words Al Woods
Statistics indicate approximately 606,282 crimes against businesses in the UK, with an average of 69.2 crimes happening hourly. Businesses are prone to shoplifting, burglary, cyberattacks, and employee theft. And these crimes can cause loss of property and sensitivity while compromising your clients’ and employees’ safety. Moreover, you risk facing lawsuits from angry clients whose private data has been compromised. Therefore, safeguarding your business is essential. Here are some security strategies to protect your business.
Improve your lighting in your office outdoor areas
Burglars commonly target dark areas, and your office premise is no exception. Investing in outdoor lighting to illuminate the area and deter break-ins is essential. Moreover, it can protect your customers and employees by eliminating the risks of them being attacked. Experts advise investing in floodlights, as these can easily illuminate larger and darker areas around your premises. Consequently, consider standing lamp posts, landscape lights, and spotlights. As a tip, purchase lighting with motion sensors to promote energy efficiency and reduce costs.
You also want to consider the most vulnerable areas when placing your lighting. These areas include staircases, walkways, shadowy areas, parking lots, doorways, entrances, exits, bushes, etc. Although considering safety and security, you don’t have to forgo aesthetics. Therefore, choose lighting options that complement your building, as mismatched fixtures may look weird—for instance, select traditional fixtures for classical buildings and simpler fixtures for utilitarian buildings. As a tip, purchase LED lights to save costs on utility bills.
Install surveillance systems
Surveillance systems have become popular among many business owners for good reasons. Security cameras at vantage points can deter burglars from trespassing on your office premises. Moreover, supervising your staff’s actions and preventing employee theft and other suspicious behaviours is easier. You can also monitor whoever visits your office and quickly detect those who act strangely. Getting evidence of criminal activity in your workplace is also easier. Choosing cameras with 1080p or 4K resolution is prudent, as they are high definition. 1080P cameras are ideal for small businesses, while 4K options work well for enterprise-level businesses, so keep this in mind. You also want to invest in options with web access and night vision to monitor your premises anywhere and at any time. Cameras that can withstand weather conditions are also your best bet.
Regarding surveillance system installation, ensure that you place your cameras where they can fully view the areas you intend to monitor. Placing them in the corners may create blind spots, so you want to avoid that. By all means, avoid exposing the camera cables as they can be tampered with. Instead, ensure that they are hidden in conduits to protect them. It’s also prudent to use the cameras as intended; use outdoor cameras for outdoor surveillance and indoor cameras for indoor surveillance. Security experts also advise leveraging wired security cameras, as they are less likely to be hacked than wireless options. Working with professional installers will be your best option if you want the best out of your surveillance system.
Train your employees in security awareness
A Databasix research indicates that approximately 88% of UK companies have experienced security breaches in the past year, with 33% losing customers for this reason. These statistics reiterate the need to prioritise security. And one way to achieve this is to train your employees in employee awareness. Security awareness training programmes help your staff avoid seemingly small blunders that can cause significant losses for your businesses. Moreover, they will be more equipped to create strong passwords and identify and flag suspicious activities. And this can boost your company’s reputation for prioritising your clients’ data.
Some topics to include in your training programs are phishing attacks, malware, safe internet habits, removable media, physical and environmental security, social networking risks, etc. You also want to consider data privacy, management, and clean desk policy. Sure, casual training with infographics or videos may work, but it’s not guaranteed that all your workers would read or watch them. Therefore, adopting a formal training approach with a well-defined structure is essential to encourage our employees to take it seriously. You also want to include your remote workers in the training process.
If you’re based in the USA, you might want to invest in some kind of active shooter training, or training for any kind of weapon-based attack. You’ve only got to look at the recent mass shooting statistics for the USA to realise that there’s a real problem. Luckily, there are software and security systems being developed and readily available that go some way in helping the situation. With that said, it’s probably still worth going over security awareness so your employees know where to go and what to do if something bad happens.
Upgrade your company’s data security
It’s not uncommon for small businesses or non-tech companies to assume they are safe from cyber-attacks. However, that’s far from the truth, as all businesses are at risk. Therefore, it’s prudent to upgrade your company’s data security. This prevents cyber criminals from stealing sensitive client or company data that causes you to lose lots of money. Moreover, you risk dealing with tarnished company image and various lawsuits. Likewise, upgrading your data security helps your business meet the compliance requirements and prevent run-ins with the law.
To get started, assess your current cybersecurity strengths and weaknesses. Consequently, create a risk inventory of your digital assets to help you evaluate external and internal threats. As a tip, consider classifying your data into the following categories for the best results: internal use data, public data, confidential data, IP data and compliance data.
Enabling two-factor authentication and advising your staff against using their devices and mails is also helpful, so keep this in mind. To protect against malware, ensure that you eliminate spam from your email, leverage your router’s firewall and invest in the right software to detect and eliminate malware. Likewise, secure your wireless network using a strong encryption setting and turning off the broadcasting function to hide your network. It’s also essential to properly dispose of company data you don’t require to prevent it from falling into the wrong hands. You also want to conduct background checks and set up automatic software updates. For the best results, you can use a specialist IT support company to stay on top of your cyber-security needs.
Ensure that previous employees can’t access your company
A Beyond Identity research indicated that approximately 83% of employees maintained continued access to accounts from their former employers. It’s not unusual for employees to leave companies due to various reasons. However, failing to revoke their access to your company can be more harmful than beneficial. Disgruntled employees can use this as an opportunity to destroy valuable data, causing you to spend much to fix the mistake. Moreover, it’s easier to steal sensitive data that can ruin your business. You also risk violating compliance laws and facing heavy fines. This makes it essential to revoke former employees’ access, and you want to consider it if you haven’t already.
If you notice excess downloads, file transfer load or multiple attempts to access data management systems, it could indicate that someone is trying to steal data from you. In this case, you want to revoke their access and take the needed legal action. You can prevent this by implementing policies regarding the use of personal devices. As a tip, consider providing your in-house and remote workers with devices and tools to ensure they don’t access your data through their devices. Consequently, retrieve all company property such as laptops, handbooks, and keys. It’s also essential to collect their passwords, render them invalid, disable their email accounts, and access the intranet and the company’s social media accounts. Clearing their biometric data from your security system is also helpful, so keep this in mind.
Partner with security experts
Despite the advanced technology that aids security, you still require the services of a security team. This is because the presence of security officers deters burglars and criminals from trespassing on your business premise. Likewise, you can rest assured that your office gets 24/7 protection. You also avoid loss related to stolen equipment and tools. When selecting your security provider, ensure they have the required licences to operate in your jurisdiction. You also want to consider their accreditations and insurance for a more informed decision. Companies with NSI accreditation can be considered, so keep this in mind. You also want to ascertain their reputation and experience; a LinkedIn or Google search can give you the needed information. Third-party review sites can also help you choose the best security company, so feel free to consider this.
Update your security plan
Update your security plan to ensure that you aren’t neglecting any area that needs protection is essential. Moreover, an updated plan makes it easier to enforce your security policies. However, you need to take certain steps before starting the process. You can begin by reviewing your insurance policies to ensure you’re covered for all possible security risks. You also want to audit your current security policies, including employee security protocols. Identifying and developing innovative ways to address potential security risks is also helpful. Also, review your current security technology to ensure that it meets the standards and inform your employees of updated security protocols.
Staying on top of your business security can protect your clients and employees while preventing avoidable costs. It also gives your business a good image and encourages your clients to trust your company. Hopefully, you’ll leverage these strategies to achieve the best results.