Keeping a business safe and secure will always be a top priority for business owners and despite best efforts at tight security, some businesses do find themselves victim to break-ins or other illegal activities.
Data from 2022, showed over 600,000 crimes against businesses were recorded in England and Wales, and 100,000 of those crimes were burglaries against commercial properties.
Tradespeople are some of the most affected when it comes to crime against businesses with almost four in five (78%) experiencing tool theft, which could cost them over £5,000 in stolen tools.
To help businesses looking to either begin or bolster their security measures, Vlatka Lake, storage expert at self-storage operator Space Station, has teamed up with Richard Edginton, director of EDG Security Ltd to explain how you can keep your business safe from theft in 2023.
1. Carry out a risk assessment
Richard adds: “First and foremost, you need to conduct a simple risk assessment on your business. Conducting a risk assessment will help you to identify any weak points within your business that may help criminals gain easy access to your premises and stock.”
“All businesses need to carry out a risk assessment at least once a year, and it is a great way to not only reduce any health and safety related injuries, but to eliminate any potential threats to your business.”
2. Storing confidential documents
Richard comments: “Confidential documents and items crucial to your business could pose a security risk if they are left unprotected, especially if you have a large number of staff or high number of visitors coming to the company’s premises. Exploring storage opportunities that are designed to protect your valuable items, whether it’s on or offsite is a key way to make them secure immediately.”
Vlatka adds: “There are onsite options for you to explore such as a safe or lock box, however, if you really want to ensure safety of important documents or items then you may want to look into offsite storage that will offer 24-hour security away from the main premises. That way if your business is broken into you know that vital items are already protected.”
3. Protect your vehicles
Richard comments: “Theft statistics show that on average 30 vans are stolen every day in the UK, and like all businesses, you rely on them to operate smoothly. There are several precautions you should be taking for added security, such as, steering wheels locks, secure key storage and a location they are safe in overnight. The more secure your vehicles are, the less desirable they become to criminals.”
4. Install CCTV and security lighting
Richard adds: “Having increased precautions will not only prove that you take security seriously but will help to deter criminals from committing a crime in the first instance. When setting up your security you will need to contact the Information Commissioner’s Office, to explain why you plan to use CCTV, along with informing your staff and customers.”
“Adding CCTV and security lights can be a great deterrent in preventing crime meaning that criminals are less likely to attempt breaking into a business with effective security. Not only can it protect your property from burglaries, but it is a great way to ensure staff and visitor safety.”
5. Keep safe from cyber-attacks
Richard adds: “When it comes to preventing cyber-attacks against your business, you need to ensure that your staff are trained so that they know what to look for. It’s quite surprising how many staff have no concept of the damage and harm an attack can do to a business. Things such as phishing, spam and physical theft can seriously affect your business.
“When it comes to important documents, make sure that you can backup copies that help to protect information. When staff are trained and any business data and information are stored correctly, then it’s time to introduce things such as two factor authentication. It can be a little inconvenient in day-to-day use but is far more convenient than trying to recover from a successful cyber-attack.”
Vlatka comments: “We know that keeping your business safe from crime is the top priority for most businesses, so undertaking these five steps will help to deter criminals from targeting your business. For those looking for added security, self-storage may be a great choice, with 24-hour security, short- and long-term options and simple to access. It’s also a great option for businesses who are looking to expand over their lifetime.”