When it comes to the safety and security of your business, think Murphy’s Law – anything that can go wrong will go wrong. The question is, how prepared are you against imminent security threats? Your business has a lot riding on its security capabilities. There is good news in that your business’s security doesn’t have to be costly – it just has to be done right.
You need to invest in proper security equipment, create strong security policies, hire the right people, and take security training seriously. Having a great security infrastructure comes down to how you deal with both physical and data security and the level of awareness your workforce has on pertinent issues. Read on to learn how to assess the safety and security of your business.
Why Business Safety and Security Is a Necessity
The biggest gain from having strong safety and security capabilities is the well-being of your employees. People will feel more empowered coming to work every day if they know that they aren’t risking their health or safety by walking onto your premises. This leads to higher productivity levels within the workforce as a whole.
On the flip side, an unsafe workplace could cause you to lose employees to sickness, injury, or frustration. It’s also more costly to hire a new employee than to retain a current one, and if your workplace isn’t safe and secure, you could have an even harder time recruiting employees.
A secure workplace will ensure you can protect business assets, from physical equipment to sensitive data. You are less likely to experience disruptions from having some of the assets stolen or misused. This could help you can serve clients well enough to retain them and keep them happy. Clients and investors tend to gravitate toward businesses that have a good reputation, and maintaining robust security capabilities is a sure way to look attractive.
Lastly, workplace safety and security will lower your operation costs. You will be less likely to spend money on things like employee injuries, data loss fines, lawsuits, and stolen equipment. Your business insurance premiums could also be minimized if insurance companies consider your business to be less of a liability.
Key Issues of Your Business’s Safety and Security
Corporate security can be divided into three main parts – the safety of the staff, data security, and the security of workplace equipment. The more professional you are when choosing security solutions, the easier it will be to run your business smoothly. Some of the necessary security needs your business should address include:
- The implementation of internal and external access control policies and solutions
- Surveilling the workplace environment, visitors and staff
- Implementing BYOD policies
- Identifying imminent data security threats and implementing data security measures
- Ensuring employees are aware of their contribution to corporate security
- Finding ways to reduce internal security threats
- Monitoring your security control measures and updating them
- Installing state-of-the-art door locks, such as biometric systems
- Hiring security guards to keep the premise safe
- Securing corporate networks
- Complying with industry and government security regulations
- Investing in equipment that protects your employees from illnesses like COVID-19 while they are in the workplace
Addressing these security issues can be time-consuming, but the longer your business operates with unaddressed safety issues, the longer it will be exposed to risk. The first step to fixing lapses in security is to conduct an assessment or audit of your current security infrastructure. You can then more-effectively choose solutions that will help you be more secure.
How to Conduct a Workplace Security Audit
Your business security audit needs to be extensive and detail-oriented – the goal is to identify security blind spots that exist within your organization. Ideally, you should conduct the assessment with the mindset of an external assessor.
You will need to look into the procedural, physical, personal, and informational security measures that have already been put into place. Some of the key areas to address throughout the assessment include:
- The presence of security policies and procedures
- How aware are employees of their role in corporate security?
- How secure and updated are the corporate security systems, including surveillance and cybersecurity solutions?
- Are there access control measures in place?
- How often is the effectiveness of your security systems monitored?
- Are the security measures implemented in the most sensitive areas of your premises ideal?
- What processes do visitors have to follow when accessing your premises?
- Has the staff been trained on how to handle emergencies?
- Do you maintain a record of the visitors?
- How safe are your employees when working in the different parts of your business?
The list of important considerations during the security audit can go on and on, but it all depends on what your business values most. You should create a template on the key areas of your security capabilities you need to assess. If you are having trouble assessing the security capabilities of your business, you can always consult third-party safety and security assessors.
The ideal security solutions for your business are contingent on what you determine to be the acceptable levels of risk. To ensure that you are conducting an effective assessment of your business’s security, a few documents in particular may prove useful:
- Security audit checklist
- Data management policy
- Operational procedures
- Security policies and plans
- Security system management and maintenance plans
How to Rank and Prioritize Security Threats
Creating a risk matrix could help you work out how to prioritize security threats with some level of confidence. A risk matrix simply involves multiplying the probability of a security breach with the impact it can have on your business. Start by rating each safety and security threat your business faces according to the probability of it occurring and the impact it can have on your business. You can rate the threats based on a scale of 1 to 10 or on a percentage.
Once you are done quantifying each threat, multiply the figures of each threat’s probability with a number that represents the negative impact they could have. For instance, take the threat of an intruder getting into your premises without authorization. While you can rate the probability of this happening at 3 (on a scale of 1-10), you can give the threat an impact of 7 on your business, depending on the rooms that could be accessed or the equipment or personnel that could be compromised. This will result in a matrix of 21, (7*3).
Having the overall rating of each threat based on this approach will help you rank threats in accordance with their severity. Risks with high figures should be given priority over those with lower figures. For instance, if the threat of an intruder accessing your premise ranks higher than that of an employee carrying data off-premise, you should prioritize it. Something as simple as investing in the right surveillance equipment could help to minimize this threat.
Whenever business resources are scarce, the risk matrix will help you identify how to best approach your security needs. It ensures that you deal with the scariest safety and security threats first.
Picking the Ideal Solution for Security Threats
The most effective risk treatment option for you will depend on your budget and risk tolerance. You should have a low tolerance for intruders walking or driving onto your premises without authorization. In a case like this, investing in prefabricated security booths could add a much-needed layer of protection.
In a perfect world, every safety and security vulnerability your business has could be dealt with using the most top-of-the-line, optimal equipment, but budgetary constraints might force you to be more creative. Of course, not all safety and security issues are created equal. Some will be easy to contain with limited resources while others will require a bigger investment. This is why conducting a risk assessment is important to help you prioritize.
The current safety and security blind spots of your business can be divided into four groups: problems that can be widely ignored, those that can be transferred to third-party security agencies, problems that you can solve internally, and problems that are out of your depth. For the last type, you should look for ways to smother them completely. You might have to do away with any part of your operations that brings about such risks.
Monitor the Security Solutions You Choose
Reinforcing the safety and security of your business isn’t a one-time thing, it is a process that needs to be revisited and scaled often. Security landscapes are dynamic, and it is essential to ensure your control measures are strong enough to combat current and future threats. Yesterday’s minor threat can easily grow into today’s major issue. The trick is to delegate the task of monitoring specific security and safety threats to specific individuals in your business. This will also promote accountability among your workforce.
Your Business’s Future Is In Your Hands
Creating a secure business will give you a competitive advantage. Most Fortune 500 companies wouldn’t be where they are today if they didn’t take business security seriously.
Consult a third-party security agency if you are having trouble completing your security audit.