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How to Respond to a Business Security Breach: A Step-by-Step Guide

When it comes to successfully running a business, there are several things that business owners need to keep in check. In addition to making sure that the operations are running smoothly and the business is profitable, they need to ensure safety and security on the property to allow the operations to run smoothly.

Apart from deterring crime and minimising security breaches that can seriously disrupt the business and often result in heavy losses, business owners need to know how to effectively respond to security breaches to a) minimise the damage caused by them, and b) to take steps to prevent them from happening again.

Whether the business security breach involves unauthorised access, theft, vandalism, or any other type of criminal activity, the right response can make a world of a difference. Read on for a step-by-step guide on how to respond to a business security breach and the steps taken to prevent them from happening again:

COMMON BUSINESS SECURITY BREACHES

Security breaches are often the result of vulnerabilities in the security measures and systems adopted by the business. When choosing a property to target, one of the first things that sophisticated criminals look for is weaknesses in the security plan since they allow them to carry out their plan without getting caught.

In most cases, commercial security breaches are made possible due to the absence of proper security systems and detection devices on the property and a gap between the detection and response to a crime.

Physical security breaches involve things such as unauthorised access and theft. Business theft, however, is not limited to material assets. In this day and age, data theft is a much more common occurrence and it poses an even more serious threat as it results in the loss of confidential and sensitive information, banking details, intellectual property, as well as identity theft.

Following are some of the most common types of business security breaches that can compromise the safety of the business, its employees, as well as any materials and assets:

  • Unauthorised access – unauthorised access simply means when someone who is not allowed to enter your property or a part of it gains access to it. This can be in the form of tailgating where an unauthorised individual follows an authorised person into a restricted area without permission to access the area. Piggybacking is something similar and it refers to closely following an authorised individual to gain access. Unauthorised access and trespassing can also be done using identity theft or brute force.
  • Theft – theft and commercial burglary are two very common security issues faced by almost all businesses. Criminals may break in and steal equipment such as computers, laptops, and machinery; inventory from storage areas and warehouses; and even data from devices such as USBs and hard drives. Theft of business valuables, both physical as well as digital, can have an adverse impact on the business’s growth and also leave the employees and customers in a bad state of mind.
  • Vandalism – vandalism refers to the destruction of business property and equipment, which is mostly deliberate and done to disrupt regular business operations. Tampering with equipment, machinery, and other business assets is also a form of vandalism and sabotage which often result in safety hazards and disruptions.
  • Internal threats – when most business owners think about security threats, their mind usually goes to the threats that are external, aka, that come from outside the business. What they need to understand is that internal threats are just as serious as external threats and need to be taken care of. Internal threats mostly constitute employee theft where employees steal business assets and resources, or employee misuse where they gain unauthorised access to business information and resources and abuse their privileges.
  • Security system manipulation – sometimes, despite having security systems installed on your business premises, you may still be vulnerable to security breaches for a number of reasons. The biggest reason for this is not installing the right systems, not having them properly installed, or failing to regularly maintain and service them. This allows potential criminals to bypass them or manipulate them and carry out their plans without getting caught.Top of Form

STEP-BY-STEP GUIDE ON HOW TO RESPOND TO A BUSINESS SECURITY BREACH

If your business goes through a security breach, it is very important to respond properly and effectively to the threat in order to minimise damage to the property and any affected individuals.

An effective response system is crucial for any business and requires cooperation and coordination from all the departments of the business. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to respond to a business security breach in order to restore normal operations and prevent it from happening again:

STEP 1: ASSESS THE SITUATION

The first step to responding to a security breach is to assess the situation and determine the scope, nature, and severity of the breach. This will help you understand what you’re dealing with and give you a clearer idea of what the appropriate response should be. It involves identifying the area that was affected and the assets and individuals that were impacted by it.

STEP 2: CONTAIN THE BREACH

As soon as the situation has been assessed and the extent of the damage has been determined, the response plan must be immediately activated. Steps must be taken to contain the security breach to limit any further damage.

This may involve isolating the affected area with physical security measures such as locks and shutting down any compromised systems. it is very important to do all of this quickly to prevent the breach from advancing and causing further damage.

STEP 3: NOTIFY THE AUTHORITIES

If the security breach involves any criminal activity, it is very important that you immediately notify the relevant law enforcement agencies so that they can handle the situation. Avoid trying to tackle the perpetrators on your own because they may be armed and cause harm to you or others around you. Having an armed security guard can be helpful in such situations as they are professionally trained to deal with such situations and can hold down the perpetrators till the police arrive.

Make sure you provide law enforcement with accurate information regarding the incident to help them investigate it. This may include CCTV footage, any physical evidence, or witness statements that could help catch the perpetrators.

STEP 4: ASSESS THE DAMAGE AND LOSS

Assess the extent of the damages and losses incurred due to the security breach, whether it is damaged property, stolen assets, or compromised data. Also, assess and determine the impact that the security breach has on the finances and operations of the business.

STEP 5: NOTIFY THE KEY STAKEHOLDERS

The business owners, senior management, and relevant departments within the business must be notified about the security breach and kept in the loop regarding any developments and actions being taken. They must be given details of the breach and the response plan including an explanation of what happened, the damages caused, and the steps taken to address the issue.

STEP 6: ACTIVATE BUSINESS CONTINUITY MEASURES

The day-to-day operations of the business can get impacted by security breaches, and if that happens, steps must be taken to minimise operational downtime and prevent further wastage of time, money, and resources. The business continuity plan must be immediately activated and any additional resources required to do so must be instantly allocated to where they are needed.

STEP 7: INVESTIGATE THE CAUSE OF THE BREACH

After the breach has been contained and the relevant parties have been notified, the next step involves investigating the cause of the breach. This post-incident analysis is an important part of the response plan as it helps identify how the breach occurred and who was responsible. It basically gives a clearer picture regarding what exactly happened, why it happened, and most importantly, how it happened.

This step is crucial as it prevents future security breaches from happening and allows you to focus on your business’s vulnerabilities and weaknesses that were exploited.

STEP 8: REVIEW SECURITY MEASURES

After figuring out the hows and whys of the security breach, it is time to review the current security measures and identify any weaknesses and vulnerabilities that may have contributed to the breach.

Strategies must be developed to strengthen security and prevent any future breaches. This may include conducting a fresh security risk assessment, upgrading existing security systems, and providing additional training to your employees in terms of safety and security.

STEP 9: UPDATE THE RESPONSE PLAN

Using the findings of the security breach and the current response plan, you need to review and update the response plan by incorporating new strategies and steps to make the process even smoother and more seamless in the future.

Based on your current experience, you can add to the response plan or make relevant changes to enhance your business’s ability to respond to future security breaches and prevent them from causing damage.

STEP 10: DOCUMENT EVERYTHING

Take everything as a learning experience and document all your findings including details of the breach, the action taken, and the communication channels. This is an important step for post-incident analysis as well as reporting. It can also be useful for legal and insurance purposes.

WHAT MEASURES CAN BE TAKEN TO PREVENT BUSINESS SECURITY BREACHES?

While it is important to have an effective response plan for a business security breach, it is also very important to implement the right security measures to prevent security breaches from occurring in the first place. Here are a few measures that you can take to secure your business from security breaches:

Access control

Since security breaches are mostly caused by unauthorised individuals gaining access into areas of the business where they are not supposed to be, the first thing you can do is implement a strong access control system on your property.

While you can use traditional locks and keys to control access, for a more advanced solution, authentication methods such as key cards, fobs, pin codes, passwords, and biometrics are the way to go. These systems offer much more in terms of access management and control and restrict entry to authorised individuals only.

Perimeter security

Another way to control security breaches due to unauthorised entry is by securing the perimeter of your property. You can install gates, security fencing, and barriers to prevent intruders from gaining access. You can also consider physical barriers such as bollards and anti-ram devices to protect against vehicular threats.

Make sure you keep the area well-illuminated using security lights, particularly during nighttime and after business hours to deter potential intruders.

CCTV surveillance

CCTV cameras are one of the most effective deterrents against security threats and can be a very useful security measure to safeguard your business from security breaches.

You can place them on all the key locations around the property, including the entrances, exits, and other critical areas, to give a complete view and to allow you to monitor every inch of your property. Make sure to cover both indoor as well as outdoor spaces and choose the right type of CCTV for the purpose.

Alarm systems

Alarm systems, also called burglar alarms or intruder alarms, are made up of different types of sensors placed on key locations around the property. These sensors pick up on any unusual movement or activity and sound a loud siren to alert all those around of the intrusion.

These security systems can be incredibly useful in detecting any type of security breach and scaring away intruders for fear of attracting attention and getting caught. To make them even more efficient, these systems can be integrated with other security systems such as access control systems, CCTV cameras, and security lighting.

Security guards

Security guards on their own may not be a very effective security measure considering how sophisticated modern-day criminals are. However, when deployed along with advanced security systems such as access control, CCTV cameras, and alarm systems, their services can surely add to the overall security of the business.

Having security guards on your business premises can be particularly useful if you do not have your security systems monitored by professionals. In such cases, having a professional security guard present on your property can guarantee quicker response times and reduce the likelihood of the security alarms going unnoticed, especially if they are triggered after business hours when the property is empty.

Employee training

Your employees are the backbone of your business and if you want to make your business property a safe and secure place for everyone, you have to keep your employees in the loop and provide them with the right training regarding security awareness.

They need to be educated on security best practices and how to respond to security breaches to minimise any damage and danger to themselves and others around them. They must be trained on all the emergency response procedures as well as the evacuation protocols, and they must be immediately updated on any changes made to the policies.

CONTACT CALDER SECURITY

At Calder Security, we provide a comprehensive range of security solutions that include not just professional installation but also monitoring, maintenance, and repair services.

We are members of the Master Locksmith Association (MLA), approved members of the Security Systems and Alarms Inspection Board (SSAIB), and also conform to all the relevant British and EU Standards. We follow all the best practices in the industry and install only high-quality, state-of-the-art security systems.

We offer various levels of monitoring via a 24-hour monitoring centre using Dualcom and BT Redcare signalling, which is the most secure alarm monitoring system and the largest supplier of intelligent alarm signalling services in the UK.

We understand the importance of having to regularly maintain security systems since the inability to do so might result in serious faults and consequent vulnerabilities in your property’s security.

We provide professional maintenance checks and reminders for when the checks are due to help you stay compliant with the law and work fast to restore your security systems to excellent condition.

We offer a 24-hour call-out service for customers and can also repair systems not installed by us. Our engineers are highly skilled and can restore faulty systems to full working order in one visit.

Contact us here or call us at 0800 612 9799 to talk to our experts right away!

Photo by Charles Forerunner on Unsplash