Security Tips to Safeguard Your Business Office, Bank Accounts & Data
If you run a small business, making money is only part of your job, because you have also got to worry about protecting what you earn from thieves. Businesses are four times more likely to become the target of burglary than home residences. Small businesses are now also a preferred target of cyber criminals, with spear-phishing attacks against businesses with less than 250 employees growing steadily from 18 percent of all cyber-attacks in 2011 to 43 percent in 2016, according to Symantec data. Your business bank account can also become a target for cyber thieves.
Here are some steps you can take to keep your building, bank account and business data secure.
Securing Your Building
The best type of door lock to use is a pin-cylinder lock with a dead bolt or double dead bolt. This type of lock is difficult to pick, preventing the standard method of sliding a piece of celluloid between the door edge and jamb. Bars can be added to rear doors, windows, skylights and other vulnerable entrance points for additional protection.
Keep records on any keys you distribute to employees, and require employees to turn them in when leaving. Avoid using a single master key for all locks and color-code keys so that only employees know which keys fit which locks.
Use gratings and special glass to protect displays. Leave safes as empty as possible during non-business hours. Place them near the front of the store in a location where a burglar attempting to access them could be seen from outside.
A good security system with a silent alarm, strong lighting and a high-tech camera system will go a long way toward deterring burglars, as businesses without security systems are four times more likely to be burglarized, a study published in Security Distributing and Marketing found.
Guarding Your Bank Account
Business bank accounts are also a target for thieves and unfortunately, banks have minimal liability for losses, putting the responsibility on the business owner to protect themselves. To counter your risk, talk to your bank and find out who handles their security and what steps they are already taking to prevent data breaches. To supplement your bank's existing safeguards, you can then outsource your security to a provider with expertise and high-quality security certification.
When accessing your bank, use a dedicated device with a dedicated secure browser, which reduces the risks that come from accessing accounts through multiple devices and computers. Limit access to your financial accounts to personnel who truly need it, such as your CEO and CFO/controller. You can also buy cyber theft insurance to protect yourself in the event of bank fraud from providers such as AIG, Chubb and Commercial Deposit Insurance Agency. Develop a response plan so that you're prepared for what to do in the event of a data breach.
Protecting Your Data
To protect your company's data, security provider Symantec recommends starting with a security audit to identify what sensitive data you have and what vulnerabilities it's exposed to. You should then take both technical steps to protect your data as well as steps to train your staff. Make sure your staff realizes the important role they play in protecting against attacks such as phishing, and implement policies to gain your staff's cooperation, such as insisting that all devices connected to your network are equipped with security software, mandating that sensitive data not be given over the phone and requiring that employees use secure networks when connecting.
On the technical side, use multiple layers of security that encompass your file and mail servers, network end-points and all connecting devices. Make sure you use strong passwords with long strings and a combination of alphanumeric characters, large and small letters, and symbols. Encrypt your network and data. And always back up your data so it can be recovered in the event of a breach.