Money isn’t the only thing that attracts criminals. In a world that has been rapidly adapting to digital spaces, even your business data and your private information have become their own kind of currency.
Today it isn’t just your physical assets that need protecting. Your digital information needs ample security, too.
The recent ForgeRock Consumer Identity Breach Report by the aforementioned identity platform provider reveals more than 5 billion record breaches in 2019 alone. This cost U.S. companies $1.2 trillion, with the healthcare sector being the most targeted.
Businesses across every industry are vulnerable to attack. Small and large companies alike should then have the necessary protection methods installed.
Protecting Your Physical Space
The digital sphere has indeed become the new battleground for identity and information theft. But this is no excuse to neglect security measures in your physical office. On the contrary, it has become even more vital for the safety of your business.
1. Set up a security system.
Visible commercial alarm systems are an immediate deterrent for thieves. These monitor the premises of your work even in the absence of employees. Go for a system that connects to the police in the event of an attempted break-in.
It will also be best to pair it with sturdy padlocks, deadbolts, and CCTV cameras. For extra security, install bars to prevent entry through windows. If your company has its own lot, a high fence is another good preventive measure.
2. Have a stringent hiring process.
Keeping your office space secure also means making sure that the people who work in it are trustworthy. Don’t just readily accept the information written on an applicant’s résumé or CV. Run a background check of potential hires and call up their references during the recruitment process.
Criminal history, employment history, and online presence are musts when doing checks on applicants. This is especially important for employees who will be handling sensitive information regularly, such as accountants.
3. Keep important files in a safe or other locked storage.
Keep your confidential documents in locked drawers or cabinets that only certain employees have the keys or passcodes for. If you also keep petty cash and other valuables in the office, place them in a safe when not needed. Store them in a way that protects the documents from disintegrating or getting damaged in storage.
Protecting Your Digital Data
Compromising your business’s digital information won’t only expose your company’s confidential information. It also endangers your employees, clients, and customers and could result in a loss of trust in your company. Take these measures to stay secure in the digital space.
1. Use reliable antivirus software.
Good antivirus software detects risky or unsafe websites and either gives a warning or blocks the site entirely depending on its assessment. This prevents the transfer of content that can compromise the information on your computer. An anti-virus also scans sketchy emails and attachments to avoid phishing.
Because antivirus software has different provisions, choose one that addresses the needs of your business. Also, remember that to keep your work computers safe, your software needs to be up-to-date. Install automatic updates to keep your business’s and your employee’s data secure with minimal supervision.
2. Set up firewalls.
While antivirus software keeps your internal computer system safe from threats, a firewall ensures your business’s network security. Firewalls monitor the traffic in your network and make the important decision of allowing or blocking it.
Keep offline backups of your important data to keep them safe from erasure in the case of hacking. Also, even with digital information, make sure that only those with authorized access can interact with sensitive data. The more you limit access, the less stress there will be in safeguarding your business information.
3. Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication.
Instruct your employees to use complicated passwords and change them every three months at least. This keeps potential hackers guessing and can discourage them from attempting to access your information at all.
Employing multi-factor authentication is a safer precaution, too, when logging in online. This only grants a user access when they have supplied evidence, such as a one-time password sent via mobile phone, that they have the right to access that account. While these take a bit more time to set up and put to practice, they are also an effective safety feature to protect your employees individually.
When considering the protection of your company assets, always think in both physical and digital terms. This will keep your bases covered and protect the people and the data involved in your business.