Security is a top concern for companies in numerous industries. Leaders face the challenge of protecting their organizations on multiple fronts — physical security and cybersecurity. Finding either compromised can lead to millions of dollars in losses if employees aren’t careful.
Protecting company property is essential for smooth operations, so what can business owners do? Here are seven proactive ways to address security needs.
Mandating Cybersecurity Policies
Employees have most likely had some cybersecurity training in the past. However, assuming they know how to navigate all systems without accidents can be a dangerous mistake. Thus, organizations should mandate basic cybersecurity policies and prevent employees from being the reason a cyberattack occurs.
For example, an organization could mandate cybersecurity training for all employees to ensure they know best practices while using company property. This workshop could train workers on detecting phishing attacks, as these are among the most prominent ways cyber thieves infiltrate networks. Research shows about 85% of companies experience these attacks, and phishing has only grown due to smartphones and other digital devices.
Another cybersecurity policy for organizations could be mandating strong passwords. Employees can develop their passwords, but they may need to be more complicated for healthy security. Password managers are excellent software because they create and manage complex codes for the user. Businesses should also enforce multi-factor authentication (MFA) for protection if an outsider gains unauthorized access.
Implementing Zero-Trust Security
Protecting a company’s cybersecurity means minimizing risk and safeguarding assets. Zero-trust security is an excellent strategy for organizations wanting advanced security measures for maximum defense against cybercriminals.
This framework requires authentication and identification at all data points and only gives employees the minimum access to complete tasks. Therefore, they won’t be able to see sensitive information they’re not supposed to, and cybercriminals stealing credentials will only access a limited amount of data. Zero-trust security creates micro-perimeters and restricts incoming attacks. Plus, users will constantly re-verify their identity to continue access within the network.
Encrypting Sensitive Data
Another critical step in protecting company information is encrypting sensitive data. Encryption means the information is locked inside the network, and only those with a digital key can access it. Thieves may breach the firewall and attempt a ransomware attack to steal the data, but encryption makes it useless by rendering the information unreadable. No criminal can decode the scrambled letters and numbers on the screen.
Data encryption has become increasingly standard across industries, with some sectors requiring it for protection. While taking this step is commendable, business owners must decide what type of encryption is best for their company. Here’s what to know about each of them:
- Symmetric: Symmetric encryption requires one passcode for encryption and decryption. While less expensive, it allows someone to encrypt and decrypt if the user gains access to the shared key.
- Asymmetric: Asymmetric encryption mandates a different passcode for encryption and decryption, thus strengthening protection. Encryption is easier with the public key, but only those with the decryption key can see the locked information.
Installing Smart Locks
Strong doors and locks are necessary for protecting buildings and deterring intruders from gaining access. However, savvy criminals may be able to work around these mechanisms and infiltrate the premises anyway. How can business owners be proactive and protect their facilities? Leaders should leverage modern technology and consider smart locks for increased security.
Smart locks let business owners use keyless entry to access their buildings or specific rooms with sensitive information. Entering the room requires connecting to Wi-Fi or Bluetooth and using the phone to unlock the door, enhancing security.
These devices are advantageous for security because they alert owners when suspicious activity occurs and let them control who enters and exits the premises. Business owners considering this option should select devices with solid cybersecurity measures because cunning intruders can find workarounds if they’re weak.
Installing Smart Security Cameras
Smart cameras are another excellent way to take advantage of modern technology for physical security. These advanced cameras go further than old devices because they have superior resolution and night vision, among other improvements. Surveillance cameras of the past captured footage for business owners to review later, but gadgets nowadays allow for a more active response.
For example, smart security cameras allow users to access feeds from their smartphones and tap into two-way audio. Business owners don’t have to be on-site for surveillance if they have the app on their mobile devices. Additionally, this smart technology enables two-way audio, so the operator can communicate with those on the other side. Thieves are less likely to continue their break-ins if caught in the act, as experts say cameras and alarms deter intruders by making less desirable targets.
Hiring Guards for Increased Protection
Technology can go a long way in physically protecting a facility. However, enlisting the help of human security guards goes a long way in safeguarding property. While criminals can work around passcodes and firewalls, they’ll have a more challenging time getting past a guard staring them down.
When hiring security guards, leaders must decide if they need unarmed or armed professionals. Business owners in a low-to-medium-risk environment will likely need unarmed guards. These employees aim to deter unrest or criminal activity without carrying firearms. Unarmed guards are best for retail stores, construction sites and commercial buildings.
High-risk environments may require an armed security guard, as these professionals are trained to protect high-profile companies, sensitive information, and high-value items. Hiring armed protectors will cost more than unarmed ones, but they bring extra protection. Employees in high-risk industries or areas with higher crime rates may feel safer with these guards on the premises.
Protecting Company Vehicles
Physical security and cybersecurity meet when organizations obtain new vehicles. Modern automotive production makes cars more efficient and technologically advanced, with auto manufacturers constantly sending updates to keep vehicles safe.
Companies using connected cars should ensure their employees know the risks of these machines. For example, electric vehicles (EVs) are vulnerable to cyberattacks at charging stations, so all EV operators must update the software when prompted. Quick compliance with updates ensures the vehicle patches any security vulnerabilities and stays current with tech features.
Employees can improve their EV’s cybersecurity by safely storing their key fobs and avoiding public Wi-Fi networks when possible. Public Wi-Fi may be convenient, but its loose security makes it easier for cyber thieves to steal valuable information.
Improving Security on All Fronts
Nowadays, companies need top-notch security to protect their physical and digital assets. While security may incur costs, investing in protection will pay off by satisfying employees, shareholders and business partners. These seven strategies demonstrate what organizations can do to safeguard their property and be proactive with security.