Protect Your Assets – Take Steps to Improve Business Security
It’s a jungle out there. Crime is up all over the US, and business owners are always looking at ways to improve business security so that their assets are protected, and so are their employees and their customers.
So what must a business owner do to protect himself and his business and keep everyone safe? This article looks at the four different areas of your business where you must be alert at all times and cover yourself against crime or other unforeseen circumstances.
I. Examine Your Physical Space
The first place to look for ways to improve business security is to examine your physical space. Examine every door and window that an intruder might use to gain access to your business. Examine every lock on each of these doors or windows. The lock must be easy to open from the inside (in case you need to get out in a hurry) but must not be easy to open from the outside. Replace any old, rusty or defective lock immediately.
Then examine the boundaries of your business space. This might involve examining your roof, your ceiling, your walls and your floors. These should all be as solid as when you first moved into the premises. An intruder should not be able to easily access your place of business through the walls, ceiling or floor. If you have a
Now that your outside perimeter and entrances are secure, you need good security inside. You need good locks on all your drawers, you need a fireproof cabinet for important documents in case of fire, and you may also need a safe to keep important documents and other valuables. Don’t give out keys too easily. Always make sure that you give keys only to the right people. And if an employee who has keys to safes and other secure areas leaves you, you may need to change a lot of locks.
II. Cameras, Controlled Access, Alarm Systems
Improve Business Security With Controlled Access
The problem of giving out keys and changing locks when you lose an employee is eliminated when you use controlled access locks. Employees are given an access code and only those with an access code can enter. Controlled access today even goes as far as ability to recognize an employees fingerprint or even his/her eye. When an employee leaves, you don’t have to change keys – at most, you need to give out new access codes.
Improve Business Security With an Alarm System
An electronic alarm system is a great deterrent and goes a long way to improve business security. And it will also cause intruders to flee when it is activated. Make sure your alarm system is from a reputable, local company, which will give you local support. Cover every door and window with the system. Also cover every large area of your business, preferably with motion-sensor capabilities. Consider armed response if the alarm is activated. But if you go this route, train your employees in what to do in case of a robbery, and talk to your armed response people often, so they know you and your staff and their habits coming and going. Consider signing up with your alarm company for regular patrols, so they come by your place of business at all hours.
Improve Business Security With Video Surveillance
Nothing improves business security like video surveillance. Installing video cameras has a positive effect on your customers and your employees. Customers are less likely to steal from you if they know they are being watched, nor will they abusive to your employees. The same is true of your employees: video cameras reduce employee theft and also improve the customer experience because they know they are being watched.
Note that you must post signs on your premises that people are under video surveillance, otherwise you will not be able to use the video footage as evidence in court – no matter how damaging it is.
III. Improve Your CyberSecurity
Now that you’ve done some things to improve your physical security, you need to take a look at what you need to do to improve your cybersecurity. Evey business has been hacked or compromised from outside – even Amazon has been hacked – and you must also protect your business computer system from other prying eyes – including unauthorized employee access.
Computer Security Starts With a Secure Password
The first thing you must do is create a strong computer password. This password will be used only by you and those in your company that you authorize. To be doubly sure, use a dual-authorization system, so that every time anyone tries to access your computer, your cell phone is texted with a notification and an access code to get in. If it wasn’t you, you know that someone else has been trying to access your computer system. Be very selective as to who you give out your computer password to. If a key employee who has your computer password leaves you for any reason, you must change your computer password and then give the new one out to those employees that you trust.
So What is a Secure Computer Password?
A secure password must have all the following criteria:
- Be at least 12 characters in length;
- Contain an UPPER case letter and a lower case letter;
- Must contain at least one numeral (1-9);
- Contain at least one special character (!@#$%^&*);
- Must NOT use words found in the dictionary of any language;
- Never use things like your birthday, social security number, child’s birthday, or anything that a hacker can easily obtain before hacking you and then get in easily because you use information that he has been able to obtain.
Change online passwords regularly. Be very selective as to who gets your passwords. If an employee who knows your passwords leaves you, change your password immediately.
IV. Secure Your Website – Front & Back
It is vital that you secure both the front end of your website and the back end. At the front end, add an SSL certificate. This way your customers can trust that any personal information that they submit to your website such as credit card information will be encrypted and safe. And Google also notes if your site is secure for users, and will soon begin to indicate in their search results which sites are safe and which are not. When you have a safe site, your “http” designation becomes “https”, meaning it is secure. Pretty soon, you will no longer be listed on Google if you do not have a site designated a “safe”.
The other place where you absolutely can improve business security is at the back end of your website. If your site is hacked, malicious code will be placed in it. But you will never find that malicious code – it can be even be hidden within an image on your page. Finding and cleaning that malicious code will cost you a lot of money and cause you much downtime. You may even lose your entire site and have to build one again all the way from the beginning. The least you can do is have your hosting company install Site Search. Tomorrow. This will scan your site every morning, and if it finds malicious code, it will eliminate it immediately. But don’t wait until you are hacked to install Site Safe: it will be too late. Site Safe can only eliminate code if Site Safe has already been installed.
V. The Final Step in Business Security: Install Field Service Management Software
One of the biggest things you can do to improve business security throughout your entire business is to install field service management software. These new automation systems are taking the home service business world by storm. When you use a field service management system such as FieldSurf, you automate your entire business. Everything is done electronically and gives the business owner maximum control over their business. With FieldSurf’s Tech Tracker, you always know where all your employees in the field are at all times. Work Orders and Invoices are generated electronically, and Invoices are emailed to your customer directly from your tech’s smartphone. You or anyone in your company with access can instantly access FieldSurf and know exactly what’s going on in every aspect of your business. FieldSurf leaves a complete electronic record of every transaction, so you can later refer to any aspect of FieldSurf’s records to resolve disputes between you and your customers or between you and your employees. FieldSurf brings your entire service business into the 21st century and gives you control over your business like you’ve never had before.