Ohad Zeira, Vice President, Small Business
The pandemic era of the past year and a half created the perfect storm of challenges for small and medium businesses across many industries. While many struggled to keep their doors open and employees safe and healthy, others saw their life's work shuttered. And then there were those that thrived due to pivoting to digital, yet now face new threats online. As the country resumes ‘our new normal,’ it’s an ideal time for small and medium business owners to take a moment to reflect on how to best protect their employees, customers and businesses moving forward.
With so many new challenges facing small and medium businesses today, from physical to virtual threats, it’s more crucial than ever that they focus on putting safety and security protocols in place to help protect their employees, customers and physical properties and assets.
How to Secure Your Physical Business
- To help deter potential criminals and capture any crime or vandalism that might ensue, it’s important to equip your property with a security system and exterior video surveillance. You should place the cameras out of reach and angled at key entry points of the building.
- Exterior video surveillance can also help keep parking lots safe, provide reference for any trip and fall liability claims and simply keep an eye on your business when you are away.
- In addition to monitoring the exterior, you’ll want to keep an eye on the inner workings of your business via interior video surveillance. Interior surveillance can help deter theft and shoplifting by customers and even employees. In fact, according to the National Federation of Independent Business, nearly two-thirds of small businesses fall victim to employee theft, totaling $200 billion in annual losses.
- Access controls can be used to help limit access to specific areas of the business. If employees are going to be in the office or in storefronts alone, a panic button connected to a professionally installed security system should also be considered.
Automated systems can be very helpful after store hours or if a small or medium business is temporarily closed. With smart security systems, lights can be programmed to go on and off to give the illusion of an occupied storefront and flood detectors can alert the owner of any potential water issues.
How to Protect Your Business Online
As many small and medium business employees head back to the office, some are choosing to remain virtual. And while many businesses are focused on the safety and security of their physical business, it’s important that they also protect their employees’ and business’ safety online with cybersecurity support.
- VPN Set-up: Providing employees with a personal virtual private network (VPN) will help ensure private company information isn’t shared over public Wi-Fi networks. A VPN can be used on the premises and remotely, securing the connection so both personal employee information and sensitive company details are protected from potential hackers.
- Endpoint Management: As companies continue to embrace a remote work environment, key areas of focus for SMBs, their IT departments, and remote employees should now be: endpoint management (managing all business and personal mobile devices like laptops, smartphones, POS systems, tablets and servers to help prevent attackers from accessing company information from a remote touchpoint), endpoint detection and response, VPN security, cloud security, and cyber event detection and response.
Even after the world has reopened, it’s still very important that businesses try to make sure they are prepared for the unexpected. Installing a smart security system and putting cybersecurity protocols in place can help give business owners greater ability to manage multiple locations and situations remotely and help employees and customers conduct business as usual, all while keeping everyone as safe as possible.