Security is any successful businesses valid concern, but in New York City, security is paramount to a safe working environment and a business’s bright future – rather than a going out of business sale. For small business owners, upholding proper security protocols is even more important because just one security breach, one dishonest employee, or just one break-in is enough to put many small businesses under for good. Here is a checklist of five simple basic tips on small business security that will help to keep your business safe and secure this year.

#1. Data Protection:

A cyber-attack normally has one criminal intent in mind when it targets a small business, to steal its sensitive information stored on the business’s computers and servers. Small businesses have just as much of a risk of cyber-attack as major corporations do. Unfortunately for small business owners, a devastating security breach of sensitive client data such as credit and debit cards numbers or other compromising information can close a business down.

These days you don’t need to be a large corporation in order to have top of the line defenses against cybercriminals. Reasonably priced anti-virus and firewall software are easily available for purchase along with secure cloud storage. Making sure to back up your vital business data on an ironclad cloud storage platform will ensure that ransomware doesn’t hold your important data hostage with a downloaded virus.

Encryption is an important tool in keeping sensitive data safe. You can think of encryption as the fortress that stands between criminals and the information that they need in order to pull off their nefarious scams and schemes. Encryption can thoroughly protect outgoing information transfers and also incoming information before it’s safely behind your firewall.

The addition of smartphones and mobile devices into the workplace has also added more threats into the mix. Small business owners should also take this into consideration when forming a strong cyber-security plan. This will involve training your employees on proper data storage procedures and also the what, where, and when’s of data storage.  What device should sensitive information be stored on, where it should be stored on the hard drive, and when it’s appropriate to store said data, along with who is authorized to access that data.

#2. Deterring Theft

The thief from within is always the worst. No one wants to believe that their employees are capable of stealing from them, but, according to CNBC News, employee theft costs U.S. businesses 50 Billion dollars annually in losses. For small business owners, employee theft can break a business beyond repair, sapping away a business’s profit margin, leaving the business owner hanging out to dry when it’s bill paying time.

Make sure your security camera system is also positioned to monitor strategic notorious employee theft areas such as cash registers, back storage rooms, and back entrances, even dumpster areas where merchandise can be stashed for pick up later. For businesses with employee computer access to sensitive business and client data, make sure to install employee tracking software that records computer activity. Also, make sure to provide each employee with their own log-in ID and password.

Opportunistic thieves must be deterred with a due diligence and an active awareness of risk areas and items. Expensive items left near exits. Easily accessible storage rooms full of unprotected inventory. Expensive electronics or laptops left on counters in public areas. All of these examples are very common targets for opportunistic thieves who prowl around small businesses looking for an easy mark.

Burglaries are harder to prevent than other forms of theft. One thing a small business can do to make a burglar’s job harder is to hide cash and valuables in hard to find unusual places. The more time a burglar has to use up trying to find your valuables the more of a chance of getting caught they will have. Lock up laptops and secure computers and cash registers to counters with steel cables. Post clearly visible security warning signs outside of the business and on windows to let thieves know that you’re alarmed and secure.

#3. Video Security and Alarms

Video surveillance systems and alarms are a small business must. Video systems efficiently keep track of both your employees and customers simultaneously. They’re also a strong visual deterrent. Systems have come down in price and gone up in quality. They can be purchased for as low as a few hundred dollars to a few thousand for higher-end models, covering most small business’s price ranges. Make sure not to try to hide your cameras, utilize the visual deterrent aspect of a video surveillance system to its fullest advantage.

Alarm systems are not just for chasing off nighttime burglars. A small business, any business, needs to have an adequate alarm system in place in case of fire, robbery, or burglary. With today’s modern technology, your alarm system can be monitored on your smartphone after-hours, or when away from the shop on errands, along with your business’s video surveillance -Providing the small business owner with both monitored security and on-the-go peace of mind.

#4. Security Gate, Shutters, and Garage Doors

Security gates and garage doors control the main entry points for cars and pedestrians to be able to enter and depart your business – This is why having a well-maintained security gate that fits your current needs is very important.  Commercial gates have tougher requirements than residential security gates. A poorly maintained gate or garage door can be financially devastating for a small business when it needs to temporarily shut down due to having to make repairs in order to safely get in or out of your business.

Common Security Gate Materials

Aluminum – This material is light-weight and popular with businesses due to its lower maintenance and upkeep costs. Aluminum is rust resistant and because of its light-weight attributes, it’s easier on machinery and hardware components.

Steel – This material is heavier than aluminum but much stronger. It is also rust resistant and affordable. Steel is a good choice in high “Tagging” areas as it is strong and hard enough to be buffed down to remove vandalism.

Wrought Iron – This material is more commonly used at personal residences and apartment complexes. It has a classic look that goes well with most any building décor. Wrought Iron’s downfall is that it rusts and it’s normally very heavy which makes it slower to operate.

Today’s modern garage doors come in many different materials that include aluminum, steel, wood, and vinyl. For businesses with loading dock bays, your garage-style doors should have a fast opening and closing capability so that the opportunistic thief doesn’t have time to slip in as the door is slowly closing.

As with all business access points, key cards, keypads, and remote controls help to facilitate quick and easy access to non-customer business areas while still keeping adequate security.  Account for the amount of traffic that’s going to be involved when planning out the specifics of your security regimen. Evaluate your security options for your business’s needs and make certain that you’re up to date in all of the interlocking aspects of your existing security system. Security isn’t just a protective barrier for your small business – It’s a statement.  It’s a statement to criminals to move on and try somewhere else that’s less secure than your business.

#5. The Security of Workplace Safety

Workplace safety is also part of a successful small business’s security regiment. Workplace injuries not only cost the employee lost wages, they also incur excessive financial losses to the small business owner. Just like all business risks, safety risks must also be properly managed. This is why a health and safety management plan needs to be implemented in every type of business with a designated person in charge who provides ongoing safety training.

Workplace safety must be a commitment to not only the business owner but also their employees as well. One person cannot ensure a workplaces safety standard alone, it must be a group effort by everyone involved. New workers need to be inducted into the fold by their fellow workers. Seasoned employees must take time out in order to fill the new guy in on potential workplace hazards that they need to watch out for, plus also be reasonably available to new hires for workplace advice.

A workplace hazard can come in many different forms. Anything that can injure you or threaten your health is a workplace hazard. It can be something as simple as an inconspicuous chemical solution, to an obviously dangerous piece of machinery. Both can be equally as dangerous if not respected properly. It’s the little things that often get overlooked which cause the most workplace accidents. No one ever expects that they’re the one who’s going to get hurt at work until it’s too late.

Get in touch with New York Gates today at 718-614-0616, they’re the top professional gate and garage door manufacturers, installers, and repair specialists in the five boroughs. Email them at info@nygates.com with your project specifics and NYG will reply back to you with the detailed answers to your questions.