What To Do When Your Business Is Under Threat From Theft

In an ideal world, business owners would only have to worry about how well their products or services are selling. Theft wouldn’t be an issue. Unfortunately, in the real world, businesses come under threat from both external and internal theft all the time. Read on to find out what to do to ensure that the business’s information and assets remain protected.

Protecting Against External Theft

There are several manifestations of external thefts. Some are obvious, such as shoplifting and burglaries, while others are more subtle. They may include fraudulent product returns and cyberattacks.

Protecting Against Cybercrime

Think there may be someone external to the company trying to access its data? The best thing to do is to get help from digital specialists. Working with a digital forensics specialist gives business owners access to tools like hard drive analysis, spyware, and hacking detection, online activity tracking to identify IP addresses of potential hackers, and more.

Protection Against Shoplifting

All businesses should have security mirrors and surveillance cameras in place, but business owners who suspect their customers may be shoplifting goods should prioritize these forms of security. They should also keep careful track of inventory to look for discrepancies and ensure their employees know what to look for when identifying shoplifters.

Protection Against Burglaries

Burglars usually break into stores after hours when no one is there. Companies have a few options at their disposal when it comes to protecting themselves, including installing security systems and hiring security guards. Choose the option that provides maximum protection without breaking the company’s budget.

Protecting Against Internal Theft

Internal theft is any theft of inventory, capital, or data committed by an employee. Common forms of internal theft include employee shoplifting, embezzlement, and data theft.

Protection Against Employee Shoplifting

The same camera systems that help to deter external shoplifting also provide an incentive against employee shoplifting. Since employees will likely know where most of the cameras are, business owners who suspect their workers of shoplifting may want to invest in smaller cameras that are easier to hide or move them periodically to increase their chances of catching the culprit red-handed.

Protection Against Embezzlement

Embezzlement refers to the theft of cash from the business premises. There are a few things business owners can do to minimize their risk of falling prey to embezzlement. Arguably the most important of them is hiring trustworthy employees. Make sure to perform background checks & be clear and transparent about policies regarding internal theft and embezzlement.

Protection Against Data Theft

Outside hackers aren’t the only malicious actors business owners need to worry about since one out of four data leaks actually originate internally. Preventing data theft also requires carefully vetting employees, but business owners should also restrict all employees’ access to customer and company data and should take action immediately if they believe their data has been breached. It’s also a good idea to schedule periodic assessments with a digital forensics analyst to look for potential vulnerabilities and signs of attempted thefts. Below you will find an infographic about how artificial intelligence can help keep your financial data safe.

The Bottom Line

The unfortunate truth is that all businesses are at some risk of external and internal theft. Business owners can minimize that risk by taking preventative measures like installing cameras, password-protecting computers, and carefully keeping track of inventory, cash flow, and data.

Infographic created by Donnelley Financial Solutions, a financial software company

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