If you are the owner of a small business, you may be in a vulnerable position. Take a look around the premises and ask yourself what would happen if a significant amount of stock disappeared overnight. Your IT systems could be at risk too. Could your business continue to function if all the computer systems cease to operate at once?
Don’t think you are immune from such disasters, they happen all the time to unsuspecting businesses that are already struggling to survive. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent it. You are an expert in your field, and you need to accept that there are people out there who are masters of theirs. You must consult the experts who will recommend solutions to your problem. Here are a few areas they will address and a few possible answers.
The consultant from Hallmark will check the perimeter of your premises first. Maybe there is a point of weakness that you must protect. Here are a few ideas they may suggest.
- New and sturdy fencing is the first line of defence. You should install an approved product because it could have an impact on your insurance premium.
- Closed circuit television with a digital recording device will deter intruders. If they gain entry, you will have the evidence to convict if the police catch them.
- Remote controlled barriers will control who can enter the area during the day and night.
- Your building may benefit from a night watchman with a guard dog. It is by far the best way to ensure everything you worked so hard to build is safe. A human presence is enough to deter most intruders, but few of the others will climb over the fence if they know a well-trained guard dog is waiting for them.
- A security alarm will protect the buildings and may be a condition of insurance. They can be troublesome at times but are necessary nonetheless.
When the buildings and land are secure, turn your attention to the digital systems.
Many people who became victims of cybercrime thought it would never happen to them. The attacks are sophisticated, and it can cost your business dearly if you don’t do everything you can to protect it. Here are a few areas to concentrate your efforts.
- Use a secure firewall to filter traffic in and out of your building. Free firewall software may not give you the security and flexibility you need on systems with multiple terminals.
- Install and update the best antivirus on every machine. The computers might have a trojan or a worm, and you will have no idea. The software will seek out and remove the viruses for which it has definitions. It is a fluid battle, which is why updates are vital.
- Do not allow your staff to use flash drives or discs from home. They could infect your machines with viruses and malware.
You should ask a consultant to assess your technology and systems to look for vulnerabilities. They are experts in their field and will spot problems of which you are oblivious.
I don’t mean to scare you, but you must act to protect your livelihood before it is too late. At the end of the day, it is all tax deductible. Shrewd business owners enjoy lowering their tax bill while improving their company. Are you that smart?
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