You’ve worked hard to create and grow a business that you depend on. The last thing you want is for someone to take it from you. You don’t have a lot of extra cash right now, so you can’t afford to spend much to improve small business security.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend a lot to make a difference.
Like you, criminals (cyber-criminals in particular) also run a business. They balance revenues from what they have stolen against expenses—what it costs to run a campaign, find people to buy the stolen items or data, operate servers and pay rent. If their stolen inventory currently isn’t worth much, they may hold on to it like an asset and sell it later.
Like other businesses, criminals seek to lower their costs. They go after the easiest targets. To deter them, your business just has to be more difficult to attack than another one they can hack or walk into. If you have cameras mounted on the ceiling, even if they don’t do anything and just the light is on, that can make a difference.
With these principles in mind, consider these 10 inexpensive ways to improve small business security:
Check the Building Daily
Build a sense of what is normal by quickly checking your premises twice a day, before and after work. This habit alerts you to potential crime as soon as possible. It’s your business, so you will naturally watch most carefully. But, ask your employees to also be aware and report anything out of the ordinary.
Greet Every Customer and Visitor
A security tip from retail, “eyes high and smile,” reminds employees how to engage customers and office visitors. If you greet people when they walk in, they are less likely to steal from you. They know someone is paying attention and watching.
Install Digital Security Cameras
Installing digital security cameras is one of the easiest and most effective ways of boosting security in your business. HD Digital Cameras use existing computer network wiring or Wi-Fi for connectivity.
These inexpensive, Internet Protocol (IP) cameras quickly and easily network into a single security system with DVR capabilities. Then, you’ll access video footage or the live feed from anywhere in the world.
Shred Important Documents Before Discarding
Any material with sensitive or valuable information poses a risk to the business if discarded carelessly. Shred old bank statements, customer quotes or other printed material that interested parties might retrieve from the trash.
Inventory and Label Office Equipment
Create a complete inventory of office equipment, including computers, laptops, cameras, and machines used in the operation of your business. Attach a label or sticker to each item with an identifying number and company name or logo. Review the list regularly to check for missing items.
Create a Social Media Policy
Unless you instruct them not to, employees may share business information through their personal social media accounts. Create a social media policy and train workers how to appropriately handle business information.
Train Employees Regularly
Most small business hacks result from lapses in the weakest link, the people. Ransomware often enters a network through an email that has enticed an unknowing employee to click on a malicious link or attachment. Effective and regular employee training is the best way to thwart these phishing scams.
Add Contract Language to Hold Vendors Accountable
When you select a software vendor, use your legal documents to pass along to the supplier responsibility for the loss of data. That is typically enough to protect you. It’s amazing how vigilant a supplier gets if in your terms of renewal, you pass along the liability.
Limit the risk of data or equipment theft by making it harder to access sensitive information and valuable equipment. Limit access to employees that need it to perform their work.
This applies to both physical security and computer access. Simple things such as effective password and authentication policies, key procedures, and deadbolts on doors go a long way toward increasing security.
Develop a Security-First Mindset
Effective business security depends on an attitude that starts at the top. Cultivate a security-first mindset in employees by involving them in planning how to protect them and the business most effectively. They will contribute numerous additional inexpensive ways to improve small business security.
Get Expert Help to Improve Small Business Security
Keep in mind that the doer should never be the checker. A mistake we have seen in retail is that the same firm has been doing the security audit and deployment for a long time. Because of that, there are no new fresh ideas coming in.
Rotate some of the vendors every few years. The small business security experts at eMazzanti can walk you through numerous tools and ideas. For not a lot of money you can make it difficult for a bad person to take advantage.