Running a business is like any other aspect of life in so far as there are threats that you have to deal with. In the modern age, where nearly every business relies in one way or another on computers and the internet, one of the major threats is hacking and otherwise inconvenient cyber attacks. A report from the British Chamber of Commerce shows that in the UK last year, one in five companies were subject to attacks. The numbers are more startling when you consider that 42% of larger companies (defined as those who employ more than one hundred people) were attacked, while 18% of small companies also found themselves caught up in what is becoming a disturbing trend. Despite this, only 24% of firms had any infrastructure in place to deal with the possibility of cybercrimes. This demonstrates not only a naive understanding of the contemporary marketplace but also a disregard for the security of their livelihood. However expensive the software may be, in the event that your business is targeted, it is a lot cheaper than being unable to continue trading, or worse, having to invest in a new digital infrastructure.
The unfortunate reality is that the virtual world is not the only source of potential risk. The more established and familiar crimes still emanate from the real world. These could be financial in nature such as embezzlement and fraud. They can be rather minor and easily detected or impressively intricate and pervasive like Bernie Madoff’s $65 billion Ponzi scheme. Threats to a business could also be on a more pedestrian level and could include things as seemingly innocuous as stealing from the office supply cupboard if you’re fired. Whatever the size or severity of the crime, businesses need to protect themselves against them. Here are a few ways that they do it:
One of the simplest ways to protect your business from potential crimes is to protect your building or office from potential criminals. Many businesses now use eID cards which are required to enter a building. The degree of access can also be varied depending on the clearance of the card’s owner. In any case, it is quite easy to steal a card and therefore get complete access. This is why some companies are now employing fingerprint technology, or biometrics. In fact, a recent survey found that six in ten companies now use biometric identification technology to protect themselves and their customers.
However, there are lots of security measures that can help protect a business from the people inside the building. One example is the use of a Digital Key Cabinet. These are a lot safer than traditional systems such as having a log book and requiring someone to sign out a key and then return it later one. The digital system keeps detailed records of who has which key and when they had it. Another measure companies are taking to protect their assets (mostly those in retail) is installing vaults in their buildings that can only be accessed by a trusted accountant from head office.
As the threats to businesses become more sophisticated and pronounced, the counter measures need to be similarly advanced.