Many entrepreneurs started with a simple idea and grew it into a thriving enterprise through motivation and a solid company vision. As your business becomes successful, it can also become more exposed to risks. There are numerous threats that can damage your business, so you need to ensure that you’re prepared for them. Protecting your small business against physical, technical, and financial threats is as much about vigilance as it is planning. Here are four strategies you should follow to reduce your risk.
Thieves, vandals, bitter ex-employees, and more could do serious harm if they gain access. Drug testing potential new hires has become a standard practice to minimize risks of accidents or unacceptable behavior. By vetting out those who do illegal drugs from those who do not, you will be saving your company a lot of potential risks that can happen as a result of hiring a drug user. Some of these issues may include theft to fund the habit and incompetency due to mental effects.
It’s crucial that all entrances are protected by alarms and well-lit at night to discourage night-time intruders. Surveillance cameras should be in place throughout your property. Keep all entry points secured even during the day. Replace keys with electronic or biometric locks so that access is only available to approved personnel, and can easily be revoked.
Skilled hackers may be constantly probing your networks looking for authentication issues to exploit. Once they gain access to your systems, they can steal financial information, commit identity theft, plant viruses or spyware, or simply wreak havoc. It’s important that you keep all anti-malware and firewalls in effect 24/7 and apply updates as needed. Be certain that all sensitive data uses encryption, and that incremental backups are taken throughout the day so that your data losses are kept to a minimum if the worst happens.
Evaluate both your physical and data environments to discover where your greatest vulnerabilities lie. Your most sensitive data, such as customer credit card numbers, most valuable merchandise, or easiest physical targets are tempting targets for criminals. Especially if you have a limited budget, be sure your preventative measures are augmented wherever you stand the most to lose. This could be additional cameras, motion-activated spot lights, fences, security doors, shatter-proof glass, network access logs, or anything that deters, slows, or helps to apprehend would-be criminals.
Keeping your employees safe not only helps to prevent lost production or lawsuits, but it’s the law. If one of your employees is injured, you could be liable even if it’s their own fault. Depending on the severity of the injury, you could be looking at a large settlement. It’s important that all your employees receive adequate safety training, and occasional reminders. It could save you from severe consequences to hire an expert, such as someone with a safety bachelors degree to ensure safe practices are a priority.
One hostile or careless person could derail your cash flow or ruin your reputation. Developing a safety and security-aware culture could prevent many damaging incidents.