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Both physical and online security are becoming increasingly critical issues for businesses. Companies now have to defend against a variety of threats, both online and off.

We’ve seen some high profile breaches over the years, involving companies like Experian, Yahoo, and even Facebook. But it turns out that security issues aren’t solely a problem for global brands: they’re something that can strike much closer to home too.

If you don’t have the right physical and digital security in place, your small business is wide open for attack. Opportunistic criminals and professional hackers don’t discriminate. If you appear weak, you're a target.

It’s essential, therefore, that you adopt strategies that help you counteract these threats and bolster your defences. Check out these five ways you can improve security at your enterprise.

Train Your Employees On Your Security Plan

Modern locks, perimeter defences, and digital security systems are incredibly robust. It’s difficult for even the most determined and well-equipped criminals to “hack” your servers or break into your premises without some pretty sophisticated techniques and equipment.

More often than not, though, the weak link in your defences isn’t your security apparatus at all, but the people in your organisation. Criminals know this too. That’s why the majority of breaches occur because of the negligence or ignorance of employees.

So what’s the best way to defend against this insidious threat? Ideally, you want to fold all of your employees into your security plan. Every member of the team should lock doors, stay vigilant for intruders on the premises, know how to avoid email phishing scams, and so on. The more employees know, the more readily they’ll identify and thwart security threats.

Limit Access To Accounts And Computers

Many companies now operate a policy of providing employees only with a level of network access that they need to fulfil their roles. Providing them with more than that opens up organisations to risks without delivering any additional benefits.

Everyone in the team should be aware of the policies governing access and why it’s necessary. For instance, a member of the finance team should never share their account or password with somebody in marketing. Likewise, the C-suite should follow access rules, along with the rest of the team to ensure that everything remains consistent and above board.

The good news is that setting up account access restrictions is easy. If you outsource your computing, ask your IT provider to do this for you. If you do it in-house, there are a variety of server-level solutions that you can use to granularise who can access what and when.

Brief The C-Suite On Security Threats

While gaining access to any employee account is a significant security risk, a criminal who obtains C-suite details can be even more damaging to the prospects of a small business.

Executives, therefore, need to engage in extra security measures, both physical and digital, to protect themselves against the threats that they face.

For some executives, the modern threats their businesses face can appear alien. Many of the issues, particularly cyber attacks, weren’t a part of the regular business operating environment twenty years ago.

The C-suite, however, is the gatekeepers of the organisation’s most valuable information. Hence, they’re usually right in the firing line and the primary target for people trying to steal data or gain access to specific company assets.

Invest In Surveillance

Surveillance is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal for discouraging malicious action against your company by both criminals and employees.

A lot of managers see surveillance as a tool for catching criminals in the act of doing something illegal on their property, like stealing stock or breaking and entering. But the majority of people with a criminal mindset are keenly aware of the risk posed by security cameras: so much so, that it acts as a powerful deterrent. If you place cameras at strategic locations around your premises, you automatically discourage criminal activity and avoid loss.

Running an effective surveillance system was difficult in the past. You had to physically wire up cameras, store video information on piles of tapes, cassettes and CDs, and then employ somebody so organise the whole operation.

With the advent of digital technology, however, that’s all changed. The way modern CCTV system works is fundamentally different. Instead of storing video feeds locally, they upload them automatically to the cloud and store them on third-party servers. If there is an incident, you can sort through your library to find the moment on tape.

You have to pay a fee for the privilege, but it often works out much, much cheaper than it did in the past.

Update Your Apps, Operating Systems And Computer Hardware

During your time in the business community, you may have come across the term “zero-day exploit.” A zero-day exploit is a where a cybercriminal finds a way to hack a weakness in an app the day that it goes live before the creator can come up with a fix.

Such exploits are illustrative of an essential concept in IT: it takes time for apps and operating to become secure.

The first version of any software contains many unknowns. Developers often think that they’ve created something robust, but that’s not always the case. Often a hacker can see a vulnerability that they can’t, exploit it, and bring the whole show to a crashing halt.

The good news is that once hackers reveal problems, developers can go into the source code and eliminate the error. Over time, software becomes more robust and secure.

If you want to enhance your security, therefore, you should install updates whenever they become available. By installing the latest patches and fixes, you eliminate existing threats and protect yourself against possible future attacks.

Switching to a cloud IT service, again, can help here. The cloud services provider should be able to update all software and systems remotely, without interrupting services

If your employees use mobile devices, ensure that they have also installed the latest patches and fixes.

So, is your business secure against these security threats?

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