Keeping costs down and budgeting wisely is important for all businesses, but many companies neglect security and pay the consequences of higher operating costs and hassles with theft. Security issues may cause far more problems than just higher costs. Company reputation and employee safety may be compromised if the business doesn’t pay close attention to issues like cyber crime, employee theft and physical security.
When surveyed about the worst security threats businesses face today, security professionals were quick to point to the following threats as some of the most severe:
• Cyber security
• Employee theft
• Property crime
• Substance abuse
• Workplace violence
Additionally, some respondents to the survey even suggested that issues like terrorism, bomb threats, kidnapping and labor unrest were on the radar as modern security problems. With so many threats facing the average business, creating a comprehensive security program might seem like a full-time job for a small company that doesn’t have significant financial resources.
Dealing with Employee Theft
Many businesses choose CCTV installation as a way to reduce theft, but unfortunately these surveillance cameras are often required due to employee theft. One recent survey of companies suggested that at least 68 percent of those who responded had experienced some type of employee theft. Annual losses were pegged at around $10,000.
Commercial alarm systems are often designed to protect employees and company property, but it’s difficult for a company to keep an eye on what’s going out the doors when it’s in the hands of an employee. Companies report that theft of portable electronics, such as laptops, is incredibly common in today’s business environment. Retail outlets, too, have been experiencing a high level of theft with employees existing as high a risk for theft as customers.
Installation of a strong security system, as well as a zero tolerance policy on theft is one of the only ways a company can fully protect itself from employee crime.
Dealing with Theft and Vandalism
In addition to theft by employees, companies of all types must also deal with vandalism and crime from outside sources. Even if nothing is stolen, a single act of vandalism may eat into profits when repairs are needed or when there are issues with graffiti or other types of destruction.
States around the country spend millions each year to remove graffiti from buildings. Businesses also spend millions each year when company property is vandalized. A strong surveillance system with CCTV installation is essential for businesses that operate in high crime areas. Some companies might even require foot patrols or security guards on site for full protection.
Extending Security to the Internet
A connected work force that accesses the internet and handles digital files is vulnerable to cyber attacks, and the prospect of cyber theft and hacking may be very costly. As of 2012, the latest year for which statistics are available, the FBI’s Internet Fraud Complaint Center counted an astounding 289,874 complaints that resulted in an incredible $525,441,110 worth of damage.
That’s a half billion dollars lost by companies, or an average of more than $4,500 per incident where loss occurred. In addition to the financial cost of cyber crime, a company’ s reputation may also suffer if a crime impacts the financial welfare of customers. By safeguarding digital information, a company will not only be protecting its own interests, but the interests of its customers.
The average company today is inundated with security concerns on many fronts and many levels. Companies must update and refine security efforts on a regular basis to ensure that the company can remain ahead of theft, violence and vandalism.