Security is becoming a more and more topical issue for small businesses as phishing attacks become more sophisticated and data mining calls are becoming more common. Here are our tips on keeping your small business more secure:
Get the basics right
Make sure all work computers, tablets, and mobile devices require a password for access. For computers, make sure that individual users have different logins and everyone signs out when leaving a device unattended. You should also have antivirus and malware software on all computers, and keep them updated! And of course, even though we all hate to do it, change passwords regularly – about every four to six months.
If you have an office or shop, ensure all access points, including windows, have locks secured. Every evening when the last person leaves the premises, all access points should be checked to ensure everything is locked properly.
Make note of who has access to and holds keys to the premises. If you have an office in which customers are not required to come through the door, electronic fob keys are the most secure option.
Physical copies of sensitive information should always be shredded before being recycled. This includes not only customer details and credit card information, but material which is sensitive to your company and employees.
Inform your staff
Unsuspecting employees are becoming the largest cause of security breaches. It is therefore important that you and your staff are aware of the gravity of phishing scams and identity theft, and behave appropriately online.
It’s also crucial to limit the amount of information staff can take off the premises or store on their own devices if this is permitted. The fewer places sensitive information is accessible without your supervision, the more secure your company and customers will be.
Employees also need to be aware of what they can and can’t do with customers’ personal information and should be aware of appropriate security questions to ask before disclosing any account or personal information to external parties.
Security is crucial and things are always changing as culprits think of new ways to scam businesses and access privy information so keep yourself and your employees updated on any changes in this area.
Inventory your sensitive information
Sensitive material should only be stored on very few devices. Keep track of which company (and personal) devices store or easily have access to customers’ private information. That way, if devices are lost, stolen, or breeched, you can easily and quickly take measures to address this and minimise the resulting damage.
Encryption is especially important if you utilise mobile devices to help run your SME. Encryption might sound like a complicated high-tech process but there are many applications that will easily encrypt sensitive information for you. This way, if any company devices are lost or stolen, it will keep the data secure from compromise.
If you ask customers to enter any sensitive or personal information, such as their credit card details, you should use Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) on your website to create a secure connection. This will help keep information secure and shows site visitors the trusted lock icon next to your URL in a web browser, reassuring potential customers that your site is trustworthy.
If you aren’t sure what the best precautions are for your specific business, hire a professional to advise you. Consultants can help you design and implement a plan that’s appropriate for your business. Investigate which reputable consultants with expertise in your specific industry are most appropriate for your business and let them help you keep your business secure.