Overstated but underestimated; keeping your business secure isn’t just about looking after your assets but it’s about making sure that your business is as efficient and cost-effective as humanly possible. These days it can be as time-consuming as running the business itself. But we’ve got to remember that crime is such a multifarious facet that protecting the company isn’t just about installing anti-virus programs anymore! There are so many different areas of crime, not just cybercrime but white-collar crime, including fraud. It’s also important to remember that infiltration can come from within, not just from external components. What should any business have in place to make sure their business is comprehensively protected?
Table of Contents
Security At The Gate
While most rented offices have a security guard on-site there comes a point where everything needs to step up a gear. Ensuring that the premises are secured is vital but it’s about looking at the front line as well. We’ve got to remember that the front line security is about controlling who enters and leaves the property. You can implement a visitor management policy to make sure that any unescorted visitor is monitored but it’s also about ensuring those little components at the front gates are comprehensive. ID cards are one of the most important things to have in place to help people get in and out. And we’ve got to remember that while keeping a business secure is crucial there can be such a thing as overkill. With something like ID cards, you could very easily have problems getting people in and out through the gates. You also have to make sure that for people that are busy in the business that have to rush around that they can very easily access the building. This is where reels for ID cards can come in handy to shave off valuable seconds. The gate is the front line and if you have a strong enough system in place at the front door this can prevent a lot of problems.
Making Sure Your Staff Know What To Do
We need to protect our staff but it’s not just about making sure that the framework is there; it’s about making sure that your staff understands what to do in the event of any serious threat. One of the big misconceptions for inexperienced staff, especially when they are brand new to the business is that they have to protect it at all costs. It’s about understanding what practices are in place so a staff member doesn’t have to put themselves at risk. This is clearly evident in department stores. If a member of staff was to be held up at the cash register it’s far better to give up the cash rather than trying to defend it and get themselves hurt. But before it gets to this point it’s about making sure that the staff knows what they are looking for with regards to suspicious behavior. In any working environment, due diligence and common sense cannot be taken for granted. It’s important for you to put the procedures in place so your staff members understand what to do in the event of an emergency. This means keeping on top of communication but also being consistent with regards to relevant documentation and providing extra training.
Understanding Technological Boundaries
Because you want to implement a productive business this can mean cutting corners. But the important thing to note is when you are putting your business in extreme danger. A very good example is a BYOD or Bring Your Own Device policy. Organizations try to implement this so people can use their own devices which will save the company money but as the employees are using their own devices this means quick access to information which should, in theory, speed up the process. But there are numerous dangers with BYOD processes. Because people are bringing their own devices this means that you’ve got to have the most secure network in place while also communicating the boundaries and rules for your employees. Because members of staff can take their phone outside of work this means that if they end up in a precarious situation with sensitive information stored on their phone this could cause a massive data breach. You have to make sure every member of staff has an inherent understanding of its BYOD policy. But you’ve also got to understand the technological limitations of implementing this. If you don’t have an adequate VPN in place, this could open you up to numerous data breaches. As a starting point, it may be a good idea to gradually roll out the policy so only a handful of staff members are able to do it. Trialing this can give you a better idea of if it will work on not.
Preventing Internal Fraud
Fraud from staff members is on the up. And while we have to implement an appropriate vetting process when hiring employees it seems now in some corners that when we are desperate for the right person their LinkedIn profile will suffice! It’s far better for you to verify previous employment history and cross-check any references. Employee theft should be met with extreme reprisal if discovered but it’s important to communicate the disciplinary procedure should this occur. Internal fraud can be prevented through due diligence on yours and on the employees’ part, but it’s important to notice the signs of internal fraud. While you need security cameras and measures put in place to catch the person out you’ve also got to remember you need to support prosecution. We have got to be productive over our assets and if we ever find someone committing a fraudulent act we should be liaising with a legal team and complying with the HR processes. It can be extremely muddy waters when we discover that an employee is stealing from us but we have to remain on the right side of the law, no matter how frustrated we are on a personal level.
The Importance Of Regular Checks And Audits
In a department store situation, a stock check is undertaken at least every year and we have to remember that regular checks should form part of our infrastructure. Crime evolves. From the perspective of a cyber criminal, they learn new and more sophisticated methods. This means that we have to evolve along with it. Undertaking a security audit is vital and you should do this at least once a year. It’s not just about following the security policy but it’s also about updating it. You should also be receptive to how the staff can suggest better protective methods. It’s also important, much like doing a fire safety check, to do a disaster scenario. The one true way to determine whether your staff are ready for any emergency of this magnitude is to do a dry run. Implementing dry runs is potentially costly but it’s the one true way of determining how prepared your business is for any sort of disaster or breach.
The Importance Of Regular Training
Ensuring that your staff members are diligent in their practices is about consistent communication. Providing training is the way to make sure that every certain staff member has peace of mind to keep the business above board. By having regular training processes your staff members will know what to do in the event of a crisis but it’s a far better line of defense. One of the most commonly used examples now that can throw any business into disarray is a phishing scam. If there is one member of staff that doesn’t know the signs of a phishing scam and they open the link, this causes problems across the board. But making sure that every member of staff is kept up-to-date and that every worker has the same wealth of knowledge as the next person this is what will improve your first line of defense.
It is an incredibly intimidating aspect of any business. When every organization talks about business security it’s something that we all know we’ve got to pay attention to but it can be such an expense that we are better off trying to avoid it in the hope that we aren’t targeted. But the fact of the matter is that every business is a target- big businesses or small businesses are all targets for fraud. And from the perspective of a small-time entrepreneur, arguably, they have to protect their business even more than the larger companies. It’s easy enough to say that your business needs protecting but because it can be such a complex and expensive investment but it’s easy to see why people purchase anti-virus programs and nothing more. It’s important for you to be proactive in terms of protecting your business. There are so many different types of crimes and this is why you should get in contact with your local Small Business Administration branch but also incorporate the right people into the business that can keep on top of protecting the company. With every business feeling like it’s on a knife-edge, nobody can afford to make any mistakes. There is so much pressure to get the processes right that ensuring the company is secure in other ways will bring about that crucial peace of mind.