Every business is vulnerable to risk — especially startups that don’t always know the lay of the land.
From theft to computer hacking, email security breaches, disgruntled employees, natural disasters, and more … the list is long. But don’t panic! Prepare for the unexpected and take appropriate measures at protect your downside. You may think that security solutions for your business amount to truckloads of cash you simply don’t have, but that’s a myth.
Here’s a look at 6 simple tips to minimize business security threats.
1. Carefully vet third parties.
Gather complete information about the third parties and companies you decide to work with. A website and toll-free number is not enough these days.
Get to know more and more about their reputation via Google, online forums, and their social media profiles. This will keep you safe from fraudulent companies, especially if they aren’t domestic.
2. Step inside the criminal mind.
If you run your business from a retail or office space learn about crime prevention in your area. There are likely a lot of things you won’t think of (unless you have a criminal mind). For example, is your business protected from identity theft, shoplifting, arson, vandalism, robberies, internal employee theft, etc?
For example if you run a retail store, you can discourage shoplifting by arranging “… counters and display tables so there’s no direct route to the exit. Some stores put turnstiles at entrances so the only way out is to pass the checkout counter. Place expensive items in the center of the store away from exits.”
Understand the crime statistics in your area and talk with local authorities to understand what they’ve encountered in the past. Then develop a strategy to shield your business.
3. Install security cameras.
If you own a brick and mortar business then a high-quality surveillance system is an important investment. The right business surveillance system is perfect for protecting your business from crime while at the same time keeping an eye on your employees.
If you’re running a startup on a budget, consider entry-level security options that offer a complete security system in a single device. For example, Canary includes a 1080p HD camera, night vision, motion-activated recording, and air quality sensors.
4. Pre-empt cybersecurity threats.
Most of today’s businesses are heavily reliant on technology. This means no business is safe from common cybersecurity threats like malware, viruses, trojan horses, malicious software, worms, and more.
Also, your employees may not be tech savvy enough to avoid hacking through phishing and keylogger scams. This is where anti-malware software like Malwarebytes and anti-virus software like Sophos for your home office can come in handy.
5. Backup business data to the cloud.
Losing important customer data due to human error or experiencing natural disasters that leave you without access to important files is reason enough to back-up your data securely to the cloud.
Storing company data with cloud-based hosts like Dropbox and Google Drive is a wise step. For extra peace of mind you can copy sensitive data to hard drives and secondary disks and keep them at various physical locations.
6. Create a culture of security awareness.
Prepare and update your staff about basic security tips. Make sure that employees are trained on the basics. “By raising awareness of security issues and concerns in a wider context, such as how to better protect their families and personal finances, employees will be more engaged and their emotional interest will be sparked.”
Now, it’s apparent that creating a secure work environment will not necessarily cost you an arm and leg. So, adopt few good practices and gift yourself the mental peace that will allow you to focus on growing your business.
This article has been edited and condensed.
Ted Yu is a gadget wizard, an active blogger, and an eminent speaker. With more than 10 years of experience to his credit, Ted has always been a pertinent contributor to the security industry. He is sharing these business security tips on behalf of Revo America, a well renowned security products manufacturer and retailer. Connect with @Revo_America on Twitter.