Whether your company is just starting up, a well-established SME or a large global business, security is not something you can afford to overlook.
Depending on the size, nature and maturity of your company, your security requirements – along with the potential implications of a security breach – will differ greatly: smaller businesses may not have the funds or the manpower to recover from a burglary, whereas a major bank’s reputation may never recover after a financial data leak.
One thing all businesses have in common is that they need a good security plan in place to ensure their physical and intangible assets are protected. Follow these steps to help plan your business security.
First of all, you need to work out what it is you need to protect, including people, premises, stock equipment, data and reputation. You also need to establish what your priorities are, and the overall objectives of your security.
Do you need to safeguard your staff or customers from other violent customers to ensure their personal safety and protect your public reputation? Do you require 24/7 security measures to deter shoplifting during the day and burglary at night, thus reducing loss and protecting the bottom line? Do you need to reduce the level of threat your business is facing, or minimise your vulnerabilities – or both?
You need to undertake a comprehensive audit of your premises and processes to identify any weaknesses in existing security and highlight specific threats and risks. Start with the access points and identify any vulnerable (or potentially vulnerable) areas – remember, your security is only as good as your weakest link. Are physical security measures robust enough? Is there a visitor security procedure in place, and do staff follow it? Do ex-employees still have current keys or passwords?
The geography of the premises and nature of the business can impact the security required: is it a vast site manufacturing high value goods in a remote rural location with good transport links? Are there high crime rates in the area, such as incidences of criminal damage, burglary or shoplifting? Have similar organisations been targeted locally or nationally?
Work out the period you are most vulnerable to threats, whether that is during the day when you’re open to the public or at night when the premises are unsupervised.
Assess the existing internal security resources, capabilities and procedures and whether they need to be expanded or improved upon.
You will need to write specific measures for preventing, detecting and responding to security threats, and allocate responsibility for each. If your existing internal resources aren’t up to scratch, include whether you need to train existing staff, hire additional employees or enlist professional outside help.
Include whether you need to implement new physical or data security measures, or upgrade what is already in place. Don’t pretend it can all be done at once: agree on a timeline and ensure this is achievable.
Implementing a security plan is not the job of just one person; each individual needs to understand and follow the plan for it to work. The organisation as a whole needs to buy in to and follow the plan, as well as work together to deliver it. Therefore, communicating the objectives and strategy with all staff, along with gauging their feedback and input, is crucial.
A security plan is not set in stone. Businesses grow, shrink and morph; threats increase, reduce and develop. Therefore, security needs to be a fluid process which is monitored, reviewed, modified, and adapted to changes in order to remain effective.
At Churchill Security, we work with our customers to create a bespoke security plan and evolve this framework as-and-when their business grows and changes direction, ensuring they’re always covered.
Churchill Security is a national, cross-industry security company. A trusted provider of corporate and retail security, we only deploy the most highly-trained security guards and offer a truly customer-focused approach. Get in touch today if you’re looking to hire security for your business.