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5 foolproof ways to ensure your business isn’t susceptible to internal crime

According to the BDO’s latest Fraudtrack report, the total value of reported fraud in the UK reached £798m in just the first half of 2015. 32% of that figure can be directly attributed to employees, costing organisations an estimated £46m.

expert-security-1Your staff have been put through hiring processes not just to monitor their job capabilities, but also to assess their honesty and general character as well.

Regardless of whether you can vouch for your whole workforce or not, the numbers are staggering. In the UK, employee theft accounts for over £2 billion in lost revenue.

If just a small chunk of this were to go missing from your company, trouble would surely be on the horizon.

According to a new study conducted by Expert Security UK, almost one in five people have been affected by crime in the workplace, so it seems that keeping an eye on your employees is an increasing concern.

Backed by industry professionals, the following guide will help you to protect your business against internal crime.

1) Under lock & key: is your physical security up to scratch?

First things first, let’s cover physical security. These are the basics, and yet a few simple measures will go a long way.

The latest Global Retail Theft Barometer Report by Checkpoint Systems expert-security-2
and The Smart Cube goes into some detail about the preventative methods businesses can take to secure their building.

In their UK Loss Preventions Survey of 2014-2015, 75% of all respondents claimed that CCTV/DVR systems are in use across their business, while a further 75% rely on security guards and alarm monitoring.

Danny Scholfield, Sales and Marketing Director at Expert Security UK, gave his opinion as to why CCTV systems are so effective.

“Installing a CCTV system ensures that not only can you source where losses are coming from in the event of theft, but it can also deter others from stealing.”

2) Maintain your building and introduce rigorous access controls

Keeping your building and its surrounding area neat and tidy is an underestimated practice that you need to keep on top of. This isn’t just for appearance – having a spring clean has untold benefits for security.

Danny Schofield commented on the advantages of taking care of your building.

“Keeping your business premises clean and tidy is vital, because if it’s clear that a building is unkempt and poorly-maintained, it gives the impression that this goes for security too. To opportunists, this could be an indicator of bad security measures.”

“Also, if you have materials lying around the building, these could be used to break in.”

This is a simple tip, but one that will strengthen the security of your business.

Depending on the size and scale of your business, you might also want to consider electric bollards and access controls. The trick is to introduce access systems that protect your premises while at the same time making life as easy as possible for your employees, clients and guests.

3) Get technical – use data analytics


Data from The Global Retail Theft Barometer reveals that 63% of all businesses
surveyed use data analysis to protect confidential information and monitor how it’s being used.

VP of Strategy and Market Development at Varonis commented:

“The first thing any organisation should do to prevent insider attacks is to start monitoring how data is being used. If you’re not recording user access, it’s very difficult to spot when users start behaving badly.”

By schooling yourself on some online safety techniques, you can protect your important accounts from fraud and intruders.

4) Introduce robust B.Y.O.D policies

While we’re on the subject of technology, data analytics is a no-brainer if your business adopts a B.Y.O.D (Bring Your Own Device) policy.

Although there are clear cost and productivity benefits to be had, giving your employees free rein to work on their personal devices can have repercussions if you’re not careful, so it’s in your own interests to take appropriate measures.

It’s vital that you introduce a B.Y.O.D policy which tells your staff what is and isn’t allowed, along with proper training for the end user. David Gibson added:expert-security-4

“If the HR director clicks a phishing email and suddenly an attacker has access to all HR data, that’s a huge problem. Making sure employees understand both the dangers related to data security and the right ways to use technology will go a long way to helping prevent insider attacks.”

Introducing some end user training will also help your staff to understand what is expected of them. With some basic education, you will safeguard your whole business.

Also, there are formal password methods you can take, whereby you agree to change your passwords every six weeks or so (or even more frequently if you wish), in order to safeguard yourself and your sensitive data/documents.

5) Speak to your employees – make sure they receive adequate training


By communicating with your staff, in the spirit of full transparency, you may be able to control things before a situation gets out of hand.

If you introduce training sessions, including some quality one-to-one time, you’ll get to know your employees and build stronger relationships.

Advice from John Hinds, Policy and Projects Manager of CIFAS, advises that employers must find the right balance. In a report, jointly published alongside the CIPD, he said.

“Employers must tread a line between, on the one hand, ensuring employees don’t misuse business property or systems or carry out any illegal activity, and, on the other, fostering a culture of mutual trust and respect.”

By putting some of these preventative measures in place, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of encountering any illegal activity in the workplace.