Security Practices Any Size Business Should Incorporate
The world of company security could be a dangerous place. Small businesses, especially, will find themselves on the back foot pretty quickly, particularly once targeted against criminals that have a lot of resources in breaking down larger security systems. The usual security issues involve computer systems and client information. However, many firms don’t realize their need of securing brick-and-mortar premises with the same approach they might have for their online presence. By increasing security to a physical location, the company will have the advantage of gaining better brand confidence and improved job performance and satisfaction among its workers. And loyal employees, in turn, typically translate into loyal customers.
To have the confidence to keep your business going without having to worry about threats from both outside and within, you will need to incorporate proven methods to protect your business.
The importance of place measures to safeguard your business can easily be appreciated if you know some of the most common risks that you will likely face.
1. Wayward Employees
It can be a disgruntled employee or just uninformed, the risk that these elements pose to your business can be immeasurable. Being attacked internally can be very damaging as well as complicated if you don’t put safeguards in place. People who have access to confidential and sensitive files can cause serious damage if they decide to act against your interests. Similarly, a careless employee can cause equivalent havoc if they are left to their own devices.
2. Data Risks
Theft of information and proprietary designs are rampant in the most cut-throat fields of business. Mobile devices, network access, and other digital information are just some of the items a cybersecurity firm focuses on.
3. Third-Party Affiliates
Even if you do due diligence on your part, you will still need to be wary of your business relationships with other organizations. An example is a retail industry where they rely on third-party providers to manage their point of sale data. Even if the employees in all of your stores have done everything right, if your partner’s systems have been compromised, you will also have some degree of exposure.
Here are some of the most basic and foremost important practices that your business should have regardless of its size.
1. Office Security
Bear in mind that it is better to install protective precautions for your office premises rather than wait for anything to happen that would cause you to put them up. It is recommended to invest in a good security company, as protection will be established around the clock. The folks from Armorous Security state that security professionals are trained to maintain an area and detect potential threats before it causes damage. Getting an armed response in the case of a break-in will make the difference between major and minor losses. Therefore, having a security squad makes it less likely that in the first instance, someone would come into the premises. However, even with this option, you should ensure that all doors, windows, and storage areas have their own locks and that keys are properly monitored for each of these.
2. Install Internal Security Measures
Commonly, a company that has its premises on a commercial property is using the bolts and locks that came with it. Replacing them may sound like a needless cost, but we suggest a much safer option is sophisticated high-security locks.
The locks are only the first step, however. All businesses should invest in a proper alarm system, which is fully monitored.
Without surveillance cameras, no commercial security program will be complete. Images can be configured, due to modern technologies, not only to monitor all data as it comes in but also to allow users to log in to the network remotely and view certain images. The cameras will also help identify perpetrators in the event of a break-in and may be used in the prosecution.
3. Inspect Suppliers and Vendors
Businesses needing vendors to access the building need to develop a reasonable working relationship with those vendors and perform appropriate security checks on all workers. Among those checks should be the credit history of the vendor and any past complaints or pending cases that it may have. Online reviews are also useful for measuring the service level and efficiency of the vendor. Some companies leave the security checks to the vendor, but this could lead to awkward situations if the examination was not sufficiently thorough and the cleared personnel manage to gain illegal entry.
4. Invest in Protecting Your Data
Securing your business in physical terms is one thing. Ensuring the impenetrability of its data systems is a completely different matter. 81 percent of executives acknowledged in a new study that a lack of cybersecurity has undermined their company over the past two years. Small companies are the most enticing targets for hackers as they deliver a mission that has much less protection than a big company with the same amount of profit.
Use a Secure Network
You should look at using a VPN to secure the electronic transfer of data. Although it offers such VPN benefits as a safe method of transmitting data, in reality, it does not require one to protect the identity of ownership. When sensitive information needs to go from the company’s server to a remote one, VPNs are most useful. Through establishing a reliable link between sender and recipient, it guarantees that the data is not intercepted through third parties.
If your computer system crashes, or your network is attacked and your data doesn’t have a backup, chances are you are in trouble. This is one of the simplest and easiest things to do to ensure your organization’s continuity of operation is to invest in a data backup process.
Passwords and Biometrics
It can be your desktop access, your email login, your financial records, or another network, you should have a password that’s truly complicated to guess. It is suggested that you use passwords that are more than eight characters long and have both upper- and lower-case letters along with special characters and/or numbers.
A password may be useful to authenticate authorization, but it doesn’t confirm your identity – it just tells you that you know the user ID and its password. Biometric authentication technology is now becoming more advanced and provides an affordable and simple way to keep a device, software application, folder, or files secure without using PINs and passwords.
Technology may be getting more advanced, but so are cybercriminals, scammers, and malware. You should take the necessary steps against harmful programs and invest in an excellent virus protection software for your computer system. There are many available in the market today in the most popular operating systems, choose one that suits your needs, and put up a reliable layer of protection to your business.
Employee Cybersecurity Education
It may not be as common as you might want it to be that everyone knows what a cybersecurity threat is. And one mistake can potentially cause you a myriad of problems. You should develop learning materials to educate your employees on the dangers of software and data attacks. And create a protocol that tells them what those threats look like to guide them in their daily tasks to prevent them from falling victim to cybercriminals.
5. Shred Before You Dispose
Shredding paperwork may sound like a throwback, but it no longer refers simply to paper. There is software that ensures digital data is similarly erased for good, making sure that if the hardware gets into the hands of someone else, they will not be able to recover any data. Invoices, consumer reports, and written correspondence are among the things that each organization wants to properly comply with prior to disposal. Shredding is still the disposal method of choice for physical materials, and as an added plus, the shredded documents can be sent for recycling, totally erasing any possible recovery. In any case, consider hiring professional shredding services to ensure your data is properly destroyed and the shredding and disposal processes comply with current regulations.
6. Securing Your Property
If you own a retail location, be sure to securely anchor all cash registers, and protect your password. Install silent alarms, which employees can activate during a robbery. Consider using movement detection technology to let you know when somebody’s in specific areas. Install the locks at least 8 feet off the ground when you are using padlocks on outside equipment.
Adequate lighting and perimeter fences are not only important for your building’s design but are also a must for safeguarding your business. Always leave a light on for your office space when you leave for the night so that police or security can see into it. Often have decent lighting for the perimeter of doors and in parking lots. Limit entries to designated entry points so you can monitor the flow of people on your premises.
7. Code of Conduct
Companies should have a Code of Ethics in place when you appoint the first employee. This document should outline what is acceptable or proper conduct within office premises and what will be the repercussions if an employee breaches the terms. While this paper does not need to describe the appropriate steps, it is important to identify the required areas such as securing intellectual properties and safeguarding classified details within the premises of the company.
Upon recruiting, the workers will be told of a Code of Ethics and they will show that they must abide by it. If there will be any changes to the document that you need to make, go ahead and do so and ensure that all of your employees are informed of the changes.
Your employees should also be able to access a Code of Conduct document at all times and should be included in each of their personal files.
8. Employee Security
Train your workers on safety in the workplace, the steps to take if anything goes wrong, and how to recognize possible issues. Place a video surveillance device in the building and you know who is approaching the building and what they are doing. Institute a badge scheme that only gives the workers and their visitors’ entry. A badge system can also help to restrict access to sensitive building areas.
9. Perform Audits
Audits are scheduled annually to further place a level of security on documents and information. This means that you will be able to check documents that your employees keep in both paper form and on their computers. Once you have finished the assessments, you should be able to recognize places where compliance can be strengthened.
Make the most of the audits you carry out. See what can be done about it, after identifying the areas where security can be improved. Don’t put it off: putting it off would cause your defense to leverage the likelihood of the vulnerability.
Audits are not available for the workers to look for flaws. They are in place to assess the security measures you have put in place on the computers and around your office area. You should stress this when notifying the audits to your employees. This way nobody can misinterpret your intent in carrying out the audit.
10. Design an Emergency Plan
You should have already set emergency plans, be it at home or the office. The instructions should include what to do in the event of a fire, robbery, theft, or natural calamities. Remember, the surveillance program will include maximum contact numbers for the police and ambulance services.
Additionally, an evacuation plan will be outlined and shown in a visible position that the staff can see and become acquainted with it. It is also a good idea to give employees periodic reminders or safety tips.
These are only tips that you have to take into account when you have got established your business, this may take time and energy on your part and can seemingly be not very cheap to implement. However, don’t ignore security measures just because of an extra expense. The amount of cash you may spend on security measures is considerably lower compared to what your business would possibly suffer because of a breach. It is definitely worth the money!