Basic Business Security 101

Cyber crime costs UK businesses an estimated £3 million a year: this is a 42% increase since 2012. A study has found that a sample of 36 UK organisations in various industry sectors had fallen victim to 1.3 successful attacks per company, per week.

Security is paramount to maintaining profitable business practices and protecting valuable assets. The astute business owner will implement security strategies both in the physical world and in the online marketplace, in order to maximize gains and prepare against potential risks.

Here are some basic security tips for all business owners to consider:

1.     Lock Up

It may sound obvious, but physical security begins with making sure all entrances to your business premises, including doors, gates and accessible windows, are secured with reliable locks. 5-lever mortise locks are ideal. Also, ensure that your doors comply with the British Standard PAS 24-1 ‘Doors of Enhanced Security’. Likewise, be sure to properly maintain any perimeter fencing.

2.     Protect your computer network

While the Internet may be an invaluable business tool, cyber attacks and identity theft have the potential to cause significant harm to your business. Investing in a cloud email security system will ensure that your business is protected against email threats such as malware, phishing, spam and DDOS attacks, as well as preventing data leaks, which can be highly compromising.

A third party email archiving service will be able to back up your email history, making valuable information instantly available in the event of a system outage.

Choose a strong password for your online activity and change it regularly. Consider using a password manager that randomly generates strong passwords and stores them securely.

3.     SSL and TLS

If your business is engaged with online transactions, you’ll need an up to date SSL or TLS certificate. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security) are cryptographic protocols that provide security for communications over the internet and are tantamount to secure web-based transactions.

4.     CCTV and alarm systems

A carefully managed CCTV system will not only help to deter criminals, but will help to identify them in the event of theft. This makes prosecution easier, so you’ll be able to recover your losses. A CCTV specialist will be able to advise you on the best way to secure your property with the fewest possible cameras. A monitored alarm system will work in tandem with CCTV to improve the security of your business practice. If the alarm is tripped, it will alert a central control room and the emergency services.

5.     Mark your assets

Valuable items such as computers or machinery should be property marked and registered on a secure database. This will allow you to keep track of your assets and, if marked items are stolen and recovered, they can be easily identified and returned to you.

6.     Information destruction

Dispose of sensitive information carefully in order to protect your business from the risks of identity theft. Plan weekly or monthly shredding, or employ a professional information disposal service.

From a simple mortise lock to complex data encryptions, there are a thousand and one ways to secure your business against the ever-evolving threat of cyber crime.

As cyber crime becomes more sophisticated, businesses have been urged to step up their security. If you’re interested in outsourcing your cyber security, check out Mimecast for cyber security solutions.

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