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The Ultimate Security Checklist for Small-Business Owners

By: Eleanor Hecks

 

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Small businesses are vulnerable to various security threats, whether physical or online. Many companies experience at least one type of instance — including break-ins, fraudulent payments, or data breaches.

All these risks should be a significant concern for small-business owners everywhere since they can have disastrous effects on your company and its employees.

Take the necessary precautions by using the ultimate checklist for small-business security.

1. Business Continuity Plan

A business continuity plan (BCP) creates preventive measures and recovery systems that deal with potential threats to an organization. It assures operations continue before and during recovery.

A BCP is critical when downtime is unacceptable and addresses operational security measures. For instance, cyberattacks are one of the most prevalent issues that disrupt business operations quickly.

BCPs help small organizations respond to disruptions and create resilient operational protocols.

2. Secure Business Website

Too often, small-business owners believe their organization is safe from cyberattacks. The reality is that cybercriminals are more likely to attack smaller companies because it’s easier than infiltrating a large organization.

A secure socket layer (SSL) and a payment card industry (PCI)-compliant provider are key to encrypting sensitive data and payment information.

Another measure you can take is investing in a website security tool to enhance your safety net. For instance, Sucuri SiteCheck is one of the most popular security check tools you can use as a plugin if you’re on WordPress.

3. Security Cameras

Security cameras are an excellent investment for small-business owners. They allow you to  view what’s happening remotely and provide surveillance around the property.

It’s important to monitor your business’s property when running an operation. There will be many circumstances where you’ll need to check in constantly, especially when you’re not there.

While security cameras are excellent for maintaining observations, they can also deter potential burglars from accessing the building.

For best results, install the security cameras at each entry point and keep them always running.

4. Protocols for Maintaining Access

Controlling physical access to the workplace is the best way to keep the business safe. Establish protocols for distributing keys, determining which employees should get one and tracking them when people leave the company.

Most businesses keep confidential information and valuable products or equipment in the building, so these items should stay secure in a locked room. Only give access to those who need to use them.

Entrances to the building should be locked outside to prevent burglaries. In addition, you can limit customers’ access to one entry for constant monitoring.

5. Small-Business Security System Policy

Establishing a policy communicates security responses. It gives employees an understanding of what to do during an emergency. Guidelines on responding should include threats from an intruder, attack, and suspicious behavior.

Another policy to add is a communication procedure for threats to the staff. This can include an intercom, telephone, or an alarm they can activate when in danger.

Identify a plan for communicating with others and establish an emergency meeting area where first-aid supplies are close.

6. Train Employees on Cybersecurity

Most people believe hackers continually monitor any opportunities to steal your system’s data. However, most breaches occur due to human negligence.

Employees should understand how to keep their physical and digital work secure. They can achieve this by locking up their workstations and keeping passwords strong. Small measures like this truly enhance a business’s security system.

Furthermore, small-business security training is key to preventing threats. This must occur regularly so employees can stay updated on the latest procedures.

7. A Confidentiality Agreement

Small-business security starts with employees understanding what information should be kept confidential. For instance, they could unknowingly share your company’s sensitive data for all to see on social media. This makes it effortless for cybercriminals to hack sensitive information, making your business and clients vulnerable to threats.

Communicating with your employees and making explicit statements in a confidentiality agreement is a great starting point. You’ll also need to get their signatures and consider creating a full company policy on confidential information and social media use.

8. Keep Identification and Passwords Protected

Use small-business security to protect company passwords and user data. Remembering login information can help keep hackers at bay. For example, many small-business owners decide to use the “remember my login” feature to keep things going at a quick pace. However, this gives hackers the ability to breach confidential information. Instead of using this feature, consider a tool like Dashlane to protect your accounts. Using password protection tools allows you to auto-create a new one each time you log in.

Repeating the same passwords for different accounts puts you at risk for cyberattacks. Your small business must have a secure online presence.

9. Maintain Documented Processes

Creating and maintaining processes and procedures requires time and money investments. However, you receive several benefits by implementing this in the workplace.

First, you can identify gaps in internal operations and reduce the chances of fraud. Documenting the way you operate can also minimize the liability of employee error.

Finally, it establishes a backup plan for disasters when sudden changes or breakdowns occur in technology, operations, and staff.

Keeping Small-Business Security in Check

Remember that your small business’s security is constantly evolving. Hackers and burglars will always find new ways to steal from your company. It’s important to have a plan and inform employees about security standards.

Once you make security a priority for your company, you can ensure your business’s protection for the future.

Published: February 9, 2022
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