Security and Risks for Sole Traders
Working from home already comes with several factors that are constantly on your mind, but security is something that should be taken seriously as risks continue to rise. The good news is that there are several strategies that sole traders can use to protect themselves and their businesses.
In this article, we will go through the various security and risk trends that you should consider as a sole trader. Increased awareness of security risks will ensure you and any contractors you have working for you have a safer working strategy complete with the correct systems and measures.
What are Security and Risk Trends?
When referring to security risks as trends, it simply means that there are patterns in how security has been damaged or prevented, whether in business or personal circumstances. So, for example, if you have had your database hacked, that would be seen as a trend and an ongoing target for cybercriminals.
Security and Risk Trends to keep in mind and how to tackle them
There are ways that you can combat security risks that other businesses or small traders have come face to face with, lowering your risk of being targeted. The following methods have been tested and have worked for various companies;
Cybersecurity training courses
Operating as a business remotely as a sole trader may seem like the safest option, but you may have a VA/contractor who is left to their own devices regarding cybersecurity. In addition, working from home means they all use different networks and models from various locations.
This can increase risks in many ways if contractors you use to get your work done haven’t received sufficient cybersecurity training, as they may not be able to recognise unsecured networks or scams quickly enough to prevent them.
Carrying out cybersecurity training courses will ensure that your contractors are safe and have a sound understanding of internet safety, further protecting the business and their personal security.
If you are a sole trader, you should hold yourself accountable for pursuing cybersecurity training to ensure you can accurately notice any risks and keep your business as safe as possible. This will hugely benefit you when working from home, allowing you to protect business and personal assets while keeping them separate.
Regular reviews of current workspaces
You may view your workspace purely as another section of your home when working remotely. But, it is essential to treat your remote office the way you would treat an office space to further ensure your safety is at the highest possible level. Running regular reviews will help you to spot any loopholes and security risks that need resolving. In your review, check the basics such as access points, locking systems, and company software access systems to guarantee that you have measures in place that work.
You could go an extra step by installing integrated video access control, enabling you to access footage of who is entering your office, or home, at any point of the day. Keeping a record of this will ensure that the office itself is secure and that unauthorised visitors haven’t been able to enter your workspace.
Integrate your cloud-based physical access control and video security system
Similarly to our point above, when putting security measures in place, it is best to have a physical access control system that syncs with your video security system.
If you run a remote business as a sole trader and have contractors who work around the UK in remote settings, having a system in place that protects their computers and office space may give you peace of mind that your business data is being handled professionally. To do this, you can establish a physical access control system, which can come in the form of a fob entry system. This ensures that only your staff can access their remote office space or at-home work setup.
Make multi-factor authentication or biometrics a requirement
You may feel that this is an intense step to take, but it will guarantee that both company devices and platforms are at their highest security stage, and it is probably the most secure strategy to secure your remote workers and your own workspace. You can make these steps a requirement to log into company devices or to gain entry to an office space.
Multi-factor authentication refers to contractors/employees having to authenticate that it is them before access is granted to use the software. Authentication processes could be delegated by pins being sent to contractor’s phone numbers or through biometrics such as fingerprints. You can use these processes for both physical and digital access.
This is also useful for ex-contractors who cannot access the company data anymore, as you can change which numbers and prints are authorised within your system.
There are plenty of viable and credible security measures which you can put in place to prevent security risks from arising. You can assess which option is best for you and your business by keeping in mind how many of your staff are accessing your data from home or if you operate as a sole trader and need to prioritise your security.