You think it will never happen to your business. A break-in? Stolen goods or data? It isn’t likely to happen, right? Wrong. As a business owner you need to take measures so your office, shop, or facility is safe and secure, 24 hours a day, from the inside out. Learn the lessons today on how you can evaluate your business’ security and take the steps to make sure your business is secure.
From someone off the street who sees an opportunity to burglarize your business, to a former employee who knows how to get in and steal data, there are dishonest people out there who can threaten the safety of your business.
But there are also ways to protect your company from security breaches. Read on to learn what you should do as a business owner to evaluate the security of your business facility.
1. Evaluate your security yearly
Each year, put aside some time to evaluate your facility’s security. Things change, and you want to stay on top of any changes or weaknesses you find. Do your security evaluation at the same time every year: perhaps in January, when the new year begins, or when the fiscal year ends in June.
Put the date for your security evaluation in your electronic calendar (and on your wall calendar, if you have one), and set reminders. Then, when the time comes to evaluate your security, set aside a few hours in your schedule to do it. Don’t put it off.
If the job seems too large, out of your realm of experience, or you simply don’t have time to do it, hire a company to perform a security audit. Once the audit is complete, make any appropriate security changes that are suggested.
One of the things you’ll want to check on during your yearly security evaluation is that the hardware and software of your security system aren’t out of date. Technology changes all the time, and you may need to make upgrades or updates to keep everything functioning properly.
Beyond your yearly security evaluation, there are other times when doing an additional security evaluation are pertinent.
Conduct a security evaluation when:
- You experience a security breach or loss
- You’ve hired or fired a significant number of employees
- Your business is expanding
- The dynamics of your business have recently changed
Doing regular security evaluations, plus extra ones when the circumstances call for it, are a great way to find weaknesses, fix them, and keep your business secure.
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2. Put a plan in place for when employees leave
When an employee leaves your company—on good terms or bad—it’s important to have a protocol in place to follow to ensure that person no longer has access to your building or any online accounts.
Start by making sure the former employee doesn’t have a way into the building. Ask him or her to turn in any keys, key cards, pass codes, security access cards, etc., then deactivate them.
It’s a good idea to either change the locks, or change the access code to get in the door each time you have employee turnover. Even if you think an employee has left on the best of terms, you never know when a key or access code could fall into the wrong hands.
Also let the rest of your employees know that the person no longer works for the company, and what to do if the person shows up at the office or facility.
Next, make sure the former employee’s business user accounts and email accounts are no longer accessible to them. Change or delete their accounts or passwords. If the employee had any laptop computers, phones, or other devices they used at home, make sure all of those items are returned, too.
3. Train your employees
Put training in place to teach your employees how to keep your facility safe. Every time you hire a new employee, make sure they receive the training. It’s also a good idea to have employees take refresher training once per year.
Train employees on how to properly lock up the building at the end of the day, and how to keep everything safe during business hours. Also train employees on keeping electronic data, passwords, user accounts, and online access secure.
Also train employees on how to create strong passwords for their user and email accounts, and educate them on not clicking on any suspicious emails, attachments, or online ads. They should understand how spam filters work, to prevent any harmful emails from getting through to your company’s system.
It’s a big job, but by staying on top of your business’ security, you could prevent a real problem from occurring.
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