Business Security – Midway Lock & Safe
Business Security Requires Attention to These Details.
The majority of all business losses are caused by the companies’ employees. But the current economic environment has also led to an increase in crimes against businesses by intruders.
And there’s a new risk to all businesses which did not exist ten years ago: outside electronic intrusion. It’s more commonly called “hacking”. The sensitive data stored on your computer system is now every bit as vulnerable as your physical business. Business owners today must be on constantly on the lookout for theft, pilferage, burglary or property damage. And must now also be constantly on the lookout for evidence of hacking.
Regard your business as a fort, and ask yourself, “Is my fort secure?”
Here is a checklist of items to be covered before you can say you have adequate protection for your business.
Doors and Windows Must be Lockable and Secure
The doors, windows and the locks on those doors and windows are the first point of access to an intruder or anyone else after business hours.
Start with the doors: this is the first obstacle any burglar or intruder would encounter. Is this a sturdy door? Could someone kick it in easily? Is there a good lock on the door? Ask any locksmith: a burglar needs only one thing — time — to open any lock. Front and rear access doors should be fitted with more than one lock, and should have a deadbolt lockable only from the inside.
Windows should be checked in the same way. Every window should be lockable from the inside, and should be locked when the premises is vacant. If a window breaks, even a small one, get it fixed immediately. If a lock on a window does not adequately secure the window, replace the lock immediately.
Check every lock in your business and make sure they work and do what they are supposed to do.
Remember that the doors inside the premises also must be secure and should always be locked at night. Confuse the intruder: lock the broom-closet, not just the computer room: let the intruder spend valuable time unlocking a door only to find there are cleaning materials inside. Every interior office should be locked at night.
An Alarm System Must Be In Place
An alarm system is now an essential part of business security. Choose a reputable alarm company — ask your neighbors – – and make sure they provide either armed response or a direct line to the police. Provide the alarm company and the police with your emergency phone number, the emergency phone number of any manager or employee who lives close by the business premises, and a list of all personnel authorized to be on the premises after hours. Install an alarm system that allows you to allocate a separate passcode for each employee. That way, if there is a problem with unauthorized access, you should know who is responsible. You and/or a trusted senior employee should have a list of all the passcodes for all employees. And remember – the moment you fire/terminate an employee, change his/her alarm passcode.
Closed Circuit Camera Shows You Everything
Now look at the daytime access to your business. Can anybody walk in during the day? These days it is becoming less and less advisable to allow public access to a business without first being identified. At the very least, install a simple microphone intercom system so a caller may buzz you and you ask them to identify themselves before deciding whether to admit them. Installing a closed-circuit TV camera system s the next level of security: see who it is before letting them in. Adding a door strike so you then “buzz” people in will add another level of security.
There are major advances in controlled-access today that allow a fairly high level of security in premises access. Authorized personnel may be issued with a passcode, a magnetic strip card reader, or even a fingerprint or eye-read entry system.
Surveillance Cameras With Remote Monitoring
Installing surveillance cameras is another essential part of business security. Your business premises must be covered by cameras front, back, side and everywhere inside. Don’t cut corners here: buy cameras that have the capability to see in very low light or even in total darkness, and that allow you to pan, tilt and zoom remotely. Connect the entire camera system to the Internet so you or your security personnel may view the output from your cameras anywhere in the world. Business owners are using DVR to cut costs: one security officer can now monitor several areas or even multiple locations. Install professional equipment that will do the job.
Safes & Fireproof Storage
Many businesses now rely on a safe to store their most valuable assets. This can be data storage disks, sensitive documents, cash and other valuables. It’s probably a good idea to keep your customers’ private/personal confidential information in a good safe. Make a copy of the key to your safe, and give it to someone you trust, preferably off-premises. If you lose your safe key, it will always be safe (excuse the pun) with your trusted friend/neighbor.
If you do not want to get into the expense of a safe, then you should at least have a fire-resistant storage cabinet for valuable documents or data. These are not totally fire-proof, and will probably be destroyed in a very serious fire. But they are still better than leaving them in an office drawer in case of fire or flood or earthquake.
Back Up All Data and Surveillance Footage
Make sure your DVR system has a battery backup system in case of power outage. If possible, record offsite: that way you will still have footage even in case of a serious disaster. If you know your neighbors, ask them to install a camera on their premises that points at your business. Offer to install one on your premises that points back at theirs. This not only makes for good neighbors but is another backup in case anything goes wrong with your system or the electric power on your premises.
This can be the weakest link in your security chain. Your computer contains personal data and also sensitive information about your clients/customers. Bank account and credit card details could be seriously compromised in the wrong hands. Develop a strong computer password — at least 12 characters, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. Store the password in a secure place, give it only to personnel who need it, and change it often. If you write down passwords because you have difficulty remembering them, don’t write words like “computer password” next to the password. And lock the passwords in a secure drawer that only you have the key for. Instruct personnel to never give out the password to anyone who requests it by phone or mail. Warn your personnel against opening doubtful emails or downloading programs, attachments or apps onto your network. Make sure your computer network is adequately protected so your employees do not accidentally compromise your network. And you will need additional protection if you allow your employees to use your network for personal use. An innocent employee posting at work to/from his Ebay account can seriously compromise your entire business.
If an employee leaves – and especially if he/she is terminated, you must immediately change any computer passwords to which the employee had access.
Storage and Shredding of Expired Sensitive Documents.
Store your paper records as securely as you do your digital records. Shred all paper to confetti before tossing: dumpster diving is still a major way to obtain sensitive information about you without your knowledge. Backup all computer data regularly and store a copy offsite.
Vigilance Is The key
Finally, all the equipment and personnel in the world won’t protect you if you aren’t vigilant. Keep your eyes open, and ensure that all personnel are aware of security procedures and are always alert. Nothing takes the place of an alert, watchful team, supervised by an alert, watchful management.