When your business is not secure, you put yourself, your customers and the integrity of your business at risk. You may have more than enough insurance, but consider the impact of time lost if your business operations are suspended due to a security breach that has caused human losses or loss of consumer confidence in your business.
Here are the top four safeguards you should be concerned with for your business security needs.
1. Data Security
Whether you write it down, store it in the cloud, or keep it on your phone or computer, data should be kept private. You should take steps to control access to all customer data on a need-to-know basis.
Employees and vendors are also potential data leak risks. Have signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA) from employees and vendors that even include verbal sharing of your company’s private data, whether it is consumer, operational or proprietary data. Your company’s data should also include security in the form of redundant backups to prevent operational losses after a hack.
2. Human and Structure Security
The most valuable assets of any business are its employees and customers. The human element comes first when it comes to business security. This includes a primary protection for the structures you do business in to protect them from fire, natural disaster and now even terrorism.
Fire and natural disaster threats have always been a concern for businesses, but the uptick in workplace violence perpetrated by individuals and groups has become a real risk. You should have an independent risk analysis completed to decide if armed or unarmed security personnel should be part of your business operations, but monitored electronic fire, burglary and intruder protection from Tele-Plus or a similar company in your area is a standard you should have.
3. Disaster Recovery
Whether your business provides goods or services, you need a detailed disaster recovery plan in place. When Hurricane Irma was bearing down on Florida, the governor pointed out that restoring the operation of retail stores was a priority as part of the plan to ease the burden on precious disaster supplies.
It comes down to the fact that during recovery after a disaster, your customers will need to replenish the critical items they lost. Your emergency disaster recovery plan should include redundancies to your supply chain so you can provide the products or services that you offer to consumers with as minimal amount of downtime as possible. This precaution ensures the viability of your business in times of disaster as well as provides essential goods to your customers.
4. Shrinkage and Espionage
In retail, shrinkage means the loss of material goods. Pulling some cleaning products from your sales inventory to keep your store clean is authorized shrinkage, but the most familiar use of the term is associated with retail theft. Theft that causes inventory or resource shrinkage can be from customers, employees, vendors or service providers that have access to your goods.
Espionage sounds like something from news stories involving threats to the United States from other countries, but it is much more insidious in business. It can be subtle or overt, but it is theft of your private or proprietary information for the purposes of giving a competitor an advantage or to cause losses to your business.
Tactics of industrial and corporate espionage has changed the history of business on more than one occasion.
Keep tight control on inventory, raw materials or other supplies and lock down access to private and proprietary information. Threats of legal repercussions do nothing to stop criminals. Denying access does. Review your security protocols designed to prevent shrinkage and acts of espionage regularly, because, as technology rapidly changes, so do opportunities for criminals to steal.
No business is 100 percent secure. The recent data breach at Equifax is an example. If a giant company like that can be hit, what avenues of attack has your business left open?
Business security goes hand-in-hand with the daily operation of your business. You should hope for the best, but it is prudent to prepare for the worst.
No one knows your business like you do. Start going over your business security plan again today.