Today I have a guest post for you. It is about protecting your assets. Enjoy.
Protect Your Assets: Essential Safeguards for Small Businesses
Running a small business is hard work, and you simply may not have the time or the resources to keep track of all the safety concerns that plague your operation on a daily basis. For this reason it behooves you to create policies and implements security measures meant to protect yourself, your employees, and your business as a whole. After all, you don’t want to have to deal with theft, damage, lawsuits, or other major hassles if you can possibly avoid them. So here are a few safeguards you may want to put in place.
- Firewall. Data theft is just as big a concern these days for some companies as potential robbery of goods. In order to protect yourself from hackers, spyware, and viruses you need to make sure that your firewall provides adequate protection for your computer network. Hiring a professional and paying a little more for extra security is a good way to ensure that your system is safe from attack and destruction.
- Tracking software. While GPS is used to track people and objects in the real world, there is also software available to track where they go in virtual space. Although the term “spyware” comes with something of a negative connotation, it’s certainly advisable to be aware of what’s going on under your nose. Although you may not have the budget for a dedicated team of IT employees, you can install basic software in your network that allows you to look at what’s going on at any given computer terminal. If employees are spending all day on Facebook or emailing sensitive documents to competitors, you need to know.
- Safety policies. It’s important to protect the safety of employees at all times, so penning policies to that end is probably a good idea. If you’re in an unsafe area, you should implement a buddy system for walking to cars at night, especially if employees are responsible for bringing cash to the store or dropping off deposits. You may also want to secure an armored car service for this purpose if attacks on employees are a concern.
- Inventory tracking. You might be surprised how much money you lose on office supplies and pieces of equipment that are misappropriated. You might not think it’s a big deal if the occasional pen or pencil goes home with an employee by accident, but when you’re paying to outfit a worker’s personal cache of office supplies, you may start to rethink your open-door policy on the supply cabinet. Theft of small items like boxes of staples or packs of printer paper can not only cost you hundreds or even thousands of dollars in a year; it can also lead to more serious larceny if it goes unchecked. So nip it in the bud by limiting access to supplies and tracking all inventory electronically.
- Asset labels. Attaching asset stickers to everything valuable (from desks and chairs to computer equipment) can help you to track your company’s assets as well as establish a chain of custody; all you have to do is create a logging system that allows you to scan a bar code or enter a number that matches the label, as well as pertinent information such as the name of the employee entrusted with the item.
Carol Montrose is a writer for SeaReach a manufacturer of labels, tags, and security documents.