Small businesses can be sabotaged in a variety of ways and by a variety of perpetrators, but business can take steps to protect themselves. Here's some expert advice on ways to try to keep your company out of harm's way.
Do employee background checks
A simple background check should be done on all potential employees. You don't want to find out later that the staff member who stole has a history of fraud.
Create codes of conduct
Develop and enforce a code of conduct – what employees can and cannot say and do about company information. That can make someone think twice about doing something nefarious, and can also prevent someone from accidently saying something to a competitor about sensitive information.
Conduct a risk assessment
Think hard about your weak points. Figure out what type of breach would bring down your business and who would want to target the company. Based on those conclusions, come up with a plan on how to thwart an attack.
Hire a company to hack into everything from your website to your company servers. This will help you identify your technology weak points..
Tighten cyber security
Make sure any sensitive company information is available only to the right people. Create security levels and only let employees access the files they need and not more.
If you're worried about people taking company files home, restrict access, for instance to computer USB ports; that way, people won't be able to transfer documents to USB keys.
Develop a social media policy
Let employees know what they can and cannot do. But also have policies on how you'll respond if your business's reputation is tarnished through social media.
Be careful of what you say
Competitors can, and do, eavesdrop on conversations, so never talk about any confidential company information in public.
Beef up building security
Many small business have a camera or two keeping watch over their company. It's usually not enough. Add more cameras, better lighting and install a modern security system so you can cover off every corner.
Plan for the worst
Prepare yourself for the worst. If an aggressive competitor steals an important supplier or tries to steal employees, have an alternative supplier or a list of other star staff to take over.
Special to The Globe and Mail