Every successful business needs a solid foundation, with security as a prime concern. Today there are two types of security threats – physical and digital. Lapses in safety and security in each of these areas can spell disaster. Fraud, theft, fire, and data breaches can all put a sizable dent in the bottom line of your business.
Understand your business vulnerabilities
It’s important to understand all the threats and vulnerabilities that apply to your particular business if you want to protect it. Assess where improvements are needed and what policies must be implemented or tightened up based on risk levels.
For instance, if your physical store has some blind spots, you can install the right equipment to make them visible to employees and prevent shoplifting.
Invest in the right tools and security solutions
The best type of security solutions vary from business to business so it is wise to do some research. Reputable alarm system providers will come out to your site and assess your risks to enable them to provide you with the right solution.
You may find it useful to invest in a surveillance camera system that covers the most highly-trafficked and important areas.
State law requires you to implement a fire watch if you don’t have a fire alarm system and/or a water-based fire protection system.
Educate your employees on best practices
Invest in security awareness training for employees. This involves training them to pay attention, know what to look for and what to do in the event of a security breach. You need to make sure they know how to operate the electronic security controls you’ve put into place.
Retaining experienced and independent security consultants to deliver training is helpful and an in-house security team can then implement it.
If senior management sets an example, employees are more likely to follow when it comes to documenting, supporting, funding and adhering to security protocols.
Printing out security guidelines and posting them in places where employees congregate can help to keep them top-of-mind.
If processes aren’t being followed, you need to take disciplinary steps, such as issuing a written statement or retraining a team to enforce security policies.
Take digital security seriously
Businesses are increasingly using digital technology and storing client and customer data on local computers and in the cloud. The risks of customer data breaches, secret taps in a network, website hacking, etc. are increasing and you need security software on your computers to protect your files.
Make sure that the software and hardware you’re using is up to date and secured with the most recent security measures. This is particularly important for programs handing customer and payment data. Retail solutions such as staff management software, POS systems and payment processors often have built-in security measures.
Set up two-factor authentication on your most important apps. This means that two methods of verification are required to log in.
Following password best practices means changing passwords frequently – this includes passwords for door codes and logins to all online services used by your business. Strong passwords should have at least eight characters, numbers, symbols and upper and lowercase letters.
Storing sensitive information right on computers means if a computer is lost or stolen, that information is compromised. You should always have a set of back-ups to refer to, and update them on a daily or weekly basis.
Keeping them off-site to ensure safety or store them in a fire-proof safe. More businesses today are making use of the option of keeping business data in the cloud where it is encrypted and therefore, more secure.