Bear in mind before you relax and unwind this holiday season

Six security measures for your festive season office closure.

At the end of the business year, our minds are either racing down a long track of things to finish before business closure or ready to let it all go and unwind. By this time, a break is much needed, and we all look forward to clearing out for the holidays, but have you considered what stays behind?

Thinking of the security measures you need to put in place ahead of time can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Empty offices are easy to target and therefore very susceptible to crime during the festive season. Plan ahead! Make sure these six holiday security measures are in place and up to date to keep your business safe:

1. Double-check all security equipment:

Relying on the fact that you have security measures in place isn’t always enough. A few weeks before you leave the office, take some time to run a few security tests. Make sure all locks, security gates, access systems, and alarms are in a functional, working condition. This also goes for security cameras − make sure they are pointed in the right direction and that nothing is obstructing their view. Take a walk around your building and identify weak security areas that might need some attention before you lock up.

2. Backups:

Alarm systems are a great way to keep your office safe and secure, but what happens when there is a lengthy power interruption? Keep a close eye on power interruptions or enlist a trusted employee to keep track of them. Consider installing extra alarm batteries and try to always have someone available to make sure your power supply has not been deliberately tampered with.

3. Update your security provider:

One of the priorities on your safety list should be to keep the company responsible for your alarm system and armed response in the loop. Your security provider should be informed of your holiday closing times and dates, as well as if you’ll need any extra services during this time. Office closures usually call for heightened security measures, which your security provider has to plan for. Contact them to review your list of emergency contacts and double-check if the telephone numbers need to be updated. Make sure to report any technical faults too.

4. Avoid public Wi-Fi:

In today’s digital age, data is one of your biggest vulnerabilities. This might not be one of the things on your security checklist before you lock up for the holidays, but it is definitely one to consider. Some of your employees might be doing remote work during the holidays, which can be a danger to sensitive company data. You should discourage the use of public Wi-Fi networks and explain the security risks to your employees. That being said, you’ll never know when an employee cannot avoid connecting to a public network, so it is a good idea to obtain a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service for your business. This ensures that your employees have an encrypted connection between their computers and the internet. With a VPN, you can use any public network (like those in coffee shops or airports) and be sure that your data and communication are kept secure and private.

5. Evaluate and discuss your security policies:

Your company’s security policies need to be regularly reviewed and updated. As the year comes to an end, it is important that you discuss your security policies for the festive season with all of your employees. They need to understand every security procedure and protocol. Implement strict security rules for using the office during your closing period, as well as the storage of valuable office equipment. Cybersecurity policies also need to be reviewed and the importance of protecting sensitive data emphasised.

6. The lock-up:

Make sure to check that all your office windows and entrances are secure. You will also need to review the office’s access control protocols with employees that might want to use the office space during the holidays. Employees who won’t need access can be temporarily removed from your access control system for extra security. You should also consider if there is any sensitive data stored in the office that needs to be locked away.

Remember to look back before you lock up this festive season. Preparing for the annual lock-up in advance saves your business time and potentially, a lot of expenses.

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied on as legal or other professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your adviser for specific and detailed advice. Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE).

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