Top Security Tips For Business Owners
Wes Wernette, FireKing Security Group
Wes Wernette, FireKing Security Group
Security Practices Every Business Should Follow
To paraphrase Forrest Gump, secure is as secure does. Protecting your business is an ongoing process. After all, security threats never take a day off. It pays to take precautions on both sides of the door.
Threats from Without
Locks and Keys
Designate only one unlocked entrance for monitored entry during business hours. Other doors such as employee entrances, and shipping and receiving should remain locked
The more secure the lock, the less likely the possibility of the business falling victim to burglary. However, since deft thieves have been known to disable the lock cylinder to open the door, it's prudent to boost the security level of existing locks and cylinders by having a locksmith reinforce them with hardened cylinder collars and cylinder guard plates.
Locks are only as secure as those who are entrusted with unlocking them. For this reason, businesses should keep a log of all distributed keys, and only in rare cases should one be given to a temp. When an employee is terminated or leaves his or her position, keys should be returned as part of the exit process, prior to issuing a final paycheck.
Putting a security system in place will give business owners added peace of mind. One that is monitored by an outside company is recommended. If the alarm is triggered after hours, the company will notify the police immediately. Only one or two vetted employees should be given the access code. Common sense dictates that this should be the one who arrives first or leaves last.
IP surveillance cameras can be monitored 24/7 to keep an eye on the building outside and inside.
Threats from Within
Employers are often surprised when discovering an employee has been pilfering. It could be the bookkeeper embezzling funds; an associate systematically pocketing the proceeds from sales by not recording receipts, or a purchasing agent taking bribes from a vendor. Instituting a protocol for handling money can safeguard against this.
Monetary practices worth incorporating include:
- Dividing cash handling responsibilities. One person accepts cash payments. A different person records transactions.
- Check writing. One person authorizes a check, another prepares it and a third signs it.
- Accounting paperwork. The person who handles the day-to-day accounting should not be the one to prepare year-end or quarterly reports. Hire an accountant instead.
Threats from Cyberspace
Thanks to broadband technology and advances in IT, today's business owners have access to a worldwide market, along with increased sales and productivity. Unfortunately, this valuable tool can expose businesses to cyber threats. As recent news accounts attest, no company is too big to be hacked, and since the opposite is equally true, the following practices are recommended.
The company should establish a strict training program for all employees at the start of their employment. This should include processing and protecting customer information, proper Internet usage, and tips on creating a strong password. Consequences of violating these rules should be made known.
Computers and Software
Staying updated on operating systems, web browsers and security software is the best defense against viruses, malware and other cyber threats. All software updates should be applied as soon as they are issued, and anti-virus scans run regularly. Place Firewalls on any computer with Internet access.
When considering a BYOD (bring your own device) policy, keep in mind that while it can be very convenient for employees, if they can access the company's network or hold confidential data, they can also pose security challenges. For this reason, institute a strict mobile device plan.
- Password protection
- Data encryption
- Security apps to protect against theft of information while on public networks
While these practices may seem like a lot of work – remember that rebuilding a company devastated by loss will take even more.
About the Author
Wes Wernette currently oversees marketing at FireKing Security Group in New Albany, IN. FireKing specializes in products and services to keep your business assets secure, including safes and file cabinets.