Security should be your main priority whether you own a startup or an established business. This is where the safety of your employees, customers, and other stakeholders lies.
There are physical security threats that could cause serious harm to individuals on your commercial premises. Natural disasters like fire, flood, typhoon, tsunami, earthquake, or hurricane can destroy your building and assets. Likewise, there are man-made threats, like theft and vandalism, that could leave people injured or, worse, dead. These could translate to costly lawsuits and reputational damage.
Besides physical safety risks, cybercrimes are also common. These include phishing, malware, ransomware, and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. These can all affect data integrity and cause downtime in operations, which also affects your finances. This is why companies outsource cyber security services in Orange County or any part of the globe. Information technology (IT) experts implement network security solutions to protect data infrastructure from these threats.
If you’re able to protect your business from these risks, you might gain these benefits:
- Minimizing the risk of losing data, money, and reputation due to attacks
- Avoiding lawsuits from disgruntled consumers who became victims of identity fraud and physical injuries
- Achieving compliance with government regulations
Now, here are five preventive measures to keep your company safe from security threats:
Evaluate Existing Security Measures
Before you start taking steps to fight security risks, assessing your existing procedures is a must. This allows you to identify the vulnerabilities in your establishment and networks. That way, you can act on them before they become targets of data breaches or prone to stealing and violent attempts.
A successful evaluation includes developing a risk assessment plan. This indicates how much you need to invest in security solutions and which areas require more attention from your team. However, update this plan periodically to monitor your security measures’ effectiveness better.
Disaster-Proof Your Establishment
Once you receive the report of your security risk evaluation, it’s time to act on it. The first area you can focus on is your whole building. This means that if it’s prone to disasters, ensure your establishment is as safe as possible from flooding or any form of destruction.
The following are the best practices for transforming your building into a disaster-proof establishment:
- Protect original documents from leaks and fires by storing them inside an emergency-proof safe, a secure business storage unit, or a sturdy glass cabinet.
- Migrate your data into the cloud to secure backup copies of files. This ensures that even if the original documents got flooded or burnt, you still have duplicates in the cloud servers. In short, you reduce the risk of losing important information, like customer data, invoices, intellectual property, and financial records. However, make sure to implement security measures to protect these files from any cyber-attacks.
- Apply for disaster insurance coverage to reduce losses following a catastrophe. Your company can return to its daily operations even after a natural disaster.
- Install hurricane-proof windows and doors, like those made of laminated glass. Unlike standard glass, this alternative can withstand harsh weather elements, such as high and lightning strikes. This prevents windows from shattering during storms, reducing the risk of injuries.
- Conduct fire drills so that all employees know the necessary actions in case of fire, making it possible to save lives.
- Create a downtime response plan in case a disaster affects your entire establishment. For instance, if you learn it could take three months to restore electricity in your building, consider adopting remote work. This ensures that your employees remain productive. But this shouldn’t apply if the disaster affects an entire city or region, as your workers will also require assistance.
- Elevate your building, and ensure the roof and the gutters are regularly maintained by a commercial roofing specialist, especially if it’s within a flood zone. This minimizes damage during floods that could cause electrocution or damage to assets.
- Invest in backup power sources so your company stays connected to electricity during a blackout or power failure. In addition, consider installing a water tank to supply water throughout the building after a flood or to ease firefighting efforts.
With a disaster-proof commercial space, you ensure that your establishment and operations stay intact amidst natural emergencies.
Establish Cybersecurity Measures
Cybercriminals continuously increase their efforts to compromise business data as companies adopt the latest technologies for streamlining tasks. As such, developing cybersecurity strategies is essential to counter possible attacks.
Here are some of the most effective cybersecurity practices to secure your organization against data threats:
- Equip your in-house it staff with modern knowledge and tools to handle advanced cyber-attacks.
- Install anti-virus software and a computer VPN to detect malware before it reaches your network. This dual approach enhances your cybersecurity measures, providing a robust defense against potential threats.
- Enable multi-factor authentication so that intruders won’t gain access to your devices and accounts. MFA requires users to enter a one-time PIN that the system sends through an SMS or email. Cybercriminals also have to answer a secret question before they access data. There’s an even more advanced option where the system asks for biometrics for user identity verification. So, unless a hacker passes all these steps, they remain locked out of your company data stores due to a series of failed attempts.
- Encrypt sensitive information to ensure that unauthorized users won’t be able to decode documents without a decryption key. Even if they gain access to your files, they won’t read the text as it’s gibberish. This ensures that sensitive information remains confidential and out of reach from prying eyes.
- Regularly update operating systems by enabling notifications of patches and updates. This corrects errors in software that could leave your business vulnerable to hackers.
- Conduct cybersecurity awareness training for employees so they won’t fall victim to scams. They’ll know how to spot a phishing email or recognize suspicious activities on the computer screens. If any of these occurs, your workers will report the incident to their supervisors, or IT support to mitigate risks early on.
- Reconsider your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD Policy), as it can leave your company vulnerable to sharing of confidential data. This is especially true if you adopt a flexible work setting. Your team members might unknowingly give access to devices to their family members, which might compromise sensitive records. For instance, an accidental file deletion might occur, causing data loss.
- Outsource IT experts if you want to avoid training and implementing an in-house IT team. Outsourced managed IT services like GuidePoint Security can help you manage all your IT needs without investing in infrastructure or hiring staff members.
With cybersecurity practices in place, your company complies with data privacy standards. Aside from that, you reduce the risk of intruders penetrating your networks and devices. Ensure you have an expert IT team to monitor any vulnerability to strengthen your data security measures.
Strengthen Physical Security
Stealing, vandalism, terrorism, and violent attacks are considered physical security threats. These can cause damage to property, injuries to employees and consumers, and even death. And if your business establishment doesn’t have appropriate measures, everyone is vulnerable to such threats.
Here are tips for improving your company’s physical security strategies:
- Keep an inventory of all assets, such as documents, machinery, and fleet, to monitor them. You can install radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on all assets. If an intruder steals them, you can track their location and let authorities handle the incident.
- Hire additional security personnel who are always present in your establishment. Guards can take turns roaming around while others monitor entry and exit points. That way, they can respond to suspicious activities in and outside the building.
- Invest in video surveillance cameras at all points to have legitimate proof of any theft or damage.
- Attach alarm systems to alert the security personnel of unauthorized entry into secure areas.
- Install motion detection technology around your property’s perimeters to keep intruders away from your establishment. This is especially helpful after business hours when everyone is gone for the day, and robbery often occurs.
- Upgrade locks for doors and windows so criminals can’t use these access points to commit crimes.
- Limit access to confidential areas using biometric control systems.
- Provide vehicle entry barriers, such as boom gates or manual and automatic parking barriers.
- Manage visitors by providing them with temporary identification cards with tags. For instance, you have vendors roaming around the warehouse to re-stock supplies. These tags make it easy to track their movements across the facility. That way, security personnel can take action once a vendor tries to access an unauthorized room.
- Conduct background checks for employees during the hiring process. This is essential as it verifies any new hire’s work and criminal history before they begin working in the company. This prevents crimes from happening.
- Create an exit policy for leaving employees, including handing them access cards and identification badges. This ensures they won’t be able to get into the building again to tarnish restricted areas and assets. This is especially true if they’re leaving because of a violation, thus the dismissal.
Upgrading your physical security measures ensures your workplace stays alert in case of any untoward incident. This creates a safe working environment for the employees, even customers transacting in the establishment.
Establish an Incident Response Plan
Ensure you have an incident response plan in case of a security threat. This includes reporting it to local authorities and contacting medical assistance if necessary. Look for a corporate lawyer if there’s a legal claim about a workplace-related accident due to the said threat. They’ll defend your business and ensure they represent your company well during trials. Having these preventive measures in place reduces reputational risk.
As a business owner, you’re responsible for keeping everyone safe in your commercial building. Whether it be a customer, a team member, a vendor, or a business partner, their protection is your number one concern.
This is why taking steps to protect your business from any security threat is necessary. It involves redesigning your building layout to make it even sturdier, especially during a robbery or natural disaster. This also includes establishing an IT team that supports all your cybersecurity needs to safeguard business information.
And, of course, if any security risk happens, partnering with a credible attorney could save your brand image. This is important if you have proof that you’re not liable for any damage caused by the incident.