In today’s climate, the fortification and safeguarding of a business’s assets is more paramount than ever.
As we face the unfortunate and now all too common daily threats stemming from economic downturn, natural disasters, financial crisis, international conflicts or civil unrest and crime, the methodology incorporated to facilitate this protection has evolved substantially.
Seldom will two businesses have identical protection templates. To implement the ideal level of protection for any business, many factors have to be analysed and considered.
As a general way of selecting the type of security protocols that should be blended into your business to work effectively and harmoniously, this overview is designed to put your business in a strong position.
Threats and counter measures
It is important to first identify possible security threats to a business and discuss the potential impact of these threats; then possible counter-measures to these threats can be suggested.
In an effort to keep this overview localised two common threats were centred on: robbery and theft.
With regard to robbery, businesses should consider the impact with regard to loss of funds and/or goods; staff; income; integrity and reputation. Counter measures to consider are simplistic security procedures such as securing the premises entries and exits; the role of guards; barrier materials; electronics; the enforcement of standard operating procedures.
Concerning theft, the impacts to consider are loss of goods and/or funds; structural damage; inventory disruption; and staff. Counter measures to consider are a security system; access control; CCTV; security officers; K9 officers; vigilance; and vetting new employees.
Planning is required
‘Prevention is better than the cure’ and ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ are appropriate adages when considering the threats to a business. When applied with conviction and dedicated to the protecting of a business, they pay dividends.
Taking steps to protect your business, property, assets and information can go a long way toward preventing a security breach. Nevertheless, breaches can happen. That’s why The Security Centre Limited recommends that companies have a plan in place to respond to security incidents before they occur.
Putting together a ‘what if’ type action strategy now may help reduce the impact a security breach can have on your business, your employees and your customers.
More and more, we are witnessing cash handling/cash-in-transit related robberies and attempted robberies. These crimes generally occur at night, leaving the victims exposed.
Convenient and/or lax procedures and inadequate defences can make businesses easy targets. On the other side, this leaves the assailant with a prime target and only moderate risk. They can target rich environments that will usually give them a good financial return and offer little resistance.
Counter measures to reduce the threat involve avoiding regular routes, times and dates for cash counting and bank deposits. This will make your cash activities unpredictable.
Cash should be counted outside of the view of the public and employees. This procedure will prevent the approximate amount of money held at your location ever being readily known. It will also mask the exact system you use to do this job.
Keep knowledge of safe combinations extremely confidential. Evaluate from an early stage who needs to know with great scrutiny.
Maintain strict confidentiality regarding how much money is kept in cash draws, drop safes, etc. before they are emptied. Be sure to empty them often in a secure fashion. Never leave them full overnight. This will minimise the impact your business will suffer in the event of a robbery or theft.
Also consider the advantages of a professional, reputable cash handling/transport service. Besides giving you peace of mind, it will reduce responsibility and strain on you and your staff.
The 11-point checklist
A business should establish an 11-point checklist, providing a solid starting point for selecting the appropriate model of protection conducive to your business.
Security lighting – Is security lighting installed throughout and around the premises? Are all lights operating? Is some lighting left on inside the business at night? Are entry and exits well lit?
Building design – Is the building solidly constructed so unauthorised access is restricted? Is there adequate protection against roof entry? Is the building secured to reduce the risk of vehicle ram raid?
Doors and windows – Are the external doors and windows solidly constructed and locked at all times? Are doors fitted with deadlocks? Are skylights secured? Is there security laminate film on windows?
Property identification – Has the make, model and serial numbers of items such as machinery, computers, printers, projectors, tools and other equipment been recorded? Is your property photographed?
Telephone – Are telephones programmed with emergency contact numbers? Are telephone lines installed so they cannot be tampered with, which is particularly important if your alarm system is connected to your telephone line. Are there global systems for mobile communication?
Safes – Has a safe been installed and appropriately positioned? Does it have a drop-chute facility? Is it kept locked?
Key and valuables control – Is there a key register? Are all keys secured? Do staff have somewhere to store their personal items securely? Is there restricted access to this area?
Alarm systems/surveillance equipment – Is an intruder alarm system installed? Is it monitored? Is surveillance equipment installed? Is footage recorded on a DVR and how long is it kept?
Due diligence – Have you completed employee background checks? Supervised service industry providers such as cleaners, electricians and locksmiths?
Security/risk assessment – Has a reputable, experienced security provider assessed the business or property? Have existing security systems been updated or repaired?
Armed robbery seminars – Have all key staff undergone a professional armed robbery training seminar? Are you and your staff familiar with what to do during and after an armed robbery?
Security is becoming an increasingly important consideration in all aspects of our lives. Regrettably, now more than ever, there are greater threats to business, people and property. While this is not something we should become alarmed by, it is an issue that we all need to be aware of.
The owners of all types of businesses, including retailers, financial, legal, construction or service related organisations are not immune from this. In fact, all of these types of businesses can be a target and business-owners need to protect themselves accordingly.
James Strawson, special services, The Security Centre Limited, focuses on developing the Investigations and Special Services Division driven by the needs of clients.