As a small business owner, the security of your business may not take priority. You may take the view that your fledgling company is pretty immune from break-ins or cybercrime simple as a result of your relatively small size. Surely, there are bigger fish to fry with bigger assets to seek out?
While this may sound logical the reality is that it is just not the case. Criminals are unlikely to overlook your small business just because it is small. In fact, it may well be an opportune venture. Potential criminals may be of the view that your small business does not have and has not plowed as much money and resources into their security in the same way some of their larger counterparts.
With that in mind protecting your small business from physical or cyber-attacks should be considered a priority. Here are some ways in which you can invest in business security to help keep your expanding empire safe.
Carry Out a Risk Assessment
First and foremost you should be performing a risk assessment of your business. This includes understanding your business premises, online reach and functions, and identifying any other areas of your business operation that could pose a risk to your business. Once you have done this you need to look at all possible avenues in which these at-risk areas could be vulnerable to an attack. It could be the rear entrance of your premises or a cyber-attack on your companies financials, for example. Once you have highlighted areas of risk and their vulnerabilities you can take steps to put measures in place to protect these at-risk areas.
Take Access Seriously
Perhaps one of the most obvious but commonly overlooked aspects of security is access to your business and who has it. If you want to limit the risk of physical or virtual thefts or security breaches then limiting access is one of the best ways to do it. Here are some ways you can limit access:
Keep a log of everyone who has an access keycard or key.
- Install monitoring system that can track who enters and leaves the premises and when.
- Ensure all keycards and keys are returned when a member of staff is no longer part of the business.
- Log all lost or broken keys and keycards
- Only give staff clearance to access information and data they need to perform their jobs.
- Change passwords regularly.
Take Cyber Security Seriously
While you may be preoccupied with the physical security of your business protecting its online security should be given just as much thought and consideration. Small businesses can be prone to cyber-attacks and as cybercrime becomes more sophisticated business owners are struggling to keep up with the security demands. Here are some ways that you can help strengthen your cyber security:
- Have a secure wi-fi network and monitor traffic to help identify potentially dangerous intruders.
- Ensure all devices are up to date with the latest software and anti-virus protections. Out-of-date software can be prone to cyber security loopholes.
- Ensure all previous employee accounts, access, and log-in information is deleted once they are no longer part of the business.
- Back up all of your data regularly. If the worst should happen and your data is stolen, lost, or compromised you can fall back on your backup.
- Use encryption for sensitive data as this will make it harder for criminals to access.
- Limit employee access to data that they do not need.
- Consider security-enhancing software such as SD-Wan which boasts enhanced security monitoring as one of the benefits of SD-Wan.
- Train employees in the essentials of online and cyber security, such as password best practices and not opening unknown or unverified emails.
Dispose of Documents Safely
Whatever the nature of your small business it will have a certain degree of sensitive physical documentation, even in the predominantly virtual world of 2022. This paperwork should not just be idly thrown into the regular trash can as there is no way to ensure that the information contained in these documents does indeed end up in landfill sites. It is therefore best practice to ensure that all sensitive documentation is shredded before being thrown away. Alternatively, if this is a time-consuming and laborious exercise you do not have time for, consider using confidential waste recycling services. These services can collect and remove your rubbish and dispose of it in a confidential secure manner ensuring that it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands.