Every business will encounter threats at some point. How you respond to those threats could ultimately determine your success as an organization. A failure to identify, manage and respond appropriately to threats could lead to irreparable damage, loss of revenue, or even business failure. To protect your business from potential dangers, you must protect it from internal and external threats. Read on for advice on protecting your organization from a range of potential risks so that you can continue growing with confidence and security.
Identify risks to your business.
Before effectively addressing any threats, you will need to understand them. Threats to your business can come from a wide array of sources, including:
- Natural disasters: Hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, and other weather-related events can cause severe property damage and disrupt operations for days or weeks.
- Cybercrime: Hacking, malware, ransomware, data breaches, viruses, and other cyber threats can damage your data and disrupt business operations.
- Supply chain disruption: Incidents such as the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the 2011 E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce, or the 2011 Salmonella scare linked to eggs pose a risk to your food and beverage supply chain. Suppliers going out of business and logistics issues can also impact your supply chain.
- Employee misconduct: Issues such as insider threats, fraud, theft, or data breaches related to employees could cause significant damage.
- Customer misconduct: Issues such as liability claims or fraud related to customers could also pose a threat.
Install proper security measures
Before assessing any threats, you will need to install proper security measures. To start, identify the areas of your business that are most likely to be targeted. These could include entrances, parking lots, computer networks, or customer records. You will also want to determine which employees have access to these areas and what type of access they have. If you do not currently have security measures, you will need to install them before you can effectively protect your business from threats. Here are some security measures to consider:
- Install video surveillance systems: If required, install video surveillance systems or a Spy Camera with motion detection sensors to monitor areas such as parking lots and entrances or in the event of internal or employee theft or significant security concerns.
- Install access control systems: Install access control systems to restrict the areas that certain employees can access. You can also use them to control employee access to sensitive data.
- Install fire suppression systems: Install fire suppression systems near computer systems or storage areas where chemicals or other flammable materials are present.
- Install proper security doors: Install fitting security doors near entrances to protect against intruders as well as perimeter security solutions.
Ensure employee awareness and training
Security measures are not enough to protect your business from threats. You will also need to ensure that your employees know their role in protecting the business. First, meet with your employees to discuss your business’s threats and their role in protecting the organization.
- Establish an effective security training program: Establish an effective security training program for all employees to ensure they are adequately prepared to deal with threats.
- Hold mock security drills: Hold mock security drills with employees to test your security procedures and identify areas that could be improved.
- Hold frequent security updates: Hold regular security updates with employees to keep them up to date on the latest threats facing the business.
- Use an internal alarm app: Employees can use an internal alarm app to report issues or ask questions about security measures.
Tighten up access to some or all parts of your building
As part of your security measures, you will likely want to tighten access to some or all of your buildings. For example, you may want to restrict access to sensitive areas, such as server rooms or records rooms, to only a select few employees. You will also want to review the ID card and signing-in/out procedures for employees with access to the building, particularly remote workers. Here are some ways to tighten access:
- Install biometric fingerprint readers: Install biometric fingerprint readers at entrances or ID cards to restrict access to certain areas.
- Restrict parking lots and garage access: Restrict parking lots and garage access to only essential employees. You can also install sensors that automatically alert you when a vehicle enters your parking lot after business hours.
- Restrict access to computer systems: Restrict access to computer systems only to employees who need them.
- Restrict access to sensitive records: Restrict access to sensitive documents only to employees who require them.
- Review signing in/out procedures: Review signing in/out policies for employees with remote access to the building.
Put effective cyber security measures in place.
As discussed above, cybercrime is one of the most common and dangerous threats facing businesses today. While you can’t prevent all cyber attacks, you can put adequate security measures to reduce the risk of being targeted. Here are some cyber security measures to put in place:
- Educate employees about threats: Educate employees about the business’s dangers so they can identify and report suspicious activity.
- Limit employee access to computers: Limit employee access to computers to only what they need to do their jobs effectively.
- Use two-factor authentication: Use two-factor authentication to protect sensitive data.
- Use robust security software: Use powerful security software to block malicious programs such as viruses or ransomware.
- Maintain up-to-date backups: Maintain up-to-date backups of critical business data so you can recover it quickly in the event of a cyber attack.
Hire a security firm
If you’ve implemented all of the above security measures, hired a security guard, and your employees understand the risks, you’ll likely be doing everything possible to protect your business from threats. For maximum protection, you may want to consider hiring a security firm. Here are some things to look for when hiring a security firm:
- Find a company with experience: Find a company with experience in the industry and a proven track record.
- Look for companies that offer a variety of services: Look for companies that provide various services, such as 24/7 monitoring, access control, fire systems, or CCTV monitoring.
Draft employee contracts carefully.
All employees, whether hired full-time, part-time, or contractors, are a potential threat to the security of the business. Some employees may try to steal sensitive data such as customer information, intellectual property, or trade secrets. Other employees may attempt to cause damage or disrupt your operations by tampering with computer systems. You can reduce the risk of these issues by drafting employee contracts carefully. Here are some ways to prepare contracts carefully:
- Discuss confidentiality agreements: Discuss confidentiality agreements with all employees, particularly those handling sensitive data, to reduce the risk of intellectual property or trade secret theft.
- Discuss non-disparagement clauses: Discuss non-disparagement clauses with all employees to reduce the risk of harm to your business due to malicious statements.
- Discuss non-compete clauses: Discuss non-compete clauses with employees who may be at risk of leaving the company and working for a competitor.
- Discuss outside employment: Discuss outside employment with all employees to reduce the risk of them being unaware of their duties while working for you.
Constantly assess your risk level.
You should also regularly reassess your security measures, particularly if you notice changes in your business’s threats. Finally, you should constantly assess your risk level. Here are some ways to continually evaluate your risk level:
- Conduct security checks: Conduct security checks periodically to check the effectiveness of your security measures.
- Review security reports: Review security reports from your security software to identify potential issues.
- Review incident reports: Review incident reports from your internal alarm app to identify potential threats.
- Review employee feedback: Review employee feedback to identify possible threats from employees.
- Review feedback from customers: Review feedback from customers to identify potential threats.
All businesses face threats, either internally or externally. By being proactive and undertaking regular risk assessments you can lower or eliminate threats to protect your business.