Safeguards that Every Small Business Needs

By | September 23, 2011

When it comes to the safety of your small business, you might just throw a lock on the door and call it a day. But if this is the extent of your security measures, your company, employees, and assets could be in danger. The truth of the matter is that we’re in a brave new world when it comes to not only physical security, but also the technology that many businesses rely on to carry out day-to-day operations. And while a solid deadbolt is a good place to start, your security shouldn’t end there. If you’re not quite sure how to manage the safety concerns of your business, here are just a few suggestions that will get you headed in the right direction.

1. Buddy system. Not all security measures are going to be high tech. Like the lock on your door, some are just a matter of common sense. If you have employees arriving early or leaving late (in hours of darkness) you should implement a policy that outlines a buddy system. Much like kids holding hands to cross the street more safely, having employees arrive and leave only when they are in the presence of other employees is a smart plan, since an attacker may be less inclined to tangle with two or more people. This is especially important if you have workers bringing money into your store to fill the tills or taking out bank deposits when they leave. Even with a buddy system, you should consider hiring an armored car if deposits number in the thousands of dollars.

2. Burglar alarm. Once everyone has left for the day, your brick-and-mortar location may be targeted for theft, especially if you have valuable goods for sale or you keep a safe with money in the store. A burglar alarm may not stop thieves from cutting locks or breaking windows, but it will ensure that their time in the store is limited before law enforcement arrives.

3. Firewall. Most business these days is conducted in the online arena and unless you want your company to be vulnerable to all kinds of cyber-attacks, you should definitely arrange for a firewall. This protective software will ensure that virtual data stored in your systems is protected not only from prying eyes, but also from potential theft, corruption, or even deletion at the hands of hackers. Further, it is your fist line of defense against computer viruses. Without it you’re like a sitting duck, waiting to get sniped.

4. Websense. These days, plenty of business owners have to worry more about internal theft than outside threats, and part of that worry stems from employees slacking off on the company dime. While you certainly want employees to feel free to take frequent, short breaks in order to remain fresh and productive, you probably don’t want them tooling around on social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter all day long. Websense is a program that allows you to block certain websites from use on your internal network (although it also provides a whole host of other business solutions).

5. Asset labels. Even worse than stealing your time is when employees steal company assets. If you want to make sure that nary a stick of furniture or piece of expensive equipment goes missing, simply use asset labels (numbered, with bar codes, or both) to track where equipment is and who is responsible for it. This level of liability should help to discourage misappropriation.

Carol Montrose is a writer for SeaReach a manufacturer of labels, tags, and security documents.