Business security is a growing concern, especially as news about hacking seems to be in every headline these days. Even if you’re a small-business owner, you’ll want to take measures to stay secure. You don’t need a big budget to make a few changes that can have a lasting, significant effect. Here are three steps that you can take right away to improve your business-security profile without breaking the bank.
Institute Carefully Crafted Security Policies
Your employees may have no idea which of their habits make your business less secure. Crafting a simple, well-thought-out policy manual can make a big difference. For example, do your employees know not to click on any links that are sent to them by email? In a common phishing scam, a hacker might pretend to be from Google and send an email with a fake link that requires your employee to enter their Gmail username and password. If they do, they’re compromised. This phishing scam is so surprisingly effective that it’s even tricked politicians. So one of your policies might involve educating employees about avoiding phishing scams.
There are a number of items you can put in your security manual. These can include making sure staff know that you have remote access to all employees’ computers, installing malware and antivirus programs, periodic software security updates, backing up data on a secure cloud, reporting security concerns immediately, only using secure systems when transferring sensitive data and more. The SANS Institute has a long list of policy templates that you can review here for ideas.
Install Security Cameras
Security cameras, both indoors and outdoors, can make a big difference in your security profile. Simply having cameras installed outside your business can deter break-ins. And if someone does steal your property, you can review the footage to try to determine who it was. In fact, security cameras are important enough that one city recently passed a law requiring all businesses to install security cameras in the workplace.
You’ll need cameras that either store footage on a PVR or on a secure cloud. Make sure you have a battery backup for your cameras and PVR, in case the power’s cut. If you’re using a cloud service, you’ll want to pay the subscription to keep your footage for a month or longer. If your footage is automatically backed up, then you’ll still be able to review your recordings even if your cameras are stolen. As far as the type of camera that you’ll purchase, any camera is better than none—but if your budget allows, invest in higher-resolution cameras so you can read license plates and help police better identify suspects.
Use Passwords Wisely
Finally, but perhaps most important of all, is keeping tight control over your passwords. Make sure all employee PCs are password-protected and automatically log out after a short period of inactivity. Make sure your Wi-Fi is password protected. If you must have a Wi-Fi channel for guests, give it a password that you change daily or weekly. And don’t forget to invest in a business-wide password manager for your staff. A password manager ensures your employees only use secure passwords (not the lazy “12345” versions). It also gives you access to everyone’s passwords, lets you change passwords quickly if there’s a breach and lets you revoke passwords if someone leaves the company.
It doesn’t cost much to set up a good business-security profile. Take smart steps with passwords, install security cameras and create a carefully crafted security policy that you distribute to your staff. These three steps will help put your business on the path to becoming fully secure.