Security Measures to Protect Your Business Operations

Protecting your business against tangible threats is much easier than protecting against the attacks you can’t see. Thievery, property damage, market changes—these disruptions are anticipated and mitigated with the appropriate insurance and strong planning. But what about threats that often fall under the radar (and through firewalls)?

Cyberattacks can cause significant damage to a small business, yet over half of small-to-midsize Canadian businesses do not have a plan to address them. If you don’t think your company is at risk because of its size, consider the following:

● Cybercriminals can and will hack small and medium businesses. According to Verizon, 43% of cyberattacks directly targeted this group in 2020.

● The IBC reports that 1 in 5 small businesses were affected by a data breach from 2018 to 2019.

With cybercrimes continuing to rise across a more dispersed and distributed workforce, how can you protect your company and employees from these threats? Let’s take a look.

How to Secure Your Digital Assets

Knowing what type of cyberattacks your business can fall victim to is the first step. Phishing, malwares, and human error are some of the most common.

1. Install Security Software

Protect all the devices used in the operations of your business (like computers, tablets and smartphones) with an anti-malware software solution. There are many affordable options available that typically need to be updated or renewed each year, such as McAfee Small Business Security and Kaspersky Small Office Security.

2. Enable a Data Protection Solution

Cybercriminals aren’t the only people with ill will toward your business. Disgruntled employees, competitors and other stakeholders with access to your company data and records can be a threat.

Even non-malicious situations can cause an unintentional data breach that immobilizes operations. These instances can happen when passwords aren’t regularly monitored or changed, or when employees leave confidential documents open on their screens.

In the event that something like this happens, your ability to bounce back quickly is crucial. Having a backup and recovery strategy in place ensures business resiliency and decreases downtime. Consider solutions that can recover your files quickly, such as the EaseUS To-do Backup Advanced Server or Seagate BarraCuda SATA Internal Solid State Drive, 1 TB.

3. Implement Company-Wide Security Protocols

Given that human error accounts for a large portion of data breaches, educating employees about cyber risks is necessary in your fight against business threats. Additionally, implement internet safety protocols that employees must follow. For example:

● Make a strong password policy that requires a minimum character length, numbers, symbols, etc.

● Enable multi-factor authentication where available and ensure that passwords are changed every 6 months.

● Advise that all computers and devices be locked when not in use.

● Generate a social media policy that outlines the risks of sharing personal or professional information on social profiles.

● Limit access to documents and files with confidential or sensitive information, including customer records, finances, and employee information.

4. Stay Vigilant Offline

We’ve established a handful of ways to prevent compromised data online, but what about physical files stored in your home or office? Physical documents can be easier to secure and monitor thanks to products like security cameras, safes, and document shredders.

It never hurts though to digitize important documentation on a backup hard drive in case of emergency. The Adobe Scan app is a free and flexible way to turn any document into a PDF.

Do you feel more secure? Check out these additional cyber safety resources to help build out remaining security practices for your business.

By Staples Canada

April 18, 2021

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