Protecting your business and your customers


Deciding on a business name, setting up the right business structure for your entrepreneurial venture – there is no doubt they are all vital steps towards your small business success. But what happens next? To ensure you stay in business and succeed, there are lots of things to learn.

When it comes to the technology that keeps your business operating smoothly, it’s important to protect your business – and your customers.

Don’t risk messy and expensive lawsuits.

Start with our handy five steps to improve your data security.

1: Implement a data security plan

Your plan should outline ways to minimise risk and include policies that highlight which of your employees are able to access different data and what the overall data rules should be for ALL employees.

Let this plan serve as your business data security rulebook that is easy for you entire staff to understand.

As well as making it clear, make it easy to enforce. And stick to it. For example: if your data security rules state that all personal devices by employees should be password-protected, do not make any exceptions – even for the boss.

For your plan to be successful, it should be flexible and have the ability to grow and evolve as your business does.

2. Provide Your Employees With Solid Education

By educating your employees about potential security risks, you minimise any breaches occurring. Train them about secure password practices, teach them how to manage and deal with unsolicited emails, as well as data back-up – and how to alert your IT department (or outsourced tech company) to any potential threats. If they know where to turn, potential problems can be dealt with efficiently and effectively.

3. Create a Data Storage Policy

Your company-wise data storage policy should clearly outline what data needs to be kept and backed-up and what data can be deleted. The more stored data you have, the more you are at risk – only store what is absolutely essential.

4. Monitor Mobile Devices

By having devices inter-connected and accessible via mobile devices, you increase your flexibility to work on-the-go but also open yourself up to hackers.

Basic rule of thumb? Don’t allow any mobile devices to access your network unless they comply with your defined company security policies.

Mobile threat management should be an active part of your overall digital security strategy and will prevent malware breaches on your mobile devices.

5. Don’t Scrimp on Encryption

The strongest possible encryption is critical for anyone collecting and storing personal client information, such as names, email addresses, credit card details, bank account numbers, etc. If data is breached from your website, it reflects badly on your business and can damage your professional reputation. Heavy fines and potential lawsuits could also be a very real consequence.

These days, everyone is talking about cloud-based storage and security and there are many options to explore.

Just make sure you do your homework and choose an established provider of these services, rather than go with the one who might promise you the earth and then not be there in a few months.

For information about how to ensure your accounting and book-keeping related data is protected, talk to your accountant about a process that suits your business.