5 ways to improve small business security

Security in small to medium sized businesses is as important as in large corporates. Digital hackers can attack any business with a potential profit to be had. We interviewed our Head of Security Wilson Chiu to gain insights into how to improve your small business security set up.

Wilson believes these cyber criminals seek different types of valuable information. Appointments with customers and their contact details could offer insights that allow competitors to gain an upper hand with.

‘Legally, business of all sizes need to comply with the Privacy Act’

The privacy act carries a maximum penalty of $340,000 for individuals and $1.7m for organisations. It applies if the individual’s private information is not handled correctly.

Wilson outlines several ways you can prevent security issues occurring in your business:

  1. Paper: “Dumpster diving” refers to looking for treasure in someone’s trash. For a small business, this includes unsafe disposing of customer quotes, invoices, computer printout, etc. . Wilson suggests to engage a secure recycling company who provides locked recycle bins. Or use a paper shredder to destroy confidential pieces of paper. Make this a habit.
  2. Lock your laptop. Laptops are portable and make easy targets for thieves. Other than the physical value of the computer, you may have company files which are impossible to replace. Most laptops have a small opening on the side that allows you to connect to a Laptop lock. This will ensure it won’t go walkabout after hours.
  3. Privacy Screens. Have you seen customers leaning over the counter trying to look at your screen? How about that person behind you whilst you are on the train? Protect your privacy with a laptop or desktop privacy screen.
  4. Passwords: Use passwords that can’t be easily guessed. This goes without saying. Try the strength of your selected password at http://www.passwordmeter.com/ for safe of mind. Using “Password1” is not exactly the smartest idea!
  5. Data backup: where is your data stored? A business cannot run without safe data. A simple USB hard drive backup could save the day. Make sure this is secured though.

Wilson’s key message is that building trust for small businesses is hard to gain but very easy to lose. Protect your company’s data the same way you would protect your own personal information.

Find out the importance of privacy and security in your organisation at CryptoAUSTRALIA. The OAIC website also has some great tips on how to stay safe from cyber criminals.