The security of your company should be one of your top priorities and it is important to remember that your business is safest when you focus on both physical and cybersecurity concerns. Some top tips for securing your company include training employees, developing sound practices, and investing in comprehensive security systems. It is also important to ensure you are working with the customers, vendors, and partners you think you are through proper vetting and authentication.
Authenticate Customers and Vendors
Your company’s security can often boil down to making sure those you interact with are who they say they are. This means identity verification at a couple of different phases. For online or app-based customer portals, you can use multi-factor authentication solutions such as texting one-time passcodes, biometrics on mobile devices, or email verifications. This security makes it more difficult for malicious actors to gain access and can act as a warning for attempts to gain access. Employees should also check IDs against payment methods on-site.
For access to physical locations such as your server room, storage facilities, or other employee-only areas, vetting your vendors and business partners is important. It is a good idea to have a floor manager who is responsible for knowing which outside personnel are in their area and what they are doing, as well as a protocol in place for vetting new faces sent to stock or service equipment.
Invest in Physical Security
Using the standard door locks which came with your brick-and-mortar building is not as secure as investing in complex high-security locks on exterior doors as well as internal doors to file or server rooms. Having a state-of-the-art camera system is another good investment for physical security, especially if you can tie it in with your alarm systems and a 24-hr monitoring team. Cameras in high traffic areas can help you with insurance claims on theft, accidental injury, and even natural disasters when the footage is securely backed up both on and off-site.
Dispose of Items and Documents Properly
It is not enough to just throw away documents, electronic equipment, and other outdated items, for multiple reasons. Not only may your area have specific requirements for item disposal, but your sensitive information can be gathered from many of these things. You will want to shred documents before sending to paper recycling, wipe electronics before donation, and even check the drawers of desks before disposal.
Update Software Regularly
Updating your software on a regular basis does more than just give you the latest features, it also renews your usage agreements and improves security for those solutions. Older versions may have vulnerabilities to viruses or malware which have been addressed in the update and a lapse in your software license can lead to fines.
Develop a Device and Network Use Protocol
Employees, whether remote or on-site, have access to both work and personal devices which come with unique security risks. Mobile devices can create security gaps when a public internet network is used, and malware can upload to your network when connected. Developing policies and procedures around the use of both business and personal devices is the easiest way to establish safety protocols and avoid data breaches. This can include a prohibition from using a personal device at or for work, limits on what work devices can be used for, and even which devices can be used by remote workers.
Each of the above tips will only work if your employees are trained in both security basics and how each tip needs to function. Ongoing and verifiable training in the security policies, including having the employee sign to certify that they understand each one, can improve safe practices such as password security, checking customer identification for transactions, and logging out of devices properly.
The security of your company makes the difference between going bankrupt after a security breach and preventing one from happening at all. You will want to secure both your physical and digital property against malicious actors and protect your company from legal action with the right policies and procedures.