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What Kind of Security Measures Must I Take?

  • Tips on business security measures for personal property, employee policies, and cybersecurity
  • For any kind of business organization
  • Know the essential safety measures and guidelines to protect your business

Businesses are vulnerable to any number of crimes, including burglary, embezzlement, and shoplifting. Cybercrime is also become a major concern, especially for companies that are reliant on digital services or dealing in sensitive information. Any of these circumstances can inflict losses that may cripple or doom your business.

Each business will have its own unique vulnerabilities and security needs. After reviewing these factors, on your own or with a security professional, investing in adequate security measures can minimize the risk of serious losses.

Physical security

Consider the crime rate in the area where your business is located or will be located. You may need to create additional security measures in an area where crime is more common. Ramping up security will also be necessary if you are working with valuable inventory or otherwise have a business that is more vulnerable to crime.

At a bare minimum, you should have locks on all external doors as well as any other entrances such as gates across driveways. Biometric or key fob locks will limit access to employees or other approved visitors. Steel doors and gates provide an extra layer of protection for entrances.

Take further security measures to protect certain items inside your business. These steps include storing cash in a safe, locking offices or other areas with sensitive information like employee records, and securing equipment with cables and locks. Have a secure electronic backup for sensitive documents.

Security systems can include adequate lighting, cameras, motion detectors, and alarms. If you believe your business is particularly vulnerable, you might hire staff to provide prevent loss or deter incidents. Security personnel can be stationed at the business during regular hours, off-hours, or both.

Conduct regular security audits to identify any issues that need to be addressed. These may be as minor as a broken light bulb or gap in a fence that needs to be fixed.

Employee policies

Your employee handbook should include a written security policy, outlining any visitor restrictions, rules on the removal of company property, restricted areas, and cybersecurity policies such as acceptable internet use. The handbook should also stipulate the penalties for violating any security policies.

Employees should be aware of business security measures, including any responsibilities they have for protecting company property. This could include assigned roles for opening or closing a facility, protocols for handling money and inventory, and a point of contact for reporting any suspicious activities. Encourage open communication so workers will easily be able to bring any concerns to your attention.

Take steps to mitigate the risk of employee theft from the company by screening hires and  periodically reviewing your finances. Look out for any potential signs of theft, including bounced business checks, inventory shortages, profit declines, or slow collections.

Set up controls in areas where theft is more likely to occur, such as bookkeeping or inventory control. You should also require that two people participate in certain processes, such as signing off on checks or preparing payroll.

If you believe there is a greater risk of employee theft at your business, you can consider bonding your employees. A bond indemnifies an employer up to a certain amount against losses caused by embezzlement, misappropriation, and other malfeasance.

Cybersecurity

Adequate cybersecurity measures should include protections such as strong passwords, firewalls, anti-virus software, and encryption for data storage and transfer. Cybersecurity software and operating systems should be regularly updated, as should passwords.
Make sure employees are aware of potential threats like phishing scams and ransomware and know how to detect them. While the company’s wireless network should be secured, you might also limit the use of personal devices on company property. These devices are less likely to be secured, and employees may inadvertently grant cybercriminals access to your network if they connect their own computer or smartphone.
If your company issues smartphones or other digital devices to employees, make sure your cybersecurity policies includes them as well. The devices should be password protected, use data encryption, and have security apps installed.
Conduct data backups at least once a week. This process will make it easier to recover if your company is compromised by a cyberattack.
Limit administrative access, and only allow certain individuals to conduct tasks such as software installation or data access. You may be able to support a dedicated IT staff; if not, you can still contract for services with an outside firm to have a professional on hand in case you encounter a problem with your cybersecurity.

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