Keeping goods, information and money safe is crucial, especially for small businesses. You can’t afford to have passwords or merchandise stolen. Therefore, it’s wise to employ additional safety measures to protect your physical and digital assets.
1. Virtual Private Network
Most businesses know that digital security is essential. However, many don’t think to employ a virtual private network to secure data transactions online. Generally, VPNs are most useful than sharing sensitive information between one server to another. Thanks to this network’s secure connection and encryption there’s a very low risk of third-party interception.
Some businesses also use VPN to change their IP address and block websites from viewing online activity. This confidentiality is especially important for IT businesses and those that deal with health histories, personal identification numbers and banking information.
2. Strong Passwords
Your business might not deal with policy numbers or health information, but we’re willing to bet you have at least a few customers’ card numbers or mailing addresses on file. Ultimately, the key to protecting their and your information is having strong passwords. In 2019 alone, there were more than 5,000 data breaches and nearly 8 billion exposed records containing addresses, card numbers and other data.
Therefore, it’s important to create unbreakable passwords and urge employees to do the same. Avoid common words and character combinations and make it your goal to make all passwords longer than eight characters. Refrain from reusing passwords across multiple accounts and use a password manager to remember them all.
3. Make Copies
Unfortunately, hackers can break even the best passwords. When they do, it’s wise to have made copies of all pertinent information and documents. Otherwise, hackers may leave you with no money, no client contacts and no evidence or proof of past transactions.
Regularly back up data on all computers and mobile devices and store critical data, spreadsheets and financial files in the cloud. Remind employees that part of their job description includes consistently making copies each week. Otherwise, you can find a way to automatically back up data.
4. Motion Detectors
Of course, digital security isn’t the only thing you have to worry about when it comes to maintaining company safety. If you have an in-office team of employees, you’ll also want to improve physical security measures.
Keep the office safe from intruders with motion detectors. These devices are especially useful for small businesses and one-story brick and mortar shops. The technology relies on infrared or microwave radar technology to detect movement and temperature changes. Receive an alert for suspicious activity on your mobile device or automatically sound the alarm to call in the cops.
5. Visitor Management Policy
Unauthorized visitors can be a serious physical threat to you, your employees and any valuable assets within your offices. Therefore, it’s crucial to draft and institute a firm visitor management policy.
Steer all visitors — yes, even the Uber Eats guy — to an entry point where someone can check them in or give them a visitor pass. You might even choose to assign an escort to non-employees to ensure no one evades detection. Share this policy with your team to encourage them to report suspicious activity or potential intruders.
6. Floor Marshall
For larger companies, assigning a floor marshall may be an appealing alternative to a check-in desk. In multi-level offices, tracking visitors can be difficult and recognizing an intruder can be nearly impossible. In these instances, it’s wise to have someone who can separate the employees from the infiltrators.
Ensure your floor marshal has excellent observation skills and knows everyone in your building. More importantly, they must be confident enough to approach people they know don’t belong.
7. Security Cameras
Of course, even the most attentive floor marshall won’t be able to stop break-ins and security breaches if they aren’t there. When everyone has gone home for the evening, it’s still wise to maintain building security. In this case, you’ll want to install a few security cameras to keep an eye on things while you’re away.
Thanks to new technology, you can now record all data as it comes in and even even log in remotely to view video feeds in real time. Some cameras can even help you identify intruders or scare them away with voice controls and microphones.
8. Employee Security Training
Only 35% of businesses consider security awareness training a top priority while working remotely. Yet, millions of online data breaches occur every year, making remote work even less secure than some physical offices. Therefore, it’s crucial you establish an employee security training program to safeguard your team against data breaches.
Ask your service provider what kinds of training programs they employ and develop a series of modules or requirements for your team to complete. Use a raise or bonus to incentivize them or simply make training a new part of their job requirements.
Covering Your Tails
Hackers tend to grow smarter with each new security measure, making you more susceptible to data breaches and break-ins. Therefore, it’s important to employ the latest security measures and continually update your team on new protocols. Additionally, you should purchase an insurance plan that protects you if you’re information — and that of your customers — is compromised. As long as you cover your tails, you should be safe, even if criminals get past your security measures.