10 Small Business Security Tips

Small business owners – we salute you. The job of being a small business owner is complex and varied. You need to be an accountant, a content-manager, a boss, a secretary, a logistics expert, a negotiator, a cleaner.. the list goes on. Something you will definitely need to be across is the ITC (Information Technology & Communications) security of your business. Problems arising from security breaches can cost you credibility, time, money, and even your entire business. Here are 10 tips we would like to share with you to help you improve the ITC security of your business.

1. Not If, But When

Sooner or later, you’re going to encounter a security-related problem which will cause you grief. It’s only a matter of time.. the only thing you can be assured of is that you won’t see it coming. The mentality to assume is “prepare for the worst, hope for the best”. A proactive mindset to security is the most important step to take.

2. Be Aware & Informed

Be aware and informed. Visit Scamwatch, the Australian government’s scam-watching website, and become familiar with the evolving scope and methods of scams and attacks on businesses. Keeping up to date with this information is a useful reminder of why vigilance is imperative.

Scamwatch says: We raise awareness about how to recognise, avoid and report scams. The new National Anti-Scam Centre shares information from scam reports and works with government, law enforcement and the private sector to disrupt and prevent scams. [scamwatch.gov.au]

3. Understand the Weakest Link

A security system is only as strong as its weakest link, and malicious attacks will specifically focus on the weakest link. Often this link is human behaviour. Getting someone to click on a link is a lot easier than trying to hack into a database, but the same results can be achieved.

Make sure your staff are up to date with the latest scams, methods and attacks. Training and communication, and the promotion of awareness within the business, are the key to strengthening the human element.

4. Use Processes

Having a proactive security process which evolves with your experience and information is a useful strategy. The benefit of a having a process is that when something happens (again) you will be able to apply your process to help resolve a similar scenarios, creating a more optimal solution. This doesn’t just apply to security, by the way!

5. Update Software

Keep your operating systems and software up to date on all your devices. This is a no-brainer. This will help protect you from vulnerabilities in older software, which are constantly being targeted and exploited. Following the Petya Media Virus in 2017, keeping operational software up to date was identified as one of the most important actions to always take.

6. Back Up Your Data

Backing up is a simple and effective way to protect your information. In the event information is compromised or lost, a backup will ensure your records are intact. When was the last time you backed up your data?

7. Manage Access

Access should only be extended as required, and revoked when no longer required. Keeping an access log during projects, and checking in on a regular basis will help you to maintain access security for your business assets.

8. Lock Devices

It’s a great idea to lock your phone. If you’re like most other people, your phone might be used to access email, banking, personal information, photos, conversations.. be in the habit of locking your phone if you’re not using it. That will make it harder to access, in the event it’s stolen or misplaced.

9. Minimise Complexity

A strategic approach to ITC security is to avoid complexity by working with native functionality. It’s usually better to find solutions that natively support your requirements, rather than creating solutions that are complex frankensteins. Keeping it simple is simply easier to secure.

10. Minimise Complexity

If you’re not using something, why keep it around? There may be a good reason to keep something, but if there isn’t, delete it! Deleting information frees up storage space and strengthens security. If you don’t have it, you don’t have to worry about it.