How to Protect your Startup from Crime

Protecting your business from crime is essential for all enterprises, no matter how long they have been operating or at what scale. With the rise of cyber crime alongside regular criminal activity, as well as white-collar crime, there is a lot to consider when setting up preventative measures for your new startup.
In addition to protecting your business interests – including stock, premises and business assets – staff welfare and safety must also be considered. Creating a successful strategy, therefore, requires planning, as well as execution, and this guide is designed to help protect your startup from the beginning.
Begin with a risk assessment
Risk assessments are common in business, and while they are usually completed most frequently in the field of health and safety, adopting this strategy when beginning your security setup is a useful and effective starting point.
Using the five steps to risk assessment within a security context is an extremely helpful way to first consider the potential risks your startup may be susceptible to. To some extent, risk assessment requires a little creative thinking – try to consider broadly the various forms of crime that are out there. Communicating with other businesses may be a good way to think outside the box, and get a clear idea of the various potential risks.
Protect your premises and assets
Having completed your risk assessment you can then start considering your security setup. An effective security strategy requires installing the right security systems for your specific requirements. While fanciful face recognition tech and Chamber of Secrets-style vaults might be preferable, they’re probably unaffordable (and maybe a little unrealistic) for a startup!
The security systems you do opt for need to be realistic and practical, as well as affordable. They should act as both a deterrent to potential criminals, and as a protective measure should crime occur. Selecting the right systems from the get-go is essential.
Effective staff policies
Having the most effective security equipment in the world is one thing, but not backing it up with a well-measured and carried out policy makes the investment somewhat redundant. A successful company policy should ensure consistent regulations and standards across the board.
Make sure that employees understand what is expected of them through a code of conduct, and what can happen should they commit white-collar crime against your startup. Consistency is the key!
Setting up for cyber crime
Cyber crime is an increasing concern for businesses – both more established, and startups – due to the convenience and anonymity afforded by the internet. When setting up a new business venture, particularly a digital company, it is increasingly important to be aware of the types of cyber crime that exist, in order to take effective preventative measures.
It is essential to be both aware of cyber crime yourself, and to educate your staff on how to prevent it occurring. This should begin through your staff policies and regulations – you need to include a social media policy, both to prevent poor conduct, as well as potential cyber crime.
As well as staff policies, you need to protect your startup from external threats. Police your internal networks thoroughly, conduct regular audits, and make sure portable devices (as well as desktop computers) are scanned. Checking out who you are working with, such as external partners and suppliers is also important in safeguarding your business from cyber crime.
Monitor your security measures as your business grows
As well as ensuring your security measures are effective from the beginning, it is essential to consistently assess and update your procedures as your business grows, in order to stay well protected from crime.
This can be done through regular risk assessments, external surveys and audits, and consistent reviews of your policies and systems. As your business grows, new crime threats can emerge, so regular reviews are an important part of ensuring ongoing protection for your startup against crime.

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