Small business owners are vulnerable to a variety of threats because of their assets and relatively lower protection compared to larger corporations. While you may have enough assets to make your business a target to criminals, you may not have the resources to invest in the amount of protection you need. Luckily, entrepreneurs have a range of resources available to protect their companies.
Keeping Fleets Safe
Equipment and vehicles are one of your more valuable resources, so you’ll want to take steps to care for them. When you have a small business or just don’t have a very large fleet, you don’t have as many vehicles to watch. Still, that doesn’t mean you should ignore taking care of these vehicles. Even smaller fleets have many of the same issues as larger ones. Consider looking into GPS fleet tracking for small businesses to help your operations become simpler. GPS tracking devices are also helpful for theft recovery if your vehicles were to be stolen. You can also check for unauthorized use and get alerts in real-time. The location feature makes it easier for the vehicle to be recovered if necessary.
Invest in the Right Tools
If you have valuable items or collect cash payments, consider investing in a safe. You can find fire-proof safes that will keep cash, checks, and important documents safe in case a disaster was to strike. Only a few people should have the combination, and you will want to change them regularly. This reduces the risk of an individual robbing it or helping an accomplice. You’ll also want to invest in fire safety systems. Even if you are careful to prevent a fire, it is still possible, especially if you live in an area where wildfires are a possibility. Consider investing in a fire alarm so the staff can be alerted if there is a fire. Everyone will have enough time to leave the building if it goes off. You may want a sprinkler system as well, which can prevent the flames from spreading. Depending on your location, it may be required to have these types of features.
Be Prepared for Physical Threats
Consider creating a standard operating procedure for physical threats so employees know how to respond. You may also want to install cameras and invest in continual monitoring. There are also alarm systems that will notify security organizations if there is a break-in at your organization.
Get the Right Type of Insurance
It is still possible for your business to be a victim, even if you have the right protection in place. It’s a good idea to have insurance in place, as having it ensures you will not go bankrupt in the case of an incident. You can get reimbursement or other payments to help mitigate the expenses. You may already be required to have property insurance, especially if you already own the building. It’s also a good idea to get insurance if you are just renting, as this can protect your assets. You’ll want to consider getting vehicle insurance for each vehicle in your fleet. If you use your personal vehicle for business, your personal insurance may not cover damage that occurs as a result, so make sure to do your research.
Focus on Cybersecurity
It’s a good idea to ensure you invest in the right cybersecurity tools. Depending on the company, you might need password managers, monitoring tools, antivirus software, and other cybersecurity tools. Implement strong password policies in the organization.
Pick the Right Passwords
Many organizations become the victims of cybercriminals because employees don’t choose strong enough passwords, even if the account is critical to operations. Implement a policy that all passwords need to be long enough and contain a variety of characters, such as numbers, special symbols, and uppercase and lowercase letters. Every account needs to have its own password as well. You can use a password manager tool to ensure these requirements are met so no one is allowed to create one that does not meet the requirements.
Implement Basic Digital Safety Practices
Make sure software is regularly updated. Manufactures offer updates to fix vulnerabilities and bugs that cybercriminals might exploit otherwise. You should update it on a regular basis, and consider enabling automatic updates whenever possible. This will protect your business data from some of the more common threats. It’s also important that employees know not to put unknown drives or USB devices into their computers. If there is malicious software on these drives, it could cause the computer to be infected, and that could spread to the entire network. Make sure employees know not to click on suspicious links as well. Depending on your email provider, you may be able to enable holds for suspicious messages so they don’t get delivered to employees’ main inboxes. They should also not try to download any attachments if they do not know where they came from.
Keep Networks and Devices Safe
All business wi-fi networks need to be secured using strong passwords. These passwords should be changed on a regular basis. It’s also a good idea to use a VPN to help keep data encrypted. This also secures remote connections. It is equally important to ensure employee devices are secured. Consider implementing a BYOD policy for all employees who bring their own devices into the workplace. The policy can create limitations that protect the network and company assets. You can create guidelines for acceptable use as well.
Consider Your Employees
It’s a good idea to limit employees’ access to certain types of data. They should not have access to information unless they really need to. You can also divide up users based on who needs what type of information. Limiting access to information means that if one account becomes compromised, the information will still be safe. You should also offer training to employees on best practices on how to keep data safe. Offering regular training to workers allows them to stay updated with best practices, and they will be more likely to implement them in their everyday work.