How to protect your business from theft and criminal damage
No matter what type of business you are running, a burglary can be an extremely distressing experience. Not only can be it distressing for business owners and members of staff, it could also cost you money too (if you cannot recover the stolen equipment or data, for example, or need to pay for damaged property). In some cases, theft or criminal damage can also have a negative impact on your business’s reputation.
In the long run, your business could be crippled by the financial and practical implications of criminal damage. Therefore, it’s well worth investing in measures to prevent theft and criminal damage from arising.
First, carry out a risk assessment
First you’ll need to carry out a risk assessment of your business and its premises. This will give you a good indication of the level of security you need, and the specific security measures you need to invest in. Investigate all entrances and exits, windows and any other weak points on the building. If staff are taking home laptops or other mobile devices, you will need to include factors such as loss, damage, theft and cyber breaches in your risk assessment too.
Next, secure the premises
Whether you reinforce entrances with roller shutters, security grilles or replace old doors with high quality security doors, these changes will be an investment to your business, preventing and deter criminals from getting into your property.
Access is another thing to consider; if you’re a small business, you may get away with supplying trusted employees with a key for entrance. However, once you start to expand it’s important that you consider alternative options such as identity cards for entry and security guards to monitor visitors and non-employees. You may also choose to install CCTV as a deterrent for criminals, or for a means of gathering evidence should anything happen.
Educate your employees
Once you’ve physically secured your business, it’s important that everyone knows how to use security measures appropriately. Educate your employees about the business’s security policy and procedures that may need to be carried out upon their entrance and exit of the building. This could include setting alarms, double locking doors and remembering to close windows overnight. You should also train staff to recognise when someone is in the building that isn’t an employee so that they can notify the right people and report any suspicious behaviour.
Protect your equipment
If you have expensive equipment on site, you should carry out regular audit checks to ensure they’re actually still within your premises. If employees are taking work laptops home, make sure you keep a record of all of the serial numbers and keep on top of any damages, repairs or claims. If you’re suspicious of employee theft then look into it with confidence and assurance until you reclaim or discover your items.
Prevent cyber theft
Finally, you should also take steps to your business falling victim to malicious hackers. The most common and popular form of hacking these days is Ransomware where your system will be taken over by a hacker until a ransom is paid. However, even upon payment of a ransom you might not get your business back. Ransomware can bring businesses down for long periods of time, resulting in huge losses and loss of customer trust.
Therefore, your employees need to be aware of the risk of Ransomware hackers and what to look out for. This can include emails that ask for a download or accessing unsafe websites. You could even arrange for an expert to hold a seminar for maximum protection, educating employees on the real risks.
Follow these tips to ensure you’re protecting your business from theft and criminal damage.