iStock_000017173323XSmallBusiness security doesn’t stop at your front door. An office contains far more valuable items than just your laptop and desktop computers. In fact, it is the information locked away in their drives that can put you most at risk.

Every year thousands of SMEs are targeted by fraudsters, who gain access to the personal records and accounts that are stored on their systems. If you don’t make moves to limit access to these files, you could see your business held back before it’s really begun to grow. By establishing a safety net early on, you can ensure your employees know exactly what to do in the event of a data breach.

Build Up Your Defences

The first thing your customers will want to know is whether you had the right defences in place to prevent the breach from occurring. Losing the information of so many clients can often result in a wide scale revaluation of your business credentials. As a fledgling company, this can have a huge effect on your reputation and result in crippling financial losses.

Installing the right internet security can make online theft a thing of the past. Often companies will rely on pre-installed firewalls, but these are only designed to do a very basic job and can quickly become outdated.

Choosing a Next Generation Firewall (NGFW) will take your defences to another level. Not only does it filter both inbound and outbound traffic, it is also able to routinely update itself. This means you will always stay one step ahead of the latest threats.

Lock Everything Down

As more and more companies launch their business online, hackers are seizing the opportunity to attack the less tech-savvy amongst us. In 2012, one study found that as many as 80% of security threats were due to weak administrative passwords. Fortunately, this number is beginning to fall, but only because business owners are starting to take password construction more seriously.

Choosing the right password is a fine art. It has to be unguessable to others, but, at the same time, memorable to its creator. ‘Buisness1’ would be an example of a weak password, as it contains a well-known word and only one number.

To guarantee your password won’t be compromised, you’ll need to include a range of letters, numbers and symbols. Come up with two memorable sentences, which consist of all three. For example ‘My mother used to live at 18 Old Road. It cost £100 per week’ would become ‘Mmutla18OR.Ic£100pw’. Now you have a strong password and a means to remember it.

Keep Your Employees In The Loop

Although you may feel inclined to shield your data protection practices from your staff, getting them involved can make the whole process a lot easier. By integrating policies which regulate the storage and disposal of sensitive documents, you can ensure everyone knows which items need to be handled with the utmost care. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  •  Post clear guidelines of who to contact when recycling bins fill up
  • Establish a training programme to educate staff on what needs disposing of and when
  • Teach employees to recognise fraudulent websites and emails

Shred All Unnecessary Documents

Even in this day and age, a large percentage of company details are still kept on paper records. Recycling bins and dumpsters are a fraudster’s paradise, so controlling what ends up there is vital. Laying down clear and consistent guidelines is a must if you want to cover all your bases.

A consistent shredding policy can make all the difference. If a document is no longer needed, encourage your staff to shred it immediately and eliminate the chances of it falling into the wrong hands.

Galvo Shredders is a shredding retailer offering a vast range of machines for all intents and purposes. Its founder, Piers Chapple, has a wealth of experience in the industry, offering the ideal solution to your security needs.