2020 was a difficult year for the entire world with many businesses struggling to know what the future held for them due to the chaos caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fortunately, 2021 is set to be a better year for businesses as the vaccine begins to roll out and more people begin returning to their ‘normal’ lives.
However, whilst 2021 offers greater potential for businesses, security will remain a huge consideration particularly early on in the year as current restrictions look set to remain in place until the spring of 2021.
Business security systems will become even more essential in 2021 not only to help prevent criminal activity but also manage pedestrian and customers in line with the restrictions of your area.
The following tips and security best practices are suitable for businesses across all sectors regardless of size and location and will be essential for businesses to adapt and recover from the year we have just experienced.
Appoint a manager
Whilst having a range of security systems in place is ideal it is just as essential to have an employee or manager overseeing these systems to ensure they are operating as they should be. This involves all systems including security gates and barriers, CCTV and any COVID-19 related systems such as security screens and crowd management systems.
Having someone you trust overseeing your business security allows you to ensure that the business is running properly and achieving its targets for any given time period.
Ideally your security manager should be able to:
- Track and monitor security information
- Be a point of contact for suppliers and maintenance teams
- Be responsible for the maintenance and servicing of all systems
- Be responsible for updating and securing business information
- Ensure that all the current regulations are being met
Be aware of the rise of contactless
It will come as no surprise to any business owner that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way people think and act and has paved the way for the increased adoption of contactless payments as these are safer, faster and carry reduced risk compared to traditional cash payments.
In fact, an Accenture Consumer Payments Pulse survey has reported that in the US alone, 64% of consumers had planned to use a mobile wallet in 2020 and will likely continue to do so throughout 2021.
It is therefore essential that businesses adapt to this change and begin to offer contactless payment systems or run the risk of being left behind. It is also important to ensure that any new contactless systems you implement is trusted and secure to protect you, your business, and your customers.
Crowd and queue management is essential
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way crowds and queues operate and it is essential that you, as a business, are able to control and manage the flow of people in and out of your business premises.
This can be achieved through a number of different methods including the implementation of traditional security guards and turnstiles or newer systems such as virtual queueing and traffic light systems.
It is recommended that you research a number of different crowd and queue management systems and decide which one best fits with the way your business operates as this will depend on your sector and your local restrictions which will dictate how busy you will be in the current climate.
Alternatively, you could attempt to reduce the amount of queueing completely by pre-empting customer enquiries or compiling a list of useful resources that answer common questions and satisfy customer needs.
Regular Reviews are a must
In a normal situation it is recommended that you review your security systems by conducting a full security risk assessment at least once a year. However, external circumstances can change on a weekly basis the pre-pandemic world meaning it is essential that you are regularly reviewing your security and management systems.
This is something that your security installers and managers can help you with and often there are only minor adjustments such as updates to systems or maintenance tasks that need to be carried out. It is rare that your review will signify the need for any expensive purchase if you already have sufficient security systems in place.
Don’t forget cybersecurity
In an increasingly digital world, the risk to online systems are greater than ever and the correct precautions should be put in place especially if your business works with large amounts of client and customer data such as emails, names, usernames and passwords.
There are a number of free and paid for services that can help protect against hackers, viruses and other cybersecurity crimes and conducting research into which system you require is a must as it will depend on your own personal situation.
Be aware of your local area
Traditionally this meant understanding the area in which you operate, the crime levels and the most common types of crime. Understanding these key points simplifies the security process and allows you to be smarter and more efficient with your security decisions and spending and ensures that all your security systems are needed and not being wasted.
Recently, this has also come to mean understanding the restrictions in your local areas, so you know how consumers are going to act and how busy you are likely to be. This will allow you to react accordingly and ensure that you have all the relevant security systems in place to keep you, your business, and your customers safe.
Maintenance is key
All security systems regardless of their design or purpose are only ever as good as the maintenance that is performed on them. Regularly reviewing all of your systems checking for any maintenance issues. The benefits of maintaining your security equipment is worth the investment.
In fact, the majority of security installers will offer regular maintenance and servicing packages which can be more cost effective in the long term and help keep all your security systems functioning properly for as long as you require.