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How to Keep Your Growing Business Secure

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Whether you’re just starting your own business or scaling up from a one-person home-office setup, it’s essential to put time and effort into keeping your business safe from all sorts of threats. Three areas are especially significant:

Data Security

Threats to your business’s data can include everything from phishing attempts to hardware failures to ransomware attacks. Even a temporary system outage that doesn’t result in long-term damage can prevent you and your employees from finishing important work. Remember that human error in this area can be just as devasting as a computer error. Ensure that new hires are thoroughly trained in all the systems and software they’ll be expected to use, and hold regular cybersecurity training for all employees, no matter how long they’ve been on the job. Update your systems promptly and keep abreast of new developments in cybercrime so you can make adjustments to your security practices sooner rather than later. It’s crucial to have detailed plans for business continuity and data backup and recovery in place before anything goes wrong. Protecting your data and knowing how to move forward after a breach can determine whether your business survives or fails.

Physical Security

A fire, flood, or other disaster isn’t just bad for your business, it puts you and your employees in physical danger. Make sure you have the knowledge and practice you need to keep everyone safe. Start by memorizing the best evacuation route from your building as well as any alternate routes, and make certain everyone knows the locations of first aid supplies, fire extinguishers and automated external defibrillators. Hold regular disaster drills for everyone in your office and mix them up to account for different types of trouble. If you feel you need more detailed safety information in order to design effective drills and policies, don’t hesitate to consult a specialist. And make sure your smoke alarms, sprinklers and fire extinguishers as well as your electrical, plumbing, and other building systems are being inspected and maintained on a regular basis and that repairs are carried out immediately.

Regulatory and Legal Security

Though they may not seem as dramatic as a fire or a data hack, legal, regulatory or tax issues can cause enormous headaches for your business. Here again, preparation is key, as is keeping all your employees up-to-date and on board with best practices. Educate both yourself and your employees on the specific rules and regulations your business is required to follow and on strategies for preventing common mistakes. Fostering an office culture of transparency and non-punitive accountability will help keep small issues from snowballing into big difficulties. Proper records management is also an essential line of defence. Be certain you understand exactly which types of records your business is legally required to keep and for how long, and think carefully about which information you’ll need to put your hands on immediately should a lawyer or tax agent make an unexpected visit.

Don’t put off business disaster preparedness until later. Careful planning now can mitigate or even prevent all sorts of damage in the future.

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