If you’re a small business owner, you may think that you’re invincible and believe that a break in or cyberattack could never affect you. It’s common to think that criminals are more interested in large corporations that have deeper pockets.
However, statistics prove small businesses are often the victims of crime; 43 percent of cyberattacks target small businesses. Criminals actually choose to target small businesses at a high rate, both online and offline. These companies are often ill-equipped to cope with the losses that accompany data theft.
The good news is that an ounce of prevention can go a long way. The more you are able to invest in securing your business, the less like your business is to be a target of criminals. Take a look at these five ways you can beef up security to protect your small business.
Do a building check at the start and end of the work day.
While this may sound obvious, looking over your building before and after work is a smart way to develop a sense of what is normal and what is not. This will make you aware of potential issues and help you stay on top of repairs and needed maintenance at the same time. Encourage your team to report anything that seems out of place or suspicious.
Upgrade your windows, doors and locks.
Wood or reinforced steel doors are likely to hold up in an attempted robbery. It’s essential to have high-security and commercial-grade locks at each entrance and exit and also on internal doors to rooms that hold expensive equipment and sensitive information. It’s a must to have locks for all windows too.
It’s important to think about the digital aspects of your business’ security beyond just the physical. You should strongly consider doing these things to protect your business:
- Secure your website as soon as possible with a VPN provider. There are several out there to choose from. I went through a rather extensive process to compare the options and ended up going with ExpressVPN for my own business. I travel abroad for work, so I needed to make sure the global coverage was spot on to protect my devices.
- Monitor your traffic to identify potential intruders.
- Mandate the use of strong passwords and teach employees what a strong password actually is.
- Ensure all devices have the latest firewall protections, software and antivirus protections.
- Lock up company laptops at night.
- Utilize encryption for the transmission of all sensitive data.
- Delete the accounts of former employees and limit the number of employees who have admin access.
- Regularly back up all of your data in case some of your data is stolen.
It’s essential that you know how to prevent cyberattacks so you can sustain your business. Hackers can hurt you with very simple software programs such as Office 365.
Shred documents before you dispose of them
Never throw sensitive material straight into the trash – there is no telling who may find it. Instead, shred all sensitive documents such as customer quotes, printed communications, and invoices to minimize potential harm. Dispose of them via recycling for additional security.
Develop a response plan
If a security breach or break-in occurs, your team will not be able to think straight. This is why you need to formulate a response plan before anything ever happens to help people respond effectively. Train your staff in the appropriate protocols. Even if your team doesn’t ever need to utilize this knowledge, it will both relieve and empower them to know that there is a plan in place.
When you prepare and incorporate security into your small business now, you can help avoid cyber and physical attacks in the future. You can also provide yourself and your staff with peace of mind. You will never regret better protecting your small business.
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources and business news. Megan has several years of experience on the topics of small business marketing, copywriting, SEO, online conversions and social media. Megan spends much of her time establishing new relationships for ChamberofCommerce.com, publishing weekly newsletters educating small business on the importance of web presence, and contributing to a number of publications. Megan can be reached at [email protected] Website: www.chamberofcommerce.com.
Cyberattack stock photo by lolloj/Shutterstock