Unfortunately, any business can fall victim to burglary, theft and/or cybercrime. But when a small business is targeted by criminals, the impacts can feel especially consequential and, for the business owner, even personal.
This is because, of course, most small business owners pour their hearts and souls into their business ventures. And to further amplify the impacts of any criminal activity, most simply do not have the financial resources that larger regional or national enterprises do, making it harder to quickly recover from theft-related losses such as stolen merchandise and property damage.
When it comes to protecting themselves, though, small businesses can implement some of the same defenses against crime that larger enterprises do. And a number of the most effective steps small businesses can take to protect their property, workers and customers against criminal activity are relatively simple and inexpensive to implement.
To decrease their chances of becoming victims of crime, small businesses can consider employing these six simple, security-boosting tactics:
- Regulate physical access: One of the easiest and most powerful ways to enhance security is to carefully manage access to the building and its equipment, taking particularly strong precautions to protect sensitive areas and data.
Some of the top ways to accomplish this include:
– limiting the number of keys distributed and keeping close track of who has them;
– even further limiting the distribution of any keys needed to access areas housing valuables, sensitive information and/or expensive equipment such as cash, computers and computer hardware;
– installing an access-control system that includes added tracking features for areas where particularly sensitive information or valuable assets are stored;
– ensuring that all keys are collected when an employee leaves the business;
– changing the locks if a key is lost.
- Shred sensitive documents before disposal: Business-related documents such as invoices, quotes and customer communications can often contain sensitive personal information that, if it lands in the wrong hands, could lead to ID or financial theft. To help prevent this from happening, businesses should ensure that any such documents are properly shredded before disposal. And to add an extra layer of security, dispose of shredded business documents in the recycle bin rather than the trash can.
- Emphasize cybersecurity: Small businesses can be attractive targets to cybercriminals as they often lack the robust cybersecurity infrastructure and protections that larger businesses tend to have. In fact, according to statistics:
small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) account for 43% of all data breaches;
– more than 60% of SMBs report having experienced a cyberattack in the past year;
– less than 20% of businesses are financially prepared for cyberattack recovery.
To protect themselves against digital threats, business owners should make sure their employees are aware of the most common cyberthreats and how to protect the business from them.
- Have a response plan and share it with the team: When theft or intrusion of any type occurs at a small business, it can be stressful for all involved. This can make it a challenge to think straight and respond accordingly. So, to ensure that all team members know what to do when a break-in or any other security breach is uncovered, business owners should develop a response plan in advance that covers all types of breaches and what steps to take when they are discovered. Further, once developed, the plan should be shared and reviewed with all team members to enhance security preparedness and awareness.
- Install a security system: According to law enforcement statistics, burglars are three times more likely to target properties without security systems than those with them. And with both wired and wireless options available, today’s advanced security systems can deliver around-the-clock professional monitoring along with leading-edge protective technology like motion detectors, wireless door and window sensors, glass-break sensors and sirens. Especially during times when businesses hours are over and the property is left vacant, a security system can offer substantial deterrence to would-be criminals and added peace of mind for business owners.
- Invest in video surveillance: Often featuring built-in internet connections, modern video surveillance systems give business owners the capability to easily keep an eye on their property from nearly anywhere and at any time using their smartphones or other internet-connected devices. The systems can also store video clips for extended periods of time, making it much easier to identify and catch criminals when break-ins and burglaries occur. And especially when combined with a security system, such technology can go a long way toward letting business owners rest easy knowing that their business is safe, sound, and secure.
In addition to offering a range of Security services, including Business Security and Monitoring, Video Surveillance and Fire Safety services, FTC Business provides all the critical business-communication services needed to keep a business up and running, such as Internet, Wireless and Voice. Visit ftc.net/business to explore everything that FTC Business has to offer. And to get local, expert IT help for your business in a number of tech-related areas, including Managed IT, Cybersecurity, Hosted Services and more, visit FTC IT Solutions today.