What’s the one asset your business can’t replace? Unless you deal in rare objects or utilize one-of-a-kind equipment, the answer is information. The data in your possession is unique to your enterprise and critical for daily operations. It’s also at risk of being damaged, disabled, or destroyed in countless different ways. In a worst-case disaster scenario, you could probably rebuild every aspect of your business — but you would possibly never be able to recover your lost data.
It’s impossible to avoid all disasters, and as a business owner, you would be smart to plan ahead for them. According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), approximately 40-60% of businesses never reopen after a disaster. Of those that do reopen, only 29% are still operating after 2 years. These businesses probably had insurance and received recovery assistance. However, unless they planned in advance, they likely struggled to get back on track.
The key to keeping your business info safe from all types of disasters is to focus on both offline and online methods of prevention. Follow these strategies to ensure your most important asset is always secure:
Protect Information Offline
In today’s digital world, it’s easy to underestimate how much valuable information is physically stored throughout your business. You may have official documents, cash, trade secrets, and other valuable property on site. For these reasons, it’s essential to protect your physical location by taking the following steps:
1. Use a Fireproof Safe – A fireproof safe is essential for keeping important documents, login information, disaster plans, and other important items protected.
2. Install a Security System – You can’t be at the office 24 hours a day, but a wireless security system can. Utilizing alarms, motion-activated lights, and real-time monitoring deters criminals from your property.
3. Hang Up Surveillance Cameras – Having surveillance footage is important if you’re ever victimized. More importantly, the visible presence of security cameras can keep people on their best behavior.
4. Watch the Weather – Natural disasters pose a more catastrophic risk than crime. Monitor the weather for hazards headed your way and prepare your building as much as possible. Prevention does a lot to minimize damage and make a speedy recovery possible.
Protect Information Online
Most of your business information exists in digital format. That opens it up to new risks, but it also makes additional protections possible. Every business — even ones with little to no IT — needs to take these digital safety measures:
5. Secure Your Network – Operating with an insecure network is like leaving your front door open at night. Basic protections like a firewall and antivirus software go a long way in ensuring that only authorized users can access your systems.
6. Back Up to the Cloud – Cloud storage is inexpensive and easy to use. Best of all, even if all your on-site IT is destroyed, your data is still immediately retrievable from the cloud. With the help of the cloud, nothing is ever gone for good.
7. Change Your Passwords – Every network user should rely on a strong password that is changed regularly. Ideally, two-factor authentication is also in place so that even if passwords are stolen, information remains inaccessible to hackers.
8. Offer Training and Education – Your own employees are both your greatest weakness and strongest defense. Training them on how to spot threats, identify risks, and securely manage information can prevent costly mistakes.
Every one of these protections is important, but getting a safe should be your top priority. Your safe is the one place that is consistently disaster-proof, whether it’s thieves or natural disasters you’re up against. Don’t leave safety to chance. Explore your options today with Western Safe.