As we transition from 2015 to 2016, it’s becoming increasingly clear that cyber security is a major issue for small businesses. In fact, most small businesses are at a higher risk of being attacked than large corporations. This is because criminals know small businesses are less likely to be protected. If you want your business to be safe in 2016, it’s time that you start thinking about online and offline security measures.
Focus on Security in 2016
If you want to understand the significance of cyber security, just consider that most companies now have cyber security insurance to offset the rise in cybercrime. This is a market that is set to triple in the next five years to the tune of $7.5 billion. These insurance policies are designed to mitigate financial losses that come as a result of liability claims.
From a physical security perspective, it should be noted that burglary and theft is at an all-time high. Small businesses are losing $25,000 to $33,000 in merchandise every minute to shoplifters. Roughly 64 percent of all small businesses are affected by employee theft. Furthermore, businesses are four times more likely to be burglarized than homes.
5 Tips for Enhancing Security
With security threats existing both online and offline, it’s imperative that businesses place a stronger emphasis on security and safety. Here are five tips you may consider implementing in 2016.
- Reevaluate Firewalls
Your network needs a strong firewall for protection. This is the first line of defense against a hacker. If your firewall becomes compromised, it may become possible for these criminals to access your payment terminal. All a hacker has to do is blow past your firewall, insert some malware, and they can then steal important data such as credit card information, personal information, and confidential business files. By installing the right firewall on your network, you can ensure you’re protected 24/7/365.
- Require Uniforms and Badges
In large companies, it’s not uncommon for employees to only know a few people in the company. One of the negatives to this is that it becomes easy for intruders to gain access to your building without being noticed. An easy way to increase security is to require employees to wear badges and uniforms. These items create an additional layer of security and facilitate better communication between employees.
- Frequently Change Passwords
Everyone with access to your network should be required to change their account passwords on a regular basis. Modern hackers are often able to crack passcodes and will continue to use them if they’re never changed. As a side note, it’s also smart to require complex passwords. These should contain a combination of numbers, letters, and symbols, and always be at least seven or eight characters long.
- Install Video Security
How many times have you seen security footage of a crime on the news? Would your business have the luxury of distributing the same footage if a crime occurred on your premises? If you don’t have a video security solution, the answer would be no. Video security is affordable, so go ahead and upgrade your buildings with this advanced technology.
- Reconsider BYOD Policies
Finally, it may be time to reconsider your company’s BYOD policies. If you’re currently pretty lax about which devices employees can bring to work and how they can use them, it’s time to crack down. If you’re going to have a BYOD policy, there need to be strict rules.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
The biggest piece of advice a small business owner can heed is to be aware of your surroundings. Whether you’re working on your website or closing up shop for the weekend, continually be on the lookout for ways to enhance security and avoid exposure to risk. These five tips have proved enormously helpful for countless businesses and they can help you, too.