Security is a vital component of managing a business. You must be able to protect your employees, assets and data in order to do your business well and retain your reputation as a safe company for customers to do business with. Here are some tips for managing your small business securely.
1. Invest in Employee Security Training
Your first line of defense in small business security is your employees. Employees who are more aware of your security needs and risks are also more capable of being vigilant and protecting your sensitive data. You can invest in employee training to help employees self-monitor their work and online behavior to minimize the chances of an employee falling for something like a phishing attack.
2. Utilize Multi-factor Authentication
Multi-factor authentication is a great way to improve a small business’s cybersecurity. With multi-factor authentication, anyone trying to access your sensitive data or devices must be able to provide two or more methods of authentication. These can include passwords, key fobs, facial or fingerprint recognition and security questions, among other options. With these in place, your IT or cybersecurity team can better manage who is able to access what material.
3. Use Secured Credit Cards
A secured credit card is mainly a way for people to improve their credit history if they have bad credit or no credit. However, it’s also a useful way to aid you in managing a small business securely. Because these cards are meant to help you build good credit and tend to have lower interest rates and charge fewer fees, they’re good choices for a business that has a smaller cash flow than its competitors or that is just being established. When you use a secured credit card, you can also opt to have the activity reported to a credit bureau. This makes it more likely that you or your credit card company will notice any suspicious charges on your card quickly and be able to react swiftly to protect your assets.
4. Leverage Virtual Private Networks (VPNs)
VPNs are especially important for businesses conducted online. With a VPN, your employees will be able to securely log onto their work accounts remotely. Whether an employee is working at home or in an airport, the VPN encrypts his or her connection to your network, protecting the employee’s data and your network from hackers and cybercriminals. With more people than ever working remotely, a VPN is essential for employees to safely connect to their workplaces.
5. Develop a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Policy
Every business should have a comprehensive cybersecurity policy to dictate its approach to security. A concrete policy allows you to monitor your security and manage it more easily because it acts as a security guide for employees. You should outline company policy regarding how to protect sensitive data, acceptable uses of company property and devices and what kinds of information is classified as confidential. This way, employees will have a reference by which they can self-monitor their compliance. Make sure the policy is updated periodically.
6. Practice Good Physical Security
You should not focus solely on cybersecurity for your business, even if you conduct business mostly online. Online businesses may still conduct certain processes outside of cyberspace, such as mailing paperwork to employees. These businesses and ones that utilize physical spaces like office buildings or brick and mortar stores also need to invest in physical security. One aspect of physical security is protecting your employees. You must have plans in place for such emergencies as fires, active shooters and natural disasters. You must also have some kind of security system or hire security personnel to protect and monitor entrances and exits. You should also ensure there is adequate protection for hardware, devices that contain sensitive data, and physical paperwork or records.
If you have good security for all aspects of your business, you’ll be better able to manage your business effectively because you won’t be as worried about your security protocols being breached or not being effective enough.