Tips for a secure business
If you own a business of any kind, security should be a top priority. This can include physical security as well as cybersecurity.
There is a broad range of crimes that can be committed against a business, including fraud, theft, and damages.
When a business is the victim of a crime, it affects not only you as the owner, but your employees, your clients, and your vendors.
Whether it’s physically securing your assets and business or securing your IT network, the following are some tips to help you get started.
Do a Risk Assessment
Before you start putting specific security strategies in place, it’s a good idea to do a thorough risk assessment and get a feel for what you really need.
If you aren’t sure, you might consider working with a certified risk assessor. They can identify weaknesses and also let you know what the likelihood of certain risks occurring might be.
A risk assessment will also help you know what you can avoid securing at least for the time being, so you aren’t spending unnecessary time or money in particular areas.
One of the foundations of a secure business is access control. This can refer to building access control, and also IT access control.
With physical access control, you might consider photo identification systems if necessary. You want to make sure that only the people you want in your business are there.
If you’re a small business, your only concern in terms of access control might be secure logs that are burglar-proof. However, for some businesses, they may need several layers of access control.
For your IT assets, access control can come down to choosing software that lets you customize accessibility. You want as few employees having key passwords as possible, and many times, businesses will have varying levels of access control settings for different employees in the organization.
Other elements of physical security you should think about implementing into your business include an alarm system, as well as security cameras. These basic security tools are relatively inexpensive compared to what they used to cost, and they’re good to have for a variety of purposes, including insurance.
Go Over Your Data
Most businesses, even very small ones, store a large amount of data. You need to know what data might be sensitive, and you should always be aware of how it’s stored and used. Do a full data audit, and think about what could or would be accessed if there was a breach.
You should separate your data into categories, starting with high-risk data. That is your key financial information as well as your customers’ financial information. That data should be your top priority in terms of security.
Beyond that, you’re not going to ignore the less high-risk data, and it needs to be secured as well.
Set Strong internal Policies and Train Employees
Many of the security risks a business faces come from inside the organization. This isn’t always malicious and may be due to a lack of formalized internal security policies and minimal employee training on the policies that do exist.
Go over your policies and see where they need to be added to or refined.
Remember that training employees on security isn’t something that happens once and that’s it. Security threats are constantly evolving, and employee training should be offered regularly to keep them up-to-date.
As part of your internal security policies, don’t forget about a social media policy. You don’t want employees sharing potentially sensitive or private information on social media profiles, but employees may not know they’re doing this without a policy and training in place.
Use Strong Passwords
The best type of password security for your apps, software, and IT assets is usually two-factor authentication. Two-factor authentication means you and your employees will have to use two methods of verification to log in.
An example of this is when you log into an account online and you put in your password and then you receive a text to verify on your smartphone.
Passwords should also follow updated best practices.
Should You Encrypt?
Finally, some businesses wonder whether or not they should use encryption to protect data. It’s increasingly common for businesses to use some form of encryption because the technology to do so is easier to use and more readily available than ever before.
If a mobile device is stolen or an email is intercepted, encryption can give you another level of security that can be valuable.