tuning: We are an independent Nashville-based VW repair shop, and we offer service to most European automobiles. We employ a team of the most experienced automotive technicians and have been serving the Nashville area since 2003. For more information about GPO Tuning, visit www.gpotuning.com.

Types of High Fence, Installation, and Why You Need a Solid Perimeter Boundary

Straight Shooter Game Fencing
If you own any kind of agricultural or hunting land, you need a good fence to keep your investment from harm. While a small barrier wforks for some scenarios, most often, a fence of at least six to eight feet is the most effective. Today, we sit down with Straight Shooter Game Fencing, an Alabama-based installer with decades of experience, to discuss the different types of agricultural fencing.

Q: Good afternoon. We are so glad that you could join us today. Fencing is not something most people think about, but we understand that it’s pretty important for many different reasons. We would like to talk about some of those today as fencing pertains to agriculture.

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: Absolutely. Obviously, we believe that it is important, and we are happy to explain why.

Q: Wonderful. We would like to start by touching base on the different types of fencing materials one might see on a farm, for example.

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: For as long as man has existed, so have fences. In the early days – prior to the Bronze Age – fences started out as little more than rocks laid on the ground with the intent of outlining a man’s land. This evolved through the years to include wood and metal, which are two of the most common materials used today. There is also light-duty mesh netting, cable, and PVC fencing.

Q: Which is the most effective?

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: That depends on the application. If you are trying to keep a dog contained, for example, a four-foot traditional chain-link fence should do the trick. But, our company focuses on high fencing installation, meaning that we provide fencing and gates for gaming preserves, small airstrips, and large agricultural operations where reducing predator entrance or livestock exit is crucial.

Q: Why would you install a high fence at an airstrip?

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: For many of the same reasons that commercial airports have a visible and nearly impenetrable barrier. A small airstrip, one that might be used for a small rural neighborhood or crop dusting, for example, is at risk of many of the same security concerns as a big airport. High fence installation can keep intruders out and prevent potentially fatal contact with wildlife.

Q: That is a great point.

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: Something else that a fence can do for a small airport is add a sense of prestige, much like a gated community.

Q: You also mentioned game preserves and agriculture. How does agricultural fencing benefits land designated for either of these activities?

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: When you pay for high fence installation for either of these scenarios, what you are buying is peace of mind. If you are a rancher, for example, the last thing you want is your cattle wandering off of your land. If you own a game preserve, you want to keep predators away from your product. Farm operators can protect both their animals and their crops by adding something as simple as a fence. A tall fence is usually recommended for these properties as they also serve to keep deer away. We use a high-tensile material that can withstand being hit by an errant cow, for example, or a running coyote.

Q: Is it necessary to add perimeter protection to your entire property?

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: Not always, but that again depends on the purpose. When we do a consultation for high fence installation, we start by asking how many linear feet of fence the client thinks they need, based on their measurements. We then further narrow it down by figuring out what purpose they want to get out of the fence. If their goal is to protect a small garden from rabbits or a single pen of pigs or chickens, fencing just that area might make the most sense. Sometimes, it is most logical to put a boundary around the entire property. This is usually the case for farms, ranches, gaming preserves, and airports.

Q: Is high fence installation expensive?

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: When compared to what it can do for you, the answer is an easy “no.” While we probably would not recommend it for everyone, most of our clients have valuable assets to protect, whether this is a small airplane or hundreds of head of cattle. By having a fence professionally installed, these individuals have an added layer of security against forces that can impact their livelihood.

Q: That is a great point, and we appreciate you speaking with us today. Do you have anything that you would like to add before we close?

Straight Shooter Game Fencing: Just that we encourage people who are considering a fence to compare the cost of doing it wrong against the additional expense of professional fence installation.

For more information about Game Fencing and other Fencing Installation Services, please visit https://ssgamgefence.com or call 256-381-2675.

ADHD And Your Child: A Beginner’s Guide

Currey Ingram
Educators from Currey Ingram Academy, a Nashville-based boarding school for children with learning differences, including ADHD, offer information about the disorder in today’s spotlight topic.

ADHD, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, is a common learning disorder present in more than three million children in the United States. According to administrators from the ADHD boarding school, many students with an attention disorder have difficulty sitting still, practicing self-control, and paying attention in class. Unfortunately, in a standard classroom environment, these children are often viewed as having behavioral issues because they are disruptive to other students.

Signs of ADHD

You would be hard-pressed to find a student from elementary through high school that did not have the occasional hiccup when it comes to following directions. Daydreaming, drifting off in class, and being bored are all common and normal behaviors in children. However, children with ADHD struggle far more than their peers when it comes to things such as attention, hyperactivity, and impulsiveness.

Inattention may point to ADHD when the child has immense trouble staying on task. They may not listen to directions, and this may be construed as defiance when an educator is not trained to recognize ADHD. Boarding school teachers at Currey Ingram explain that smaller class sizes, more one-on-one time with the students, and providing direct and explicit instructions are all strategies that can help with inattentiveness.

The second indication of ADHD is hyperactivity. Keep in mind that most children are hyperactive sometimes. Students with ADHD may be like this all the time. They might have trouble being quiet when it is requested and often can not sit still even when they know that getting up or moving their hands and feet is inappropriate. One strategy that Currey Ingram employs to assist students with hyperactivity is block scheduling. Students in the school’s boarding program are given 15 to 30-minute breaks between classes. This offers an opportunity for the student to move around. Further, their days begin with a mentoring session, and classrooms are set up ahead of each day to provide an appropriate environment for learning. Lessons are written on the whiteboard, and any potential schedule changes are noted as early as possible.

Impulsiveness is also a sign of ADHD and the one that administrators at the learning differences boarding school note can get a student into the most trouble. Impulsive individuals react before they think. They tend to take more risks than their classmates and might be looked at as unfriendly; it is not uncommon for a student with ADHD to take things that belong to others without permission. Impulsiveness is also seen in risk-taking behaviors.

To assist with impulse control issues, Currey Ingram’s boarding school implements tactics to minimize disruption. This might include a daily report card, which can help students target positive behaviors, such as remaining in their seats, participating quietly and appropriately during instruction time, and following their teachers’ directions the first time given. Students may also receive positive marks for staying focused and getting to class on time.

Can a learning differences boarding school help?

For a student with learning differences like ADHD, a boarding school with teachers trained in special education can make a huge difference. One thing that Currey Ingram teachers do differently is focus on positive behaviors. Instead of issuing demerits or losing privileges for inattention, students with ADHD receive praise for desired actions. Further, students who are in school with their peers that also have learning disorders may play off one another’s positive behavior through an underlying and highly encouraged system of peer modeling.

Visual aids and progress tracking are used to help students create goals so they can receive motivating rewards. As an ADHD-focused boarding school, Currey Ingram also emphasizes predictable routines. Days are streamlined so that students with executive functioning skill deficits have fewer things to remember and can thus function and focus with fewer distractions.

Each day and boarding school student in grades 9 through 12 receives a daily planner. These are used in conjunction with things like color-coded materials and electronic calendars to help with organization; it is not uncommon for students with ADHD to lack organizational skills.

Young adults with ADHD are not learning impaired, but they do have challenges that other students do not. Fortunately, with persistence, patience, and practice, this and most co-occurring learning differences may be overcome.

If your child has been officially diagnosed with ADHD, a boarding school can help them achieve their true potential. Contact Currey Ingram today at 615.507.3173 to schedule a campus tour and find out more about what the school has to offer.

The M&A Market Is Changing, Says Nashville Broker

Beacon Exit Advisors
Major changes are on the horizon in the M&A market. If you are an owner wanting to sell your business or a Nashville buyer looking to get started in Music City, read on. Beacon Exit Advisors joins us for today’s Q&A on how to sell, how to buy a business, and the things you should know before you do either.

Q: Thank you all for taking the time out to sit with us today. We understand that Nashville is a great place to buy a business and there are many income-producing opportunities available.

Beacon Exit: It is not only a great place to call home, but an excellent place to lay down your professional roots.

Q: How strong is the mergers and acquisitions market in the small and midsize business arena?

Beacon Exit: Right now, things are moving quickly. Although many analysts believe a slowdown is on the horizon for 2020. We like to tell people that now is the time to sell your business because, despite Nashville growing every day, things will eventually level out.

Q: How long does it take to sell your business in Nashville?

Beacon Exit: Like selling a house, that depends on many different factors. Realistically, it can take six months or more. That being said, many businesses sell much faster, while others linger a bit longer.

Q: Why is that?

Beacon Exit: Buyers are extremely diligent and want to ensure they are walking into a cash flow situation. Music City commands a premium. If you want to sell your business, buyers looking in the Nashville area likely will not rush to closing. They will review paperwork, visit your location, and ask many questions before even making an offer.

Q: What advice would you give to a potential seller?

Beacon Exit: The first thing is to make sure your financial paperwork is in order. No matter how cool or interesting your business is, buyers want to see numbers. Next, it is prudent to have an exit strategy already in place or at least started. Collect records of all major events in the business’s history, including equipment purchases.

Q: How do you know how much you should pay if you plan to buy a business in Nashville?

Beacon Exit: Work with a broker. They can help you crunch the numbers so that you have a better idea of what you can expect to pay. On the flip side of this, if you want to sell your business, a broker can help you come to a fair and equitable starting price that a buyer will actually pay. Many businesses sit on the market without selling because they are not priced correctly.

Q: When should a seller contact a broker?

Beacon Exit: It is almost always best to reach out to someone before you decide to sell your business. Our Nashville experts can help you formulate a strategy to get the most out of your investment. Most of the time there are things you need to work on in your business before it is ready to sell, and an experienced Exit Advisor can help you identify those areas.

Q: Are negotiations over once a letter of intent is signed?

Beacon Exit: Absolutely not. Keep in mind, however, regardless of which side of the transaction you are on, that the letter of intent is really just a starting point. When you go to sell your business, your buyer may discover issues during the due diligence process. This can change the purchase price or cancel the deal entirely if you are unwilling to make concessions.

Q: Should a buyer assume the business’s debt as part of the deal?

Beacon Exit: Some buyers do. However, an experienced broker will most likely recommend against it. Most transactions are structured as asset purchases, so the seller keeps their own liabilities and the buyer starts with their own clean history.

Q: Once an offer is made and the letter of intent signed, are there issues that could stop the sale?

Beacon Exit: Unfortunately, yes. Not all buyers are considered qualified buyers. Even if someone offers a fair price, there may be issues with financing. For example, the buyer may assume their credit is good enough for a loan, but they failed to take into account debt, such as their house payment, or their credit is not as good as they think. This makes it harder to sell your business. Nashville buyers move on quickly, and the time you waste with an unqualified buyer might have you missing out on someone who is ready, willing, and able.

Q: One final question: Is it possible to sell your business without giving up your ownership rights entirely?

Beacon Exit: Absolutely. Many buyers prefer sole ownership. But there are those who would be willing to allow a seller to keep a minority stake; this might even be preferable for some buyers who need longer-term guidance or if the business is attached to a name and is well known in the community.

Beacon Exit Advisors is Nashville’s leading full-service brokerage. For more information or for a confidential consultation, call 615.570.7087 or email Info@BeaconExit.com.

Hargrove Sealcoating: What is Asphalt Patching?

Hargrove SealcoatingIf you’ve driven down a Nashville interstate lately, anywhere from Franklin to Murfreesboro, you’ve probably seen – and felt – a pothole. Potholes are an unpleasant after-effect of freezing or rainy weather, but they can be repaired. Here, Hargrove Sealcoating offers information on how potholes form and different asphalt patching methods.

Q: How are potholes formed?

Hargrove Sealcoating: Potholes are the result of a weak spot in the road. They usually form after a hard freeze, and especially in areas where salt is used on the roadway. As precipitation touches the ground, it melts and seeps into tiny cracks and fissures in the asphalt. Once this freezes, it expands, which destabilizes the integrity of the road or driveway’s surface. These weak spots are continually exposed to thousands of pounds of pressure with each passing vehicle. They eventually turn into potholes. When salt is introduced to the road, water freezes and thaws more rapidly, which allows for more damage.

Q: What is asphalt patching?

Hargrove Sealcoating: Asphalt patching refers to the process of repairing damaged roadways, commercial parking lots, or residential driveways. There are a few commonly-used asphalt patching techniques. On Nashville roads, a spray injection might be used, especially when repairs are urgent and weather conditions are unfavorable. This is done by a professional and requires specialized equipment. A semi-permanent patch requires a more hands-on approach, and surface preparation is required. During this process, loose gravel, broken asphalt, and other debris are blown from the damaged area. The perimeter of the pothole is extended slightly before a hot or cold asphalt patching mix is poured and compressed.

Q: What is the difference between hot and cold asphalt patching?

Hargrove Sealcoating: Cold patching is a great solution for small potholes or minor cracks. You don’t have to wait for a long stretch of sunny days to use this method. One of the benefits of cold patching is that it can be used immediately, and might help prevent further damage. Hot, or infrared, asphalt patching is commonly used in Nashville, Franklin, and Murfreesboro as it is ideally suited for large areas.

Q: Can a homeowner fix their own driveway?

Hargrove Sealcoating: For small imperfections, yes. In fact, you can get a bucket of cold patch material at your local Lowe’s or Home Depot. Unfortunately, for damage larger than just a few inches in circumference, these DIY repairs may not be as long-lasting as a homeowner would like. Further, if the driveway has multiple areas or requires foundation restoration, simply adding an asphalt emulsion won’t get the job done. Professional asphalt patching is the best solution for a driveway with multiple potholes, cracks, or vegetation growth.

Q: How can sealcoating extend the life of my driveway?

Hargrove Sealcoating: Once your asphalt patching repair is complete, your driveway should be properly sealcoated to help protect the surface from the elements. Sealcoating requires temperatures of at least 50° and dry weather, but it is a crucial step in the process that can extend the life of your driveway. Most asphalt surfaces should be sealcoated once every few years or when it begins to fade and show signs of wear.

For more information about asphalt repairs and service in Franklin, Nashville, or Murfreesboro, call Hargrove Sealcoating at (931) 619-6718.

ImageQuest Explains The Many Layers of Cybersecurity

When it is time to protect your business, it is dangerous to have too little security. This is especially true as it relates to your and your customers’ sensitive data. A single breach of your systems can result in significant financial losses, reputation damage, even business bankruptcy or closure. But there are ways to avoid this situation. Keep reading as ImageQuest offers information on how a layered cybersecurity service plan can stop intruders on the path to your data.

Q: What does it mean to have layered cybersecurity defense?

ImageQuest: This simply means to have multiple levels of protection in place. A well-implemented cybersecurity service plan for a Nashville business will focus on three areas: prevention, detection, and response. Each of these aspects of your business’s digital security works on a different level to give your business comprehensive coverage.

Q: Can you explain how to prevent online security threats?

ImageQuest: Specific to businesses, the first step is to ensure that your employees are trained in ways to both spot and avoid cyber attacks. As part of our cybersecurity service, we offer Nashville businesses Security Awareness training. This covers a broad spectrum of policies and practices that put your employees in a better position to keep your company safe.

Another important facet of prevention is ensuring that your systems remain up-to-date. A consistent patching strategy can help fill gaps where hackers might see an easy opening. There have been many incidents over the last decade of major attacks happening because businesses failed to apply the most recent security updates to their operating systems. The 2017 “WannaCry” ransomware attack is a good example that affected FedEx and other large corporations.

Q: What is the next step?

ImageQuest: Beyond prevention, there is detection. Detecting a cybersecurity threat is in itself a layered strategy. It includes things like IP access restrictions, multiple log-in attempt block out, and multi-factor authentication. ImageQuest’s Nashville-based cybersecurity service experts can use these tools to identify areas of your business’s strategy that needs to be upgraded or changed to meet current needs. Cyber threat detection is one of the best ways to alert individual employees as well as your IT department to potentially malicious access attempts.

Taking your detection strategy even further, ImageQuest’s managed detection and response program utilizes the latest advances in artificial intelligence coupled with the knowledge of expert security engineers to monitor for threats around the clock. Our Security Operations Center (SOC) in Nashville specializes in proactive cybersecurity service methods to stop attacks before they happen.

Q: How can I mitigate damage in case of a breach?

ImageQuest: How you respond to a security incident is essential to your business. The final piece of the cybersecurity puzzle is to implement procedures that allow for a swift response. Keep in mind that the sooner you take action, the less likely your business will be adversely affected.

ImageQuest can help you implement incident documentation procedures that allows you to track exactly what happened that left your business vulnerable in the first place. This is important because it gives you an opportunity to access real-world data that can lead to significant improvements in your security operations. Having a consistent incident documentation procedure is looked upon favorably by regulators.

No matter how many security measures you have in place, your company should routinely practice how an incident will be handled. ImageQuest’s experts can walk you through your entire cybersecurity infrastructure and help you better understand how your organization’s actions might affect your stakeholders in the event of a security incident. By testing your processes now, your systems and employees will be better able to respond quickly and efficiently under the duress of a cybersecurity emergency.

Tennessee Attorney Brian T. Boyd Answers Questions About Legal Myths

Boyd Law
Anyone who spends any amount of time online knows that there’s an unfortunate amount of misinformation floating around about everything from vaccines and autism to essential oils. So why is it, then, that business owners often take to Google or, worse, Facebook or Quora, when they need information best provided by a business lawyer? Brentwood-based attorney Brian T. Boyd says this is a huge mistake and one that could cost a business owner his reputation and livelihood.

Boyd recently sat down with us to help clear the air and below offers no-nonsense answers to questions all business owners should ask their attorney instead of their online acquaintances. Consulting with your lawyer can help you avoid business litigation which, in Brentwood, can be expensive, time-consuming, and reputation-ruining.

Q: Is it really necessary to have all of my contracts in writing?

Brian T. Boyd: If you want to avoid legal action and business litigation, yes. Brentwood business owners can protect themselves by ensuring that agreements between their company and clients are detailed in writing and signed by both parties. However, it is important to understand that oral contracts are often enforceable as are terms discussed via email or text messaging. To avoid any misunderstandings, your legal agreements should include wording stating that acceptance of the contract supersedes any previous communication.

Q: Contracts are really only necessary between me and my clients, right?

Brian T. Boyd: That’s a dangerous thought and one that could easily result in a dissolved partnership. When you are starting a business with friends or family, it’s easy to believe that your word is all that’s necessary. While this might be true when discussing what to bring for Thanksgiving dinner, you should always have a contract in place between yourself and any partners. Remember, money has a way of turning relationships from great to gone quickly, and, without legal protection, you could find yourself in the midst of business litigation, and a Brentwood judge will typically rule in favor of common practices instead of disputed verbal agreements.

Q: Can I use pictures or images that I find online in my marketing materials?

Brian T. Boyd: Breaking copyright laws or infringing upon someone else’s trademark can fast-track you straight to court, and if the history of business litigation in Brentwood is any indication, you won’t get off without a fine. Pictures, images, and even content posted to the web are not free for the taking. Before you go copying and pasting, do yourself and your company a favor and check the website for terms and conditions. Better yet, contact the image or content author and ask for permission to use their intellectual property.

Q: Will a nondisclosure agreement help keep my business information safe?

Brian T. Boyd: Unfortunately, this is not always the case. I have been a business lawyer in Brentwood for many years and have seen NDAs broken on numerous occasions. However, when you partner with the right people and have these agreements in place, it does significantly reduce the likelihood that the tricks of your trade will make their way to your competitors.

Q: I don’t really need a legal business structure, but I want to protect my assets. Should I set my business up as an LLC anyway?

Brian T. Boyd: There are pros and cons to creating a formal legal entity for your business. Forming an LLC or corporation does offer you some security against monetary losses if your company is not successful. However, if you don’t upkeep the requirements of maintaining the structure, such as creating clearly-defined operating procedures or making notes at shareholder meetings, then your personal assets can still be targeted. This is called piercing the corporate veil.

If you are facing business litigation in Brentwood or the surrounding areas, contact Brian T. Boyd at the Law Office of Brian T. Boyd — 615.861.1936.