When you’re managing a business, it seems like you need to be thinking about and staying on top of a thousand things at once. Your customers, products, services, staff, and business goals are all being balanced with finances, ethics, environmental concerns, and world events.
The following will take a closer look at just one aspect of managing a business: security.
In today’s technology-heavy world, security has multiple meanings. There’s our physical security that needs to be taken into consideration to help keep employees, clients, property, and finances safe.
Then there are the digital privacy and security measures that need to be put in place and maintained.
Before we dive in, it’s crucial to point out that if you or someone else at your company has any reason to feel particularly unsafe, like you’ve received threats or have any reason to believe you’ve been targeted especially for a crime, you must reach out to the appropriate authorities as soon as possible.
The following tips, of course, will increase your safety, but threats or gut feelings should never be ignored.
Conduct Regular Safety Audits
Before you get started tweaking or adding to your security systems, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of conducting regular audits both in your digital and physical locations.
You might even want to hire outside help for this as there are security experts who know common routes and methods of security breaches and so can likely point out where you have room for improvement.
There are also countless free online tools that can help you examine your online security. Often all you need to share is your website URL.
It is essential that you continue to conduct these audits even after you’ve altered your current situation. Hackers and criminals are continually developing new methods of breaching existing systems, and this means you also need to be constantly learning and adjusting to new technological developments.
Understand Security Compliance Requirements
If your business is accepting money from customers or clients, or other businesses, you need to ensure that you’re meeting the current security requirements for this. These compliance standards were developed to help protect credit card users and debit card users from potential crimes like stolen identities or stolen funds. Like all other security measures, these standards do update from time to time, so keep checking back every so often.
Update Your Software
Speaking of updates, when it comes to any software you use in your business, completing regular updates is a crucial part of keeping things secure. Oftentimes software updates (as annoying as those messages to update are) are crucial parts of digital safety.
If a company notices there’s a flaw in their security or a hack or workaround is discovered (or revealed by cybercriminal activity), an update is created immediately to prevent the same issue from happening.
Completing updates helps to protect you from these loopholes. It also means that the software you’re using has been out in the world for less time. Often, the less time hackers have had to play around with your software, the lower your risk of being hacked.
Update Your Locks
This is another point that isn’t brought up enough. Depending on how long your business has been functioning, it might be time for you to get your locks refurbished. If you’ve had a break-in, this is an absolute must, but even if you haven’t, it’s a good idea to keep the locks fresh.
It’s also a good idea to find a local locksmith to help you out with this, seeing as they might be more aware of some of the common tricks that local thieves have been using.
Use the phone book or search online for locksmiths in your area. If you’re in Perth, for instance, you’d search: locksmith from Perth. Once you have new locks in place, pay close attention to who you’ve given the key(s) to and who should be using the locks.
Learn About Where Your Data Goes
Most businesses are using a few different platforms to keep their work smooth and steady. Most businesses also collect data on their staff, clients, and daily on-goings. If any outside party is hosting or has access to this data (let’s say your website platform provider or your newsletter service), it is your responsibility to ensure that you’ve learned about where this data goes and what it’s used for while it’s there.
You should be able to tell your employees and your customers exactly where their data goes and whether or not any third parties have access to it. In today’s digital world, more and more people are learning about data rights and data privacy risks.
If you can’t keep something like your staff’s social insurance number or a client’s credit card number safe, they will eventually figure this out and end up working or shopping somewhere else. You can expect that one day soon, there will be legal ramifications for negligence when it comes to data.
Avoid all that trouble now, and make sure you know where this precious information is going.
Keep Things Visible And Lit
One of the best ways to prevent burglary is to make it hard to break into your business without the perpetrator being seen.
Things like tall shrubs or trees covering up windows or keeping all the lights off at night can make it easier for someone to get away with a crime. Motion detector lights outside are also a wonderful choice in the evenings. If there’s the risk of being seen as someone goes through your store or office, you can bet that fewer people are going to take the chance and choose your location to mess with.
The above tips should get you started on business safety and security. Again, it is vital that you don’t consider this process a one-and-done situation. Security is a constantly evolving process that involves regular audits and flexible adjustments to new information.
If you feel stuck and like there’s no room for improvement, take the time to consult a professional. Speak to your staff as well about potential security risks and threats. Sometimes one person’s role leaves them privy to weak points in your security system.