All businesses, big or small, worry about crime. With business related crimes estimated to make up 20% of all recorded crimes, in developed countries, this shows that business owners are right to be concerned. These are not just crimes against the bricks and mortar, and belongings of your office premises, this is also regarding other forms of business crimes, such as cyber crime. With cybercrime on the rise costing companies billions a year, it has never been more important to be protecting all areas of our businesses.
As criminals come in all shapes and sizes, and crimes come in all different forms, there are no businesses free of some level of risk. With that in mind, today we want to go through the areas where businesses are at their most vulnerable and go through the security measures that can be taken in order to reduce the risks that you face, in order to protect your businesses.
All business security analysis should start with a risk assessment. Whether you do the research in order to be able to do this effectively yourself, or whether you want to call in a professional risk assessment specialist, this is always the best place to start. Maybe your business has already been a victim of crime so you know the areas that you need to tighten up, or perhaps you just feel that your business is lacking general security, this could be one of the most important assessments you can do for your company.
Protect Your Staff
Security training is an area of training that is seriously undervalued in companies across the globe, however, again it is one of the most important things that you can do for the safety and security of your business. Security training should be multifaceted and should cover everything, from what to do in the event of a serious threat, to how to recognise suspicious behaviour all the way through to educating staff on how to report crimes to senior members of staff. As you can see, proper business security training, has lots of important elements to it, so it is worthwhile to either call in a specialist or to train one member of staff to receive proper training so that he or she can look after the training for you and your staff.
Proper Office Illumination
There is nothing that looks more appealing to office thieves than a badly lit office block, car park or business entrance. Security lighting and properly lit commercial areas is one of the most important ways that you can make your office look more secure and stave off unwanted attention in the process. If you are unsure about how effective your commercial lighting is, find out more with a little research online or by contacting a local commercial lighting company. If you think of the outside of your property as the first impression that thieves get regarding the security of your business, you will realise that it is one of the most important things to look into in order to keep your office looking and feeling safe and protected.
Securing Office Premises
On top of good, solid office illumination you will want to make sure that the actual premises themselves are secure and well protected. There are many key areas to do this from strengthening doors, fitting sturdy window locks and fitting efficient CCTV systems. As most burglaries are actually unplanned, making sure that your office is extremely difficult to break into is the best way to get anyone sniffing around, to realise very quickly that they are wasting their time.
Therefore if you have any points in your office premises that seem particularly vulnerable, these are key areas for CCTV. The area where your actual staff and office belongings are, need to be properly protected with a secure alarm system. You should also be putting signs up around the office area to promote the fact that your office is properly fitted with CCTV and has a proper commercial alarm system. Burglars look for these types of signs, so they can act as a seriously effective deterrent for anyone looking to break into your premises. You can also look at installing security shutters or grilles, although make sure you get planning permission for any structural changes to your office premises. You should also be thinking about any security mirrors you need to place, within your office and office entrance, to cover any blind spots.
It goes without saying that all companies should be covering their companies for every eventuality with a solid business insurance policy. No company should be cutting corners when it comes to taking out the best insurance policies for securing equipment and protecting stock, so make sure you are looking into the best policies that will protect you and your company.
Preventing Employee Theft
One of the best ways to prevent theft from employees is to check the employment history of all new staff, making sure to always check references. You also should be making sure that you are introducing clear policies about theft and should always exercise caution when allowing staff to have keys and access to security codes. You should also be seen to be taking decisive action when any instances of theft, within your workforce happen, in order to make sure that all your staff are aware of the consequences of such behaviour.
Prevent Information Theft
In order to protect important files, sensitive information and private business documents you will need to make sure that your business is properly protected. If your company is mainly digital, or is heading in that direction, you will want to make sure that your software and programmes are properly secure and protected by installing firewalls and antivirus software. You will also need to create access controls and ways to restrict entry and access to certain folders and documents. Essentially, you are going to want to ensure that your business is adequately protected from external threats whilst also protecting highly confidential information, such as financial records, from internal members of staff.
All the above steps will go a long way in protecting your business, office premises, office equipment and staff from the most common office crimes. Creating a checklist of all the above safety measures and going through them, until they are all ticked off, will offer you peace of mind that your company is safe and secure so that you can happily focus on the day to day running and growth of your business.