No business owner wants to think about threats to their security, but everyone should. If you run a small- or medium-sized business, security breaches will affect you more, since you don’t have as many resources. On average, burglaries cost more than $10,000, so you can’t afford to risk any incidents.
Physical crime isn’t the only threat to your company, either. Many cybersecurity breaches target small businesses, so you need to consider data security as well. In light of these threats, here are 10 ways you can increase the security of your business.
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1. Use Antivirus Software
In today’s digital age, cybercrime may be a more prominent threat than things like burglaries. Cybersecurity is rarely straightforward, but if you only do one thing, you should install basic security software. That includes both anti-malware services and firewalls.
Firewalls act as the first layer of defense, blocking any potential threats they detect. Anti-malware software scans your systems for things like viruses that might’ve slipped through and eliminates them.
2. Monitor User Access
You should have some way of telling who accessed your resources and when. This step applies both to your building and any digital assets you have. Monitoring access helps keep employees accountable and allows you to go back and see where a breach might’ve occurred.
For your building, you could use a keycard system that logs when employees enter and leave. Assigning individual login credentials to each worker will offer the same security for your network.
3. Provide Security Training
For both physical and data security, you must train all of your employees well. Internal actors are responsible for 26% of data breaches, and carelessness can leave your building vulnerable. If your employees don’t know proper security protocols, they could put your business at risk.
Hold regular meetings where you refresh everyone on your business’s security practices. That way, these protocols stay at the forefront of everyone’s minds so that they don’t forget them.
4. Install a CCTV System
If you don’t already have one, you should consider installing CCTV cameras in and around your building. You don’t need to monitor security camera feeds continuously, but you can go back and check them if something happens. These recordings can help police track down any burglars and help you speed the insurance claims process.
Cameras also act as a deterrent for would-be criminals. If people can see cameras around the building, they’ll be less likely to try anything for fear of getting caught.
5. Make Sure Everything Is Well-Lit
When you think of security measures, proper lighting may not immediately come to mind. As trivial as it may seem, lighting is an essential step in securing your physical property. If your building is dark, it gives criminals more places to hide, making it easier to commit any crime.
A well-lit area will deter criminals by taking away hiding spaces. If anything does occur, proper lighting will give your security cameras a clearer image, making them more helpful.
6. Keep Software Up-to-Date
Another seemingly insignificant but critical step in security is updating all of your software. As software companies discover new vulnerabilities, they release patches to fix them. If you don’t install these patches as soon as possible, you could put yourself at risk.
In 2017, a ransomware called WannaCry infected more than 300,000 computers using a vulnerability that Windows had already patched. If users had updated their software, they wouldn’t have been susceptible to the attack.
7. Secure Your Building’s Perimeter
The perimeter of your property, like your parking lot, could be at risk from traffic accidents. You can’t improve road safety by yourself, but you can prevent it from affecting people on your property. By installing measures like barriers and bollards, you can protect employees and visitors from out-of-control vehicles.
Collisions between vehicles and buildings cause 400 injuries a year, not to mention the costs of repairs. A collision barrier like a series of bollards can stop vehicles before they run into your building, and more importantly, the people in it.
8. Destroy Old, Sensitive Documents
Depending on the nature of your company, you could be working with some sensitive information. Things like customer or employee information could be harmful if leaked, so take care of it. Once done with a document or piece of information, destroy it so that it can’t fall into the wrong hands.
You can use a paper shredder to dispose of any physical records. For digital files, you can use a secure erase tool instead of the “delete” option.
9. Practice Safe Password Management
Make sure that you and your employees use strong, varied passwords for all your accounts. Passwords provide easy access into a system, so you want to keep those secure. Unfortunately, 65% of users reuse passwords across multiple sites.
Stress the importance of safe password management to your employees to avoid this vulnerability. You may even consider using a password manager to help workers create and keep track of passwords.
10. Test Your Security Systems
After you’ve installed a security system you’re confident in, make sure you test it. For cybersecurity systems, you can run penetration testing to see how it holds up against simulated threats. For your physical security, you can run drills to see how everyone remembers what to do.
It’s worth revisiting your security protocols now and then, too. Your needs and resources may change, and if they do, you should update your security to match them.
Security Should Be a Priority for Any Business
No matter what size or type of company you run, you need to take security seriously. There are too many risks, both digital and physical, to ignore in today’s business world. Follow these 10 steps and take security into your hands today.
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