Does size matter to criminals? The answer is not a straight “yes.”
But most experts say that small and medium enterprises (SME) are more attractive targets for crime because they are generally vulnerable and less secure. Most SMEs don’t usually invest in a security system that can provide the best defenses.
You've spent a lot of effort and money on the success of your business. Even if you don't perceive your business to be at risk, it's worth investing in protecting your company. As they say, "Always be on the safe side."
The more you invest in securing your company, the less likely you are at risk for shoplifting, burglary, vandalism, and even cybercrimes. Ensuring your physical store is safe is only part of what you need to do. Improving the security of your business is about combining physical and cybersecurity efforts.
Apart from investing in a security system, here are seven practical tips to prevent crime and protect your small business against massive losses.
1. Regulate access to susceptible data and business areas.
One of the primary ways you can limit the risk of thieves stealing highly confidential data, equipment, or cash is to make sure you regulate access to them.
Use I.D. cards and biometrics. I.D. cards allow supervisors, customers, and employees to quickly identify personnel and pinpoint trespassers. At the same time, biometric locks add an extra layer of security.
Consider implementing a personalized key card that employees must swipe to unlock the doors of critical business areas such as stockrooms, server rooms, and accounting rooms. Limit key cards to a few employees who need to access these rooms and keep track of who has them.
Make sure employees return all keys whenever they leave the company.
2. Install security features on doors to prevent break ins.
Put latches and deadbolts on main security doors and entry points to make breaking in difficult for burglars. A heavy-duty latch is your primary defense and possibly all you need to discourage unauthorized entries.
Don’t compromise security with small door locks. Use padlocks made of steel and keep all doors locked at all times. Secure all entrance doors with metal security crossbars.
Make sure no doors and windows are left open and unlocked after business hours, including blinds, to prevent “window shopping” by burglars who want to take stock of your inventory.
3. Place sufficient lighting inside and outside of your business.
Using energy-efficient office lighting can both eliminate dark areas on your business premises and improve employee and customer safety. When the outside of your business is well-lit, it gives criminals fewer areas to hide and prevent accidents from happening. Check that the parking lot is well-lit with unobstructed views.
You can use outdoor solar LED lights that automatically open when dark. Protect exterior lights and power sources with covers to deter tampering.
4. Keep your building exterior and your landscape well-maintained.
Dissuade criminals from targeting your small business by keeping your building exterior attractive and your landscaping free from obstructed views. Well-maintained premises limit areas where criminals can hide and send them a clear signal that you are paying close attention to your property.
5. Implement recommended cybersecurity practices to secure digital assets.
Cyberattacks and cybercrimes are becoming alarmingly common nowadays. Big companies and small businesses alike are suffering data breaches. It’s essential to consider virtual protection and physical security to secure highly confidential information about your business.
Standard cybersecurity practices will make your digital data safer from hackers and unauthorized personnel.
Teach employees about basic security, personal cybersecurity, and the prevalence of cyberthreats. Your employees must understand the risk of being the target of malicious actors eager to find their way to critical information about your company.
Secure all data and customer information by installing anti-virus and anti-malware software on computers. An anti-virus and anti-malware software adds an extra layer of protection, particularly against phishing attacks that steal data and login credentials.
Protect documents with passwords. Hackers have developed powerful algorithms that can accurately guess complex passwords in seconds. Use a long password of twelve characters at a minimum with a mix of numbers, symbols, and capital- and lower-case letters.
Limit the number of employees you will authorize to access critical information on your computer networks.
6. Protect funds and vital documents by using a smart safe.
Burglars find it easier to take cash and small portable items. Locking up laptops and other expensive equipment in secure locations will make it difficult to steal. A bolted smart safe can keep some money, vital documents, and keep expensive items safe and secured.
When someone attempts to open the safe without proper authorization, the safe notifies you through the owner’s smart device. Your safe must be fireproof and securely anchored.
7. Place security cameras in visible locations to deter criminals.
Install security cameras near doors, loading areas, windows, security gates, or any areas with traffic. A visibly displayed security camera alerts criminals to the presence of a security system, reducing the likelihood of pursuing theft and other criminal activities.
Invest in real security cameras to monitor all entry points and protect your business against intruders.
Complement your security cameras with motion detectors that can send you instant notifications when someone enters your premises after business hours.
You must confront the three major workplace security issues–employee safety, asset security, data protection, and other valuable information. These security issues require you to implement a solid workplace security system that eliminates any risk to your business.
However, you must recognize that it is impossible to obtain 100% security no matter how robust your security system is. By incorporating these security tips into your small business today, you can reduce the possibility of both physical attacks and cyberattacks on your business. The feeling of being safe and protected makes your efforts worthwhile.