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Annual Business Security Checklist

Closeup of a red marker checking off boxes printed on a piece of paper.

As 2024 kicks off, it’s the perfect time to conduct a year-in-review to see what changes your business may need to make to improve security. And with the increasing preva­lence of cyber threats, burglaries, and other security concerns, it’s essential for businesses to stay ahead of the curve. 

In this article, we’re sharing our top security tips to help you safeguard your assets, data, and employees. Consider it your Annual Business Security Checklist.”

  • Take inventory of your hardware and software
  • Conduct risk assessments
  • Double check backups and uptime estimates
  • Check your physical security
  • Future-proof your security

Think of a security checklist as a combi­nation of prevention and disaster recovery, all in one document. By checking off every item on the list, you can dramat­i­cally reduce your risk of both digital and physical security threats.

Is it time to update your security system? Contact the experts at Bates Security.

Founded by a former police officer, Bates Security offers custom alarm systems and access control solutions for businesses across Florida, Georgia, and Kentucky. No matter your security needs, trust our experienced professionals to help you find the right solutions, tailored to your budget.

Take Inventory of Your Hardware and Software

First up on the list is a house­keeping task. Take inventory of your hardware and software, and get rid of older technology and software that’s not in use anymore. This entails identi­fying and cataloging all physical computing devices (such as computers, servers, networking equipment, and periph­erals) and software appli­ca­tions currently in operation within your organi­zation. These items can clog networks and slow down opera­tions. Automated updates for software you don’t need can hog bandwidth and take up space in paid storage. Discarding obsolete systems means you can reduce the risks to your network.

Time for Another Risk Assessment

How often do you perform risk assess­ments for your business? While quarterly is recom­mended for digital assets, these assess­ments may fall to the back burner during the year. Make sure you do a full security risk assessment at least once a year.

Look at all of your systems and check on mobile devices and non-Windows systems. All of these should be incor­po­rated into your security planning. Make sure security is up-to-date for every­thing and that nothing is overlooked when planning for future security risks. While you can’t eliminate vulner­a­bil­ities, a solid risk assessment helps you prepare.

Test Your Backups and Uptime Estimates

It’s always a great idea to check your uptime recovery abilities. First, check on your automated backups. Is every­thing in good condition and ready for deployment if something happens to your systems? If every­thing looks good, go through a test run. A test run can help expose any missing systems that might have been added to your network but not your backup data. Plus, running a test reveals how well your backup software functions when needed and gives you a ballpark on how long it takes to recover your data in the event of an emergency.

Check Your Physical Security

From a digital perspective, you’ll want to look for unpro­tected network jacks or emergency proce­dures that could leave your data exposed. For example, in the event of a fire alarm, do you have good reentry protocols that would prevent someone from sneaking in or gaining access while most people are outside?

Look at your security system and see where the vulner­a­bil­ities might be. Do you have blank corners where there aren’t any cameras? Motion-activated cameras for emergencies might capture someone who isn’t where they should be, while also minimizing the storage you need to maintain. Think about all entryways and access control features, along with security options that help protect your employees, from lighted parking lots and monitored cameras to two-way emergency commu­ni­ca­tions for alarm systems. It’s a good idea to work with a security expert to best identify potential problems and updates that might be needed for the new year.

Future-Proof Your Security

Plan your security changes for 2024. If you have more remote employees or employees working hybrid schedules, you may need to implement security systems for their homes. Adding in employee training to reduce the risk of effective spearfishing and other social attacks is a must for the modern workforce.

Add penetration testing and disaster recovery tests to your calendar now. If you have a plan in place to run tests in advance, they’re less likely to get lost when things get busy throughout the year. If you’re planning hardware updates for your security system, get the instal­lation schedule nailed down early to avoid unplanned outages.

Get expert help with your security planning. Contact Bates Security.

When completing your end-of-year business security checklist, let the police-trusted professionals at Bates Security help create a framework for your safety. Our access control and alarm systems are always custom-designed and tailored to your needs and budget.