What are the biggest security risks to a business?

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When it comes to operating in the current global marketplace, security is everything. Often an afterthought for many companies, finding the right provider can protect you against catastrophic data breaches, site intrusions, industrial espionage, or something much worse.

So, what exactly is involved with business security and what are some of the key risks companies can face?

What is the definition of security?

Security is the provision of professional care and oversight that keeps your property, trade secrets, and staff safe from risk. This can be as simple as installing locks and security cameras to prevent intrusion all the way to providing a bespoke personal protection detail and home security. 

Modern security is highly flexible and has moved well beyond reinforcing doors and holding regular patrol paths. At a minimum, all elements of your business need to be regarded including digital intrusion or data loss. This needs to be contextualised against potential threats to your staff, where you are operating, and the risk that high profile workers pose to certain undesirable or dangerous elements. 

And it is not just common criminals that you may need protection from.Many businesses make their living from trademarks, copyrights and professional secrets. Despite modern software being more secure than ever, rival companies are becoming increasingly adept at sophisticated data intrusion methods. These can use social engineering and cyber-attacks to get access to the information you hold, leak it, or leverage it for their own ends.

And in an age of GDPR any social media mishaps, data breaches and distress to staff or clients can quickly make the news – resulting in significant reputational and professional damage.   Put simply, contemporary security is the provision of peace of mind. Letting your employees go about their day knowing that they are protected, valued, and safe when representing you with clients and customers. 

Why is it so essential?

The best way to think about professional security is to compare it to professional insurance. In many cases, it may not be necessary to have them, but you will be glad that you did. Security allows your business to continue without serious interruption, letting your teams complete key tasks without worry of loss of revenue. Every business has a duty to take care of its staff and a failure to do this can carry a weighty professional and legal penalty. 

Deploying the right kind of security package can allow you to dissuade any attempts to interfere with your business, respond to security breaches with speed and confidence, and ensure that you are able to come back from any security issues faster than would otherwise be possible. 

Taking the right preventative action can help you get a better grasp on your professional needs and weaknesses. Along with ensuring the highest standards, providing the right degree of oversight can allow you to find the right level of care that meets your needs, pre-empts potential issues, and manage your professional reputation when it truly matters most. 

What is the price of a security breach?

 Any security breach comes with a cost and some are higher than others. These include-

Immediate Cost:

No matter whether the intrusion was physical, digital, or a combination of factors – your business will need to expend resource to address the damage caused. This can be as straightforward as repairing physical infrastructure such as security equipment, hardware, or property damage. Or this can range to carrying out an end-to-end security review to determine how a breach happened and rework your processes from the ground up while remaining operational, dealing with relevant authorities, press, clients, stakeholders and more. 

Reputational Damage:

Any significant security breach will receive coverage. This can range from discussions amongst peers, sectoral coverage, or write-up’s from national tabloids and papers. Your security breach can quickly become the dominant story about your business, drawing unwanted attention through search engines, social media, or when trying to provide references. This can significantly impact your professional reputation and make clients think twice about engaging your services.

Time and Resource:

No matter how quickly you manage to address your security issue, resolving every problem around the incident will incur significant resource expenditure in the mid to long term. This can include spending time on internal reviews and training, the adoption of new data security infrastructure, as well as finding and vetting the right security provider for your team. This will often end up dwarfing the cost of the initial review, increase your insurance premiums, and can even result in loss of projected client revenue. 

Data Loss:

Digital data intrusions can often cause significant harm to your infrastructure in order to avoid leaving evidence behind. This can result in the destruction of your cloud storage, file corruption, and even harm to data backups. While digital redundancies may get you back on your feet quickly, there is no guarantee that they will have captured all the data that was extracted. This can result in your business ‘spinning its wheels’ while it gets back up to speed, resulting in loss of business.

Legal Action:

The aftermath of a security breach can potentially leave you open to legal actions from clients, employees, stakeholders and other professionals. This can result in sanctions from the government, censure from GDPR breaches, or the creation of a class action lawsuit. Harm and injury can also result in personal claims, formal charges being pressed against you, and worse. 

Personal Harm: Inarguably the most serious of all, security breaches can leave individuals in harm’s way. This can result in long term trauma, life-long repercussions for the individuals affected, and even death. High level risks can be instantly caught by undertaking a security audit, allowing you to review any gaps in your approach and ensure that all members of staff, contractors, and clients are fully protected when on your property or operating on your behalf. 

What are the main security considerations?

While every business will have different professional needs when it comes to security provision, there are a number of common elements that should always be considered when it comes to fulfilling your professional duty of care. These include- 

VIP Security:

For many businesses, executive protection is essential – ranging from long term coverage, details for sensitive environments, or ad-hoc care that can be delivered as needed. This can be delivered in conjunction with existing security to provide a response to specific risk or as a pre-emptive visual measure in certain situations. 

These can be deployed with a complement of physical and technical support – ranging from armed protection, armoured vehicles, GPS tracking, and more. This can be a direct result to public pressure, specific threats, or as a result of a recommendation from the authorities or from specific individuals.

Choosing the right detail can ensure that those targeted are safe in any given situation and have the ability to respond to threats as and when they emerge – with residential security services and reviews an essential part of the process for many. 

Employee safety: Threats may often be made to individuals, but opportunistic attacks or threats against employees can also be common. This can leave your workforce feeling vulnerable when they are on-site, resulting in significant stress, and the risk of leaving your employ if the issues are not actively addressed.

Contacting a professional security consultant will allow you to understand the nature of the threat you face, the range of responses available, and applying a practical solution that addresses your unique concerns. This can take the form of detailed security surveys, ongoing audits, digital review, validating your internal crisis management plan and more.

Online breaches:

While an online breach may not be accompanied by physical harm to property or personnel, the risks are still real and severe. The last decade has seen digital intrusion become a prevalent risk – with previous countermeasures easily circumvented.

This rapid rate of change results in a digital environment that requires constant, careful review. Failure to do this can carry serious ramifications that result in serious reputational damage, the loss of clients and key staff, legal action and worse.

Conducting an end-to-end security review and penetration test can ensure that your servers and protocols are up to scratch – letting you upgrade your infrastructure as needed in order to remain fully compliant in the modern working environment. 

Social Media and Communications:

Some of the most severe blows to businesses have come as a direct result of compromised online security, identity theft, and reputational damage. A mis-sent tweet, shared file, or response can result in the destruction of a carefully crafted public image. 

The deployment of bespoke tools and training can allow your employees to avoid issues around communication and account security. This can help you stay on top of online trends, respond in the event of a crisis and ensure the safety of key assets and personnel – avoiding giving away the location of key assets, personnel, and equipment.

Ongoing Surveillance:

Being the subject of surveillance is an unavoidable risk for many businesses. Depending on where you do business, this can be carried out by professional competitors, activists, and even the state.  No matter your background, it is possible to mitigate the risk posed by modern surveillance.

Choosing an experienced provider will allow you to deploy best practice throughout your company, ensuring that your teams are aware of key risks and have the infrastructure in place to fully address them. 

Industrial Espionage:

Given the rise of digital technologies, cloud storage, and international communication – industrial espionage is more of an ever-present risk than ever before. If your business traffics in trade secrets, sensitive information, or key client data – it can be significantly at risk of being subject to eavesdropping or spying.

This can range from government interference, the work of dissidents, professional competitors and more. Depending on the nature of your service, this can even extend to employees within your own business. Taking steps to directly address this threat is absolutely essential and ensure that your business remains operational and able to protect the cutting-edge that allows you to hold onto your current position in the modern marketplace. 

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