In the business world, security and success go hand in hand. Entrepreneurs work hard to build their companies, but there are plenty of people out there willing and able to take it all away. With so many businesses making the switch to digital storefronts, online accounting and e-commerce, there's a good chance that your business could be vulnerable to exploitation from criminals. Here are five ways that you can keep your business safe so it can prosper.
All but gone is the era of conducting financial transactions with a wad of cash in hand. The convenience and efficiency of online money transfers has proven too valuable to give up, even though it comes with a host of potential security issues, mostly revolving around unscrupulous hackers. The good news is that transaction security measures are keeping up with the times, using increasingly sophisticated measures such as blockchain encryption to keep credit and debit cards safe. Something that banks and credit unions have been doing recently is offering secured credit card options for people with poor credit as an incentive to build trust and responsibility within our fast-paced digital financial world.
Data breaches are one of the most serious and costly threats to business security in the world today. According to Security Magazine, the average cost of a data breach for small businesses in 2018 fell somewhere between $36,000 and $50,000. It is absolutely essential that companies of all sizes invest in online security measures such as antivirus software and firewalls, and install them on every device used for company purposes. Never be afraid to call in the experts. In fact, there is a whole industry of ethical hackers who bring their talents to bear finding security holes in computer systems before malicious users have the chance to abuse them.
Getting hacked is just one way that a company can lose vital data. Human error, electrical surges and software corruption can obliterate your records just as easily. Whatever the cause, studies show that the average cost of each lost record is around $150 and the most important part of mitigating the impact of data loss is to have a plan of response. A core aspect of this plan needs to include having backups of all vital data. A good idea is to have both digital copies in the cloud and physical duplicates stored on flash drives.
With cyber security being so important, it's easy to relegate physical security concerns to the backburner. Business owners do this at their peril. This is about more than the prospect of getting robbed; in fact, these two fronts in the battle against crime are indelibly linked. Many cyber criminals exploit lapses in physical security to access company data through methods as brazen as simply stealing computer systems to operations as subtle as "dumpster diving,' which is exactly what it sounds like. Sensitive documents and passwords are improperly disposed of more often than you'd think, so keep all of this information behind lock and key or shred it completely after use.
By far the most important thing to remember regarding business security is that all protocols are only as effective as the people implementing them. A policy that gets ignored may as well have not even been created in the first place. Safety culture starts at onboarding, where new employees need to be made aware of company guidelines regarding everything from computer usage to locking up at night. It's equally important to retrain veteran employees who may become lax over time. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a list of basic standards that workplaces should employ as a matter of course, even regarding the use of digital tools.
If you're just starting a business, you've probably run through a lot of scenarios in your head about how things could go wrong. Here's hoping that these five tips have starting you thinking about what could go right when you take the smart approach to business security.
Publish Date: March 5, 2021 9:24 PM