State governments across the U.S. have called for the temporary closure of bars, restaurants and other businesses in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19 and enforce social distancing.
For small business owners, it’s important to consider all possible issues that may arise as you close your doors for an extended period. Below are some tips that will help you ensure physical and network security while you’re away.
Physical Security Tips for Small Businesses
Test Your Security Equipment
Confirm your fire and burglar alarms are working and reporting properly. With small businesses modifying hours or being forced to close, the threat of fire and unauthorized entry may increase. Test your burglar and fire alarms to confirm functionality. Many security systems have ways to test both, but if you’re not sure how, reach out to your provider for assistance.
Enable Important Notifications
Depending on your location and type of business, you may be susceptible to certain issues, such as low or high temperature sensitivity (for example, a restaurant fridge or freezer), floods and more. Enabling notifications from your business security system can help you stay up to date so you can remotely manage your small business security and mitigate potential risks.
Unplug All Unnecessary Devices
If your small business has various electronics that aren’t necessary and won’t be in use during your closure, unplug them. This can decrease the potential threat of a fire as well as limit any unnecessary power you’d be using while your doors are closed.
Remove Confidential Information
If your small business collects and stores sensitive information, be sure to securely store that information either on- or off-site. This is especially important for financial planners, home improvement contractors and the like.
Lock Your Building
Confirm that all of your external doors are locked. This may seem like an obvious tip, but we’ve seen this error many times, especially when a closure is unexpected. If you have an access control system, adjust your lock/unlock and alarm open/close schedules, so your property remains secure during your new hours. Additionally, make sure you can access the reporting feature of the system remotely, so you can see if any credential holders attempt entry or any unauthorized visitors try to access your facility.
For more tips on securing your business while you’re away, click here to review our checklist.
Network Security Tips for Small Businesses
If you have a network protection solution like Cisco Meraki, now is a great time to review your system and alert settings.
In regard to your system, if no critical infrastructure (for example, cameras), are running on your Wi-Fi, it may be a great opportunity to turn that off to prevent the wrong people from connecting. Consider also turning off your guest Wi-Fi to protect your network from unauthorized access.
In regard to alerts, review the type of alerts that you want (and need) to receive while you’re away. Some you may want to consider turning on include:
- Clients connecting or disconnecting from your network
- Malware is blocked or malware is downloaded
- Network or security device goes down
These alerts, while maybe not as important while you’re on-site and using the system, may now be critical for you to know if/when people are connecting to your network, if the network is functioning appropriately or if a nefarious piece of malware is being brought into your network.
Allow your network protection solution to give you constant updates on how it’s doing. You can always change the setting remotely if there’s too much information.
Additionally, make sure you have your alerts going to the right contacts. Double-check email addresses in the system and determine if someone new should be added or an existing contact should be removed.
We know your small business is important to you; it’s your investment and your livelihood. In these uncertain times, it can be difficult to know what you can control – but your small business security is one thing you can.
With the tips outlined in this article, you can take steps to ensure your business is as secure as possible, so when it’s time to reopen, you can feel confident that everything is exactly as you left it.