The influence of technology on business operations cannot be overemphasized. Regardless of the size of your business, technology enables you to connect with your employees and customers wherever they are, deliver your customers' expectations, and ultimately reap financial gains.
Depending on how well a company designs its technological infrastructure, a company may benefit significantly from it in terms of developing efficient and innovative processes. However, the same technology can also lead to several security risks.
An organization’s culture, efficiency, and relationships are all affected by its technological infrastructure. Although this infrastructure serves a company well in developing efficient processes, the same technology can also lead to several security risks.
In this article, we will focus on how technology has affected the security of small businesses.
Positive Effects of Technology on Small Business Security
Nowadays, technology plays a special role in ensuring a company’s physical safety and security for its employees.
Protection from theft and unauthorized access to facilities
Biometrics can secure restricted areas from unauthorized entries, such as face scan or finger scan. Security cameras may be installed to monitor unauthorized entries and theft attempts.
Early Warning Signals
Sensors installed at strategic locations can trigger an alarm in case of fire or similar emergencies, effectively averting any major damage to property and the safety of people in the vicinity.
Gone are the days when employees would spend several minutes or hours trying to locate a file and still not find it. With the emergence of cloud storage, files are safely backed up, so there’s no need to worry about them being accidentally thrown away or deleted from the hard disk.
Sensitive small business files can be protected by modern encryption technology, while those with business websites may use a firewall to ensure website security while benefiting from healthy website traffic. Sensitive business data may also be protected from unauthorized access through a fingerprint scan or software.
Negative Effects of Technology on Small Business Security
While technology brings several benefits, it can also cause many problems for small businesses.
Fast Obsolescence Rate
The rapid advancement in technology can be a challenge to small businesses. Aside from it being costly, there is the problem of employees adapting to the new technology. Depending on how tech-savvy the employees are, the learning curve might take a while. By the time they are comfortable with it, an upgrade or new technology has come up again. There is also the problem of having knowledgeable people to maintain the system.
Dependence on Technology
Technology has made everything easy for employees, from communicating to document preparation to purchasing supplies. Employees find it difficult to compute efficiency rates, much less prepare a weekly performance report. When technology breaks down, everything seems to be at a standstill.
Ironically, while technology is intended to keep sensitive personal and business information safe and secure, technology also puts the same information at risk. Cybercriminals are always on the lookout for computer and data systems that can be easily hacked. When they find a way to get into your system, these hackers access sensitive information such as trade secrets, financial data, and similar proprietary information. A cyberattack that leads to data privacy breaches on customer information can be very costly.
Preventing Security Issues
Your business’s cybersecurity is equally crucial as your physical safety and security. You have a responsibility to your employees, customers, and other stakeholders to protect them from physical danger and secure their personal information from social engineering threats such as phishing or spamming. Failure to do so will result in tarnishing a good reputation that you worked hard to build. Following are some tips on how to prevent common security issues.
Perform regular maintenance of safety and security devices
Safety devices can only serve their purpose if they are in good working condition. Security cameras, for instance, can only prove the occurrence of theft or infliction of physical injury on a person when they can accurately capture images. Similarly, devices that use biometrics must be maintained regularly. Check with the provider or installer on the device’s maintenance requirements.
Educate your employees
Every member of your small business must be made aware of the safety and security threats and how these can be prevented. This strategy is one way of building a culture of safety and security. Well-informed employees can easily spot danger signs and immediately respond to them if they are well-educated.
Establish policies that support safety and security
Government agencies have their respective policies and laws on safety and security, and every employee should know about them. But aside from these, you can develop policies tailored to your business, your facility, and your culture. Specify the role of each employee in implementing those policies. For example, are employees allowed to bring their personal laptops to work and use them to work on company documents?
Use of anti-hacking software
Several software programs are available in the market to prevent cyberattacks. Some of these have free versions. But before you fall into the trap of getting the free version, check out its features and compare them with the paid version. Do your research well.
Technological advancements have undoubtedly altered the way we do business. Although it has brought many advantages as far as work efficiency, productivity, and geographical reach are concerned, it has also given us cause for alarm.
The increasing number of data privacy breaches have shown the adverse effects technology can have on any business. And although hackers seem to target the bigger corporations, small businesses are not entirely safe from cybercrime.
However, the situation is not hopeless. If you arm yourself with knowledge, you will be better prepared to ward off the threats that technology poses.