5 Ways to Keep your Business Safe

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Photo by FLY:D on Unsplash

Keeping your business safe involves a lot more than simply locking the office door at the end of the working day (although that is important!). Both physical and digital threats can crop up at any time, and making sure they are dealt with quickly and efficiently can be tricky; putting a plan in place early on can really help to make this easier in the long run.

So let’s take a look at some of these potential threats, and what you can do to keep your business security in tip-top shape.

1. Encryption – The digital lock and key

Different businesses have many different methods of storing and transferring files; internal servers, cloud storage, USB sticks, external hard drives etc. While there is no surefire “safest” method, the safety of physical media can be drastically improved with encryption.

Encryption involves taking the original information and data provided and encoding it, making it indecipherable to any unauthorised party. In most cases, the installation of a piece of encryption software is required, usually with a password protection feature. This could be applied to a USB stick, an external drive, or even an entire computer system, allowing confidential data to be stored and transferred safely and securely.

So if you were to leave a USB drive full of sensitive information on a train, or your bag with your business laptop inside goes missing, the information within is safe and protected from any prying eyes that might want to steal it.

2. Finance – Demisting the Cloud

As technological solutions within businesses continue to grow and develop, transferring data and information to the cloud becomes more sought after than ever, and for many good reasons. But exactly how safe is cloud storage? Is it secure enough for confidential information, such as accountancy software?

The answer is most certainly a resounding yes; a large number of businesses have already switched their accounts and payroll to cloud-based systems and software. Just some of the security features can include;

  • 128-bit data transmission encryption
  • Hardened networks and firewall systems
  • Real-time virus and security scanning
  • Third party penetration testing
  • User and system access control
  • Network component, server, and Uninterruptible Power Supply redundancies (to protect data corruption from power loss)

Different software and cloud packages come with varying levels of security, so it is definitely worth doing your homework before settling on the right system for your business. Keeping this in mind will save a lot of time and effort in the long run when it comes to data and business security.

3. Cyber Security – A digital shield

While we have touched upon encryption above for physical media, putting a plan in place to deal with digital threats is just as important. Whether it’s hackers trying to steal data and passwords, viruses and ransomware holding your data hostage, or Distributed Denial of Service attacks slowing down your networks and grinding the business to a halt, being prepared for each eventuality is worth the investment.

The easiest way to deal with attacks is stopping them from happening to begin with. Implementing a strong firewall to prevent incoming attacks is tantamount to a good cyber security strategy; keeping it updated, as well as running regular virus and malware scans on computer systems connected to the business network will help to keep the more aggressive attacks at bay.

Not all cyber security can come from software and technology; sometimes simply recognising threats manually can be enough to prevent a cyber attack. Ensure that employees are trained and confident that they can recognise threats such as scam emails/phishing, unsecure websites, and viruses latching onto downloaded files. Communicating any attempted attacks to the rest of the business is also highly important, as this ensures that everyone is aware in the event of a potential future attempt, and so it can be dealt with appropriately.

4. Access Control – What’s the magic word?

Not all business security measures involve data protection and digital systems; physical methods are also just as important. Locks, keys and secret knocks are all well and good, but they have their flaws and drawbacks. This is where an access control system might come in handy.

Access Control can take many forms, however the general principle remains the same; giving the right people access to the right places. For example, having a card and reader system with digital ID recognition can allow you to control which employees are allowed into different areas of the business. IT staff might need all-access passes to undertake their work, however, giving all staff and visitors the ability to enter research and development, or the finance department, might not be the best idea.

Additionally, the ability to disable or revoke access to a lost or stolen access pass remotely can prevent unwanted guests entering the business unnoticed; it’s considerably easier than changing all the locks after a key goes missing!

5. Fire Systems – Turning down the heat

Business security isn’t only about intruders and data theft; ensuring the general safety of the business, employees, data and systems is also key to business security. Keeping on top of fire alarm system servicing and maintenance is crucial, as in the event of a fire (where prevention isn’t possible), detection and suppression need to be implemented as quickly and safely as possible in order to minimise the risk to the business, data, and more importantly, life.

All fire alarm systems should be serviced and tested regularly, in accordance with your business’ fire policies and procedures. This allows any issues or faults to be identified, addressed, and resolved as early as possible, drastically lowering the chances of a system failure during a fire.

Maintaining business security can be difficult, but hopefully with these tips, it’s that little bit easier!