Office safety and security breaches cost organizations around the world over 1 trillion dollars in terms of worker’s compensation, lost income, as well as material losses. What many business owners don’t yet realize is that work-related hazards go beyond obvious physical dangers like accidents or disease. Our present understanding of workplace dangers must now include virtual threats posed by cybercriminals and negligent data management.

Thankfully, safety and security are areas where we can proactively reduce risks and potential losses. Here are some common security mistakes that business owners and managers can easily remedy.

1. Relying Solely on Onsite Hardware for Data Storage

Storing backup data on local appliances and hard drives is a great option for faster data backup and disaster recovery. However, if your local office (or landlord) has poor on-premise security measures, a criminal or a disgruntled employee can simply break into the office and steal your backup hard drives, backup appliance and all your data along with them. Not only will this cause data loss, recovering from this incident might take weeks or even months. 

This is one of the reasons why businesses should do a 3-2-1 backup approach, which includes off-site backups such as a private cloud backup solution. The data centers that host cloud backup solutions go through regular audits for quality, performance, and security (both physical and cyber). As such, your data stored in cloud backup solutions are generally more secure in terms of physical security. Plus, using a reputable cloud backup solution, like one that Quorum provides, will also secure your data from a wider range of threats, including localized disasters, catastrophic hardware failures, physical theft, and most kinds of human error.

2. Not Investing Enough in Employee Training

Regardless of what technology solutions you invest in, human users will always be vulnerable to errors or concerted attacks by malicious actors. Though it’s tempting to blame employees for such things as creating fire hazards or falling for phishing emails, the responsibility of educating them on safety and security matters will always fall on the employers.

Given this, managers and business owners should always strive to keep employees up-to-date on all kinds of virtual and physical threats that may happen in the workplace. Doing so means that you will truly be doing your due diligence in keeping the business and its stakeholders safe.

3. Inadequate Process Documentation

Some work processes can be deceptively hazardous to certain employees. For this reason, it’s important for managers to meticulously document the correct procedures and recommendations for these activities and not leave this critical knowledge in the possession of any single employee. This will ensure that a continuity of knowledge and safe practices will be possible even if key employees leave the business.

4. Not Handling Office Dangers Proactively

Failure to act on a recognized hazard proactively is the very definition of negligence. Should negligence be proven, employees, visitors, and contractors who are harmed by such hazards can conceivably sue the business for expensive damages. For this reason, immediate and sufficient action should be taken to fix any identified safety issue.

5. Inadequate CCTV Coverage

Not having enough CCTVs in your workplace these days is almost an invitation for expensive safety breaches. CCTV cameras are not only essential for improving visibility in the workplace, but they are also an important tool for deterring physical theft and other malicious activities. The information they record can also be critical for law enforcement agencies as well as insurance companies.

Thankfully CCTV cameras and accompanying cloud storage solutions are more affordable than they have ever been. Purchasing enough cameras for adequate coverage and recording footage in sufficiently high quality should no longer be a problem, even for smaller businesses.

6. Lack of ID Requirements and Enforcement

Once a business is big enough to be a medium or large enterprise, it becomes virtually impossible for most employees to recognize who is or isn’t authorized to be in different parts of the workplace. This can leave the business vulnerable to all kinds of malicious activities by unauthorized individuals. For this reason, identification requirements should be implemented as soon as practical.

7. Not Investing in Proper Tools and Equipment

While getting by with less is often admirable, it should not be at the expense of safety. Assets that are no longer safe, including dilapidated hardware, can pose safety and security issues for the organization and its employees. 

Yearly audits of physical assets should be undertaken to ensure that they do not pose an undue risk. Broken, malfunctioning, or unintuitive hardware should be replaced to ensure safety as well as improve overall productivity. 

8. Using Outdated Software

While a lot of old hardware can often be functional so long as they’re maintained properly, this is less true of software, particularly on devices that are intended to connect to the internet or local networks. 

Cybercriminals often choose to attack systems running on outdated software as these tend to have far more known exploits compared to newer software. While updating to new software will not guarantee that your organization will be safe from malicious actors, it will close the doors of one attack vector and may deter those who are looking for easier targets.

9 Not Securing Devices Properly

If a device can go online, it can be hacked. If it can be hacked remotely, then all the data on the network it is connected to may be at risk as well. For this reason, computers, mobile phones, and other devices owned by the business should be properly secured against the most common types of cyberattacks. Employees who are working remotely should be educated about the risks and have their devices periodically checked and updated by the business’s IT team.

It’s also worth repeating that cybercriminals are not the only threat to your devices and the data they contain. Negligence, accidents, and natural calamities also pose a clear danger. Using a private cloud backup solution and training employees in their use may help reduce the potential cost to the business in terms of data losses.

Keep Your Workplace Safe

Now that you’re aware of these common safety and security errors, you can start making your office a safer place to work. Securing your business from virtual and real-world threats is crucial for protecting your stakeholders, data, funds, and assets. By developing solutions and protocols early, you can reduce the risks to your business and mitigate the costs of any untoward incidents.

Author

  • Lester Brock

    Editor in Chief Editor-in-Chief of CTE Solutions, Lester is a tech security analyst, cybersecurity professional, and a white hat hacker.