Small businesses are an integral part of our economy, from the people who earn their living at the businesses, to the consumers that purchase its products and services. As a local business in the Tampa Bay area, we are well aware how critical small businesses are to the local economy– even more so than large companies. Local businesses feed more cash into the economy in a number of ways; they add jobs and wages, help make local areas vibrant, link community members and keep a large percentage of the proceeds in the local community. What’s more, many people prefer to do business with people they know and like– which is a definite boost for local businesses! Unfortunately, one critical area that some new business owners overlook is small business security, believing erroneously that the business is not “big enough” to be concerned about physical or data security. We believe it is important to put in place good policies and practices from the start so that they are ingrained as the business grows. We’d like to share some of our best tips for small business security to help you put your plan together.
Your Small Business Security Plan
While this should go without saying, many businesses open their doors without considering any type of security plan– until they have an incident that costs them in terms of reputation, customers, or money– all equally important to the success of any business. Put together a simple but effective small business security plan to ensure that you, your employees, your customers and your assets are fully protected. Also be sure that the plan you put in place is easily scalable as your company grows.
Access Control-– Deciding who should have the ability to access each area of the business is vital. Apart from access to your overall facility, there may be some areas that you’d prefer to keep most people out of, like a back office or inventory area. Additionally, access to company computers and programs should be limited to only those people that need them to effectively do their job. Consider if there is a need for even greater security for your building; if so, a Lockdown System might be helpful.
Surveillance Cameras— Surveillance cameras are an effective theft deterrent, as most criminals do not want to be caught on film. Placing cameras strategically can provide good evidence for prosecution if a theft, vandalism or even a physical attack occurs at your place of business.
Adequate Alarms— Intrusion alarms can summon law enforcement if there is an after-hours incident at your business. Additionally, panic buttons placed in your business can allow you to summon help immediately or lockdown your entire building if there is a need to do it.
Effective Networking and IT Deployment— In addition to physical security, you should consider cyber security, too. Small businesses are hit by cyber criminals and data breaches at an alarmingly high rate and deserve preventive measures to thwart them to the greatest extent possible. Common-sense measures can help you avoid a catastrophic breach that can result in financial ruin and a reputation ding so severe that it can put you out of business. We know that most data breaches impact small companies, and that payment data is generally a prime target, so be particularly careful handling sensitive information.
Upgraded Technology— As data security breaches become more common, payment card companies have come up with embedded chips (EMV and PCI technologies) that make cards and terminals more compatible and secure, so ensure that you take advantage of that added layer of protection. Also, move as much of your business data to secure cloud storage– not only will you have access from anywhere, but reputable storage providers invest in security measures that will give you peace of mind. Additionally, work with a trusted small business security advisor that can help you understand the new technology and plan to minimize data breaches.
Small business security is multi-faceted, but putting together a solid plan from the start can keep your business running smoothly and securely. In Tampa Bay, call us for help at 813-909-7775.